Last Friday Merimbula Public School held their annual Open Day. This year's Open Day was a huge success with the greatest number of people attending the school on any one day ever! Teachers, students, staff and community members have made numerous comments about the fantastic range of activities that took place, about the number of community members in attendance and also about the outstanding organisation that has taken place to organise the day and ensure that it ran smoothly. With so many activities on throughout the day, some visitors chose not to leave. Loretta Chapple, parent and P&C Fundraising Coordinator congratulated the staff stating "Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard to make it a fantastic day on Friday! The best Open Day in the last 10 years! Thank you". Angi High, President of the P&C also commented that she has had numerous phone calls and emails from parents and community members since Friday, all of whom wanted to pass on how much they enjoyed the day and what a huge success it was.
One of the new features of this year's Open Day was the Art Show that took place in the Jackson Hall. The Art Show was open to the public throughout the day. It featured at least one art work for every one of the school's 422 students. These art works are now being sent away to be turned into calendars and mouse pads for families to purchase. The Art Show also featured a number of large canvas paintings, as each class had collaboratively worked on developing a canvas for the display. "The school was very fortunate to have the canvases donated by the P&C" said Principal Mrs Michelle Hulme "This has enabled the work to be of an extremely high standard. The students have put a lot of time and effort into their art works. The display has allowed the staff to showcase the wonderful visual arts programs that take place within our school. The display in the hall was fabulous. The hall looked like a real art gallery. Not only did the show enable the students to showcase their work, they were also able to experience what a professional gallery is like. Even down to the background music!". Some of the canvas art is now in a silent auction, raising money for new technology in the school.
One canvas displayed at the show was created by a group of talented Year 1 artists who were supported in completing the work by talented local artist Di DelleVergin. That canvas is being auctioned at the P&C Trivia Night on September 25 at the Tura Beach Country Club. Other works included string art and woodwork designs made by the school's talented Boy's Artist Group.
Mrs Hulme also commented that it was great to see so many parents, carers and community members visit the school. "During the Open Classrooms sessions at 10am and 2.10pm there were up to 20 parents in every classroom at any one time. Our parent helper's morning tea was also a great success with over 50 visitors filling the staffroom".
Another activity that took place on the day was the Official Opening Ceremony, including the National Flag Day Flag Raising Ceremony. As well as acknowledging the National Flag, respect was also paid to the traditional Aboriginal custodians of the land. The Aboriginal Flag was raised and didgeridoo music accompanied the National Anthem. Grandparents of Aboriginal students who attended the ceremony were delighted to see such a magnificent tribute to Aboriginal People, commenting that such should occur in every school.
Talented technology students were able to showcase their news broadcasting skills later in the day as they participated in a video conference as part of the Country Areas Program's mEye News Project. They showed their carers how to participate in a telecast using video conferencing technology while talking live to students from Moama Public School, Warialda Public School and the Broken Hill School Of The Air. The news reports shared by students from Merimbula Public were of a very high quality. They even included students interviewing local marine biologist Luke Brown in the Merimbula Aquarium about local environmental issues including how global warming may be impacting on the local marine environment.
Other fantastic activities that took place on Open Day included dads, grandpas and grandads reading with children as part of "Father's Friday", the P&C Father's Day Stall sale, the "Book Fair", a celebration barbeque and the traditional and much loved "Book Week Fancy Dress Parade" where students and staff crossed the ‘Story Bridge' in a range of spectacular costumes.
Check out the photos in our gallery!