Bring back the lions!
"When are the lions coming back?" is the question one very young city school pupil wanted answered after she visited the Bridge of Remembrance recently.
St Michael's School took all of its pupils on an urban exploration recently, to the Bridge of Remembrance and the Triumphal Arch – two SCIRT projects currently being repaired.
St Michael’s School’s year one to eight pupils spent an afternoon learning about the work SCIRT’s Downer team is doing on the two historic structures, the Bridge of Remembrance and its Triumphal Arch.
As a close neighbour, Downer approached the school with the concept of “Adopt A Bridge”. The school embraced this as a project and this visit was the first stage.
Downer was excited that St Michael’s decided to include all their students. Splitting them into two groups proved the workable way to talk to all of them. Engineers on site met the students and talked about the work they were doing and what can be seen from outside the safety fences. (The next step for the school’s Adopt A Bridge work is to arrange for smaller groups to have safe access on site to gain a more in-depth look and feel of the project.)
Ros Service, Downer’s communications team leader ran a session discussing the historical significance of the bridge and arch and how they relate to World War I. The giant lions flanking the arch and the rosemary all symbolise different things. The students also looked at the models, made by Christ’s College students, http://strongerchristchurch.govt.nz/article/technology-gets-college-boys-out-of-classroom that demonstrate some of the systems being installed to make the Arch more resilient.
“Ros showed us the models and explained the forces that operated on the Bridge of Remembrance during the earthquakes,” says Jon Russell, St Michael’s deputy principal.
“It captivated the children’s enthusiasm and was an added incentive to go down to the site and learn more about this heritage site, working towards Anzac Day. In a couple of years, it will be fantastic for the public of Christchurch to see how bridges like this have been made more resilient.
“It is also great for opening up career pathways ideas for the year seven and eight students,” he said.
NB: St Michael’s sent a small group of pupils to visit the bridge and test out the Kids Zone at the end of 2014. (LINK to http://strongerchristchurch.govt.nz/article/bridge-of-remembrance-kids-zone-attracts-central-city-school-pupils)