4 Feb 2010

Lower SI's first new school in nearly 30 years

1:32 pm on 4 February 2010

The first new school to open in the lower South Island since 1981 has welcomed its first pupils.

The 450-pupil Remarkables School in Queenstown is being described as the most advanced primary teaching facility in the country, but its approach to education is not without controversy.

Principal Debbie Dickson has played down recent criticism of her expressed desire to call teachers expedition leaders and classrooms caves.

One parent, Nicky Robinson, says the new school is amazing. He's not fazed, he says, by the principal's approach or by the fact that the school is directly under the approach path to Queenstown airport.

Aircraft taking off on the first day, Thursday, went unheard inside the specially soundproofed classrooms, which come complete with state-of-the-art computer systems, bean bags and ergonomic furniture.