St Christopher’s opens with fun-filled day for students and top marks for teachers
The Governor and other dignitaries officially opened St Christopher’s Early Years Foundation School at Four Corners yesterday.
There were speeches, tours of the school, songs and even a party with cake during the course of the event.
The school was relocated to Four Corners from its previous location at Europa Estate at Europa Point.
The Governor Lieutenant General Edward Davis, Commander British Forces Commodore Tim Henry, Assistant Chief Executive Officer for the MOD schools Rowley Bucknill and early years advisor for the MOD schools Kay Turner.
Arriving at the school the Governor greeted the children who were waiting patiently, with one child prompting laughter as he shouted out “Hello Governor” and got the same greeting back.
Lt Gen Davis thanked the children for a book of drawings they had created following their visit to The Convent.
Aware the children were getting restless, he asked them if he should sit down and be quiet. They roared back “yes” amid screams of laughter.
Announcing the formalities of the event was head teacher Tricia Wood.
The children opened up the ceremony by singing a song ‘we are so proud of our school we like to sing about it’. The performance concluded with a rapturous applause from all the adults present.
Next both the Governor and Commander British Forces presented the children with their end of year certificates. Some children opted for a hand shake, while others went for a ‘high five’.
Addressing the audience after the presentations the Governor said: “I have had many special occasions and days in Gibraltar but I think this one tops them all because it is all about young people.”
“There are three priorities in progressing any community or society and for me those three priorities are education, education, education,” he said.
“You need three things to deliver those priorities; you first of all need some wonderful teachers like Tricia and Lisa here and all the rest.”
“We can just see the connection you have got with all of the kids here and nothing happens without wonderful teachers connecting with the kids and inspiring them to be the best that they can and clearly you have done that, so congratulations to you.”
“The second thing we have already got is we have got great kids who we are all very proud of.”
“With this wonderful new school and nursery we have also got the real estate,” he added, calling the school a world-class facility.
The Commander British Forces also spoke and like the Governor thanked the many people and businesses that were involved in moving and creating the new school.
Arriving from the UK, Mr Bucknill had some special news for Ms Wood and her colleagues.
“I can announce, hot off the press, the quality mark for excellency in early years practice has just been re-awarded to this school and they have no idea that is the case,” he said.
“But, it has just been re-awarded, so well done to them all because this is a massive effort.”
A surprised Ms Wood thanked him for the award and said: “Yes that was hot off the press because we were just going through the renewal this week with Kay from MOD schools to validate us to see if we could renew from 2016 when it was first awarded in 2013.”
“That was a great thing to have announced today.”
Pics by Johnny Bugeja