Made with Pride by the Pupils of Burnside Primary School
At the middle of the "work" is a Woman with her arms out-stretched in welcome. (We want to be known as a welcoming school). The woman is offering "knowledge", and in her right hand she holds a Gourd (a water-carrier) symbolizing this. The Gourd has a transparent Pounamu centre, to emphasize the preciousness of knowledge (and Pounamu).
The left hand of the woman is hidden by "Aoraki" / Mount Cook to recognise its mana in our Land Aoteroa / New Zealand.
The "story" told by the "carving" begins on the left-hand side, with the Fantail (flighty and full of life), a Cicada (chirpy and noisy), the Sun (in the "morning / dawn position), the Flax bush (child-leaf at the centre surrounded and protected by parent / teacher / family - leaves), a small Koru (just beginning to open), the 7 Stars of the Matariki (signalling the "new-year),and a Tui (a happy dawn chorus). All of these "figures" represent new life / the beginnings of life and education from a child's perspective and hope / happiness.
The "story" continues around and across the top of the "work", with the 4 "Winds" (shaping the top portion) representing our "values” here at BPS. (People see what the wind "does" when they watch its invisible action on leaves etc, and we want people also to "see" the invisible "actions" our values have in our playground/school).
There is a Box-Kite (for fun / play) but also to encourage children to fly their "ideas" and if they crash and burn, to try again - building resilience).
There is a Godwit entering from the top left (to remind us here that our migrant families / children come from oversees, stay for a time and then depart), and Eagle / Hawk (to encourage all here to "soar" and aim high). Other more elongated Koru (young adults) appear at top-right, along with a Shining Cuckoo (to remind us that many children here are "raised" in "another nest"- are adopted / fostered / from blended families), a Spider (to encourage all to make connections / friendships / stay in touch with friends / parents / family and to know "who" they are - have their identity firm), a Case Moth on a mature tree (we are a musical school, and the case moth represents the "flute/music).
We then come to Aoraki / Mount Cook, the Nor-west Arch (hot wind in red, a warning of melting snow and rising rivers -"read the signs" / respect nature).
The Pukeko is next because it is an excellent parent to its children (which we want our children to be), the Feet big and small (spend time walking with your children / listen to each other / respect your elders / walk together / walk towards knowledge – the Gourd / Pounamu / Knowledge).
There is a Tuatara looking back along the "Footprints" to ask that we learn from / remember history / our past / our mistakes. That is the circle.
At the centre / bottom are 3 Pools of Water. Christchurch has many special and significant connections with / is built on / depends on water. The Avon head (“spring" is not far from BPS and we have a spring-fed creek in our grounds, so water is precious) water is central to life / Christchurch / the Earth. We have placed in these pools an Eel (Tuna), some fresh-water Crayfish (Koura) and a Fish (outside the 3rd pool to remind us that some things are extinct). The fish is leaping for a Dragonfly (which is to remind us to celebrate beauty / the small things / to smell the roses.
There are representations of Maui Tike Tike (with associated stories) around the woman's neck (to adorn her) and her Cloak has other significance / stories as well.
It is a real "Taonga / Treasure" and Gavin Britt, the children, Matt Bateman, and the Staff here in 2007 had great fun putting it all together. It took a year from "conception" through "evolution" to "conclusion" on the wall. We intend to build on the Curriculum here by using this "work" as a spring-board.