This morning I was picked up at the hotel by the lovely Cheryle from Bookaburra and we drove to the AIS. It’s about a 15 minute drive from where we are staying – mostly on freeways. The school is huge. The campus is impressive and the number of students a little mind boggling. Over 3000 from what I could gather.
I was set to talk with the Grade 2 students. In the Junior School (whch is the equivalent of Infants at home) there are 10-14 classes of 22 in each year group. So while it was ‘only Grade 2’ that was still a lot of children.
The Junior School Library is a gorgeous place – stimluating displays and such a warm environment. I can imagine many children wanting to spend as much time in there as possible (and not only to escape the heat!).
The Librarian, Denise Jackson, hails from Auckland but has been at the school for quite a few years. It’s obvious that she loves her job and the staff and children adore working with her too. I was overwhelmed by the display she and Manda Zarak had prepared for my visit.
I presented to three groups of Grade 2 students and all of them were equally vibrant and enthusiastic. The Clemmie drama activity went over a treat and I only wish I’d had a lot more time with each group. My first snorer was a champion at it – he had everyone in stitches and he didn’t open his eyes the whole time.
At lunchtime we drove over to the Primary School area and I met with a group of about 50 very keen students who had given up their lunchtime to see me. Unfortunately there was a clash of author visits and so it wasn’t possible for the students to have a class time dose of Alice-Miranda and Clemmie but I’m sure there will be another opportunity in the future. Again the staff were fantastic and Jo-Anne Ward made me feel extremely welcome. The display for the visit was put together by Carole Gillon and was amazing – a great big book about me and my books. I’ve never seen anything like it.
There was such energy in the group and I was so disappointed that the time flew by and they had to go back to class. It was a pleasure to sign their books.
I am hoping to get back to AIS later in the year – it’s a great school and the students clearly love being there.