Schools keeping pupils safe


Some of Oamaru’s top talent was to be on stage in the Waitaki Boys’ and Girls’ High Schools’ musical production next month Covid-19 outbreak put paid to it.

The sibling schools combine every two years to present a major musical. This year they chose Aotearoa – A New Zealand rock musical, written by Jamie Lawrence.

It was to have run from April 1 to 4, but was cancelled this week.

The Oamaru production was being directed by Waitaki Boys’ librarian Anne-Marie Bowman, who was involved with High School Musical two years ago and also has experience of staging Scouts’ Gang Shows in Dunedin.

Ms Bowman cast 29 pupils to perform, plus a Waitaki Girls’ pupil as stage manager.

Musical director Stephen Hinds, the Waitaki Boys’ head of music, had some of his school’s pupils playing live in the band.

Schools in North Otago were doing what they could to keep pupils and their families safe amid the increasing risk of Covid-19, North Otago Primary Principals’ Association president Kate Mansfield said.

Mrs Mansfield, who is also principal at Glenavy School, said schools had coped well to this point and had stringently adhered to hygiene guidelines passed down from the Ministry of Health.

Many were taking a common sense approach to the outbreak, she said.

“At this stage most schools in North Otago are taking extra precautions, things like ensuring they are washing their hands after morning tea and lunch, and using hand sanitiser when they can.”

Mrs Mansfield said several sporting events had also been cancelled or postponed.

Schools had to decide for themselves whether to hold assemblies, which were not recommended by the ministry.

“Children are coming to school until we get more information from the Ministry of Health, then we will continue with the guidelines we have been given,” she said.

  • Additional reporting Daniel Birchfield

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