SHARE
Transformation . . . The award-winning Glenavy School mural turned an eyesore into an artwork. PHOTO: SALLY BROOKER

Glenavy School’s new mural has won a national award.

The project began when a shipping container was placed at the back of the school grounds to provide storage. To beautify the unsightly metal hulk, artist and school secretary Lynda Anderson designed a colourful mural.

Principal Kate Mansfield said it celebrated the pupils and their journey through primary education.

Each of the four classrooms has the name of a native bird 1 is korora (little blue penguin), Room 2 is piwakawaka (fantail), Room 3 is kea and Room 4 is karearea (New Zealand falcon).

The sea symbolised the children’s growth from preschool to their first day at school, the rocks represented them being placed on solid ground to start their educational journey, then they were carried along the Waitaki River through their schooling years.

“The birds start with the little korora, then they move on to the piwakawaka, a cheeky bright little bird, to the more solid but still cheeky kea and finally the karearea that takes flight on to the next stage of their education,” Mrs Mansfield said.

“The message we promote is to carry our children on a journey of integrity, respect, self-management and community support, to care for others as well as nature.”

Mrs Mansfield said Ms Anderson’s work was “wonderful”, extending to helping the pupils with art throughout their time at the school. Some helped to paint the mural.

“It was a really amazing thing for the children.”

The classroom names, created in conjunction with the mural project, were much more interesting than the simple number they used to be known by, she said.

Glenavy School was urged to enter the Keep New Zealand Beautiful Resene Wall Worthy competition, which entailed schools, early childhood centres, and youth groups submitting a mural design featuring their local history or a nature conservation theme.

Fifteen finalists were selected and put to a public vote at the beginning of this month.

Glenavy’s design, named “Haerenga (Journey)”, was in the top 10 after more than 5500 votes were counted.

It won prizes including $500 for having the mural completed by the end of the first school term next year.