Bay of Islands College recently held their Year 11, 12 and Senior Graduation prize giving and a number of ex Russell Primary School pupils, Ashe Cooper, Judy Elliot, Jack Blomfield, Jonty Hooson, Tyrone MacInnes, Hayley Jenner and Andrew Frankum were recognised for academic, leadership and sporting achievements. Although scholastic attainment is individual, teachers play an important part in guiding a pupil’s desire to make the most of education. According to our museum records, Russell Primary School teachers have a history of doing this as Clive Arlidge, an ex pupil remembers.
“We only had one exercise book so all subjects went into this one exercise book, history and geography were very strong part of education in those days…because when we went to Kawakawa District High School from that little one exercise book we kept a record of all we had done in [Mr. Lindauer’s] classes. When we got there, to grade you into A form, which was the academic form and B form which was called commercial, and I think the C form which was mainly woodwork and apprentices sort of class, and so through Lindauer’s good teaching… reinforcing us with dates etc and facts and figures [it] kept us in the A form and that was interesting for all of us, as we didn’t think we were that bright. I can remember about the third day after they had ticked and marked the form, one of the big fifth form boys… came round and stood in front of us, the boys of Russell, little third formers eating our lunch, and he got down by us and said “How come you Russell kids are so brainy?” We said, “How do you know?” and he said “I’ve just marked your papers and you think you are smart don’t you?” We… felt very good about that.”