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Combined Schools ANZAC Service 2015

By | April 29, 2015

On Friday, 24 April around 3,000 students aged from 3 to 18 from the eight local Havelock North schools and Village Kids Child Care met on the domain in the centre of the village for a combined schools’ Anzac Day service. The original idea came from students in an End of Year Project group last year who suggested that given the significance of the centenary an entirely student led event would be an appropriate and memorable way to mark the occasion. A number of schools and local kindergartens produced handmade poppies which were combined on a wire fence to create a striking backdrop. Every school also contributed a performance item and nominated students to introduce key parts and recite a joint karakia. The opportunity to come together as a local school community was incredibly special; one member of staff attending commented that whilst he had taught in Havelock for over 40 years there had never been a similar event. The absolute respect demonstrated by over 3,000 young people observing a minute’s silence was a notable moment.

At the end of the service Te Mata Road was temporarily closed and wreath laying parties from each school processed to the Cenotaph behind piper Mr David Shennan, Iona College and two soldiers from the Gurkha Regiment. A number of members of the local community gathered to watch this and afterwards were treated to an Anzac biscuit courtesy of Nicola Williams and her Year 7/8 class. An event this size was not possible without the combined organisational skills of all the schools involved and we also received a great deal of assistance from the Hastings District Council. The costs of the stage and sound equipment were met by the prize money that Abby May won for the school in the RSA speech competition and by a donation from the WHPA.
Event Organisers – Rachel Roberts and Sheree Macrae

Combined school's service

Part of our tableau

Procession to the cenotaph

Preparing to lay the wreath

Anzac biscuits


Gallipoli, Women and the War

Over the past few weeks a major focus of our work has been learning about the history behind the events at Gallipoli 100 years ago and World War I. If you have driven up The Thomas Crosse Driveway in the past week you may have seen our Field of Remembrance which was jointly created by the Intermediate Department and our Year 10 students. Our item for the combined Havelock North Schools’ Anzac Service was a drama tableau depicting the varied contributions by women to World War I. Using the information students researched on the different jobs women performed and the talented directorial skills of Mrs Jo Carpenter, our Year 10 students told about the women who worked, the women who waited, the women who served and the women who mourned.

Field of Remembrance


Europe Awaits

Over the past few months the department has been finalising the itinerary and arrangements for the curriculum trip to Europe in 2016. For three weeks, including the July school holidays, next year students will have the opportunity to visit four different European countries – the UK, France, Belgium and Italy. Whilst the trip is planned to include a number of different curriculum areas the centenary commemorations of World War I will form a key focus for our first week of travel. Whilst the events at Gallipoli in 1915 focus New Zealand and Australian attention each year, the majority of New Zealand soldiers, over 12,000, fell on the Western Front situated in Northern France and Belgium.

We will visit Tyne Cot Cemetery in Belgium which contains the largest number of New Zealand war graves and the Messines Ridge Memorial which lists the names of those soldiers with no known grave. We will also stay in Ypres where each night the Last Post is poignantly performed at 8pm to commemorate all those who served in the Great War. There will be many other highlights including trips to the Globe Theatre, the Eiffel Tower, the architectural splendour of Rome, learning how to make a real Italian pizza, a boat trip to the stunning Island of Capri and exploring the excavated streets of Pompeii close to Naples. Details of the trip were emailed to parents at the end of last term and applications are due by Friday, 8 May. Please contact me at rachel.roberts@woodford.school.nz if you require further information or have any other questions.

Mrs Rachel Roberts, HoD Social Sciences