Yesterday, retiring MP Pete Hodgson and I dropped in on Bradford School’s hands on science afternoon.
Bradford School was buzzing. The children were bubbling with enthusiasm as they showed us around. They mixed coloured fluids to make ‘traffic lights’ in a glass. It reminded me of visiting Cobb and Co as a kid – the traffic light drink was always a highlight.
The hands on science was impressive stuff. I don’t remember science at primary school being this involved. Posters illustrating previous experiments were on display. Unpopped pop-corn kernels had been counted, the effect of acid on metals had been observed, as had the volcanic effect of breath-mints inserted into Cola. The colour composition of felt-pens had been examined using chromatography.
My experience is that all schools in Dunedin are good. Dunedin doesn’t seem to have bad schools. We are well served. Maybe it is a consequence of our strong Scottish heritage. After all, the Scots were responsible for starting New Zealand’s first University here in this city. Maybe it is related to the proliferation of quality early childhood eduction options in Dunedin. Maybe it is because parents put time into their children and the schools they attend. Last weekend, I visited George St school fair and the number of parents volunteering at the fair was impressive.
I’m sure Dunedin’s schooling success is a combination of many factors. And partly it’s because it’s the way things have been for a long time.
Dunedin teachers are professionals, and they do a good job. Let’s celebrate them.