It was the end of an era today at Auchinraith Primary as we had our final whole school assembly in the old building. For those of you that have been in Blantyre for many years, you will remember the original primary school at the top of Craig Street that opened at the turn of the 20th century, a building from which Auchinraith Primary moved away many years ago to take up the old Calder Street Junior Secondary building.
That has been the building that I have visited week by week for the past decade and I confess there are aspects of that building I will miss, especially the wonderful murals downstairs. But, this is a time for saying goodbye to the old and starting afresh with a new building, and what an exciting new building it is. I am looking forward to a proper tour next week before the kids go back on Thursday, but the pictures look great. I especially like the inspirational feature wall with quotes chosen by the pupils. [There's more...]
For the final assembly this morning I had offered to interview pupils on camera earlier in the week. From those interviews I made up a 10 minute video of pupil's "memories" and what their hopes and expectations were for their new school building. It worked well.
It has been an odd week for the pupils and staff as they have tried to get on with school work while all around them boxes and furniture has been removed and taken over to the new school. Spare a thought for the staff as they use the next days to settle into the new building ready for teaching at the end of next week.
We'll have another whole school assembly next Friday but this time in the new building. I'm thinking I may say something about the illustration Jesus gave of doing away with the old wineskins and always making sure you have new wineskins for storing young wine. A new start, with an exciting new "wineskin", and I look forward to getting to know the new building as one of the chaplains there.
When I was interviewing the pupils I asked what they thought was good about their time in the old Auchinraith building, and nearly everyone mentioned in their answer their teachers or how they met new friends. And it is worth remembering that even though the building changes and the facilities improve, yet school life revolves mostly around the quality of the relationships between pupils, between pupils and staff, and amongst the staff team. It is testament to the team at Auchinraith that so many of the pupils recognised that importance in their unscripted responses to me.
I pray for every blessing upon them all that they will all settle quickly and productively into their new home.