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FUTURE GENERATION STUDENTS INSPIRED BY HISTORY During September, 17 year seven and eight students from Ficino School in Mt Eden journeyed to Europe to experience first hand the wonders of the Renaissance. The students accompanied by three teachers and five parents, embarked upon a 20 day tour of Italy and England where they studied key works from the Renaissance – 14th -17th centuries. The trip is a key part of the curriculum at Ficino School. Founded in 1997 by students of the Auckland School of Philosophy, Ficino School is located in Mt Eden and has a role of around 130 children who attend the school from all across Auckland. “Every second year we organise a trip to Europe. It is a key part of the learning programme for our senior students. It gives them the unique opportunity to see first hand the architecture and artwork of the Renaissance. This opens their hearts and minds to some of the most sublime creations of humankind,” says Principal Peter Crompton who led the trip. Whilst in Europe the students visited: Rome, Florence, London, Oxford, Salisbury and Bath. During their visit to London they joined with sister schools from around the world to perform in The Festival of Spirit at the Theatre Royale in Drury Lane, London. The festival celebrated the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ficino School’s founder Leon MacLaren. Teachers, Hamish Hudson and Dawn Roscoe, carefully planned the students’ itinerary to ensure they experienced first hand the key works of the Renaissance including Michelangelo’s David, The Annunciation by Leonardo Da Vinci and works by Sandro Botticelli. “We wanted to inspire our students and give them an appreciation of the glory of the Renaissance. We hope through experiencing the great artwork of this key period in European history, that they will be able to relate this back to the philosophical elements that are integral to Ficino School,” says teacher Dawn Roscoe.

FICINO SCHOOL pupils in St Peters, Vatican City

“My first impression of Michaelangelo’s David was Wow! The size and detail of it is just mind-boggling,” commented year 7 student Manisha Kika. Fellow year 7 student Findlay Boyes, was clearly moved by his visit to the Sistine Chapel, “I have heard but never experienced the phrase ‘lost for words’, but when I stepped into the Sistine Chapel the feeling of speechlessness flooded through me!” Year 8 student Rebecca Clarke recalled her reaction when visiting the Roman Forum, “We looked out over the ruins of the Roman Forum and I imagined what it would be like in the time of the Romans.” Classmate Hrishikesh Harish had a similar experience, “When I went to the Roman Baths, I could almost feel the presence of the Romans, but I could not imagine how such an amazing feat was possible.” The students returned from their trip in early October, and are back into the fourth term at Ficino School, but their experiences in Europe haven’t been forgotten. The learning from their trip of discovery continues. Having kept detailed diaries during their trip the students are now using their notes to prepare individual oral presentations highlighting what they learnt from their modern day tour of the Renaissance. PN FICINO SCHOOL, 27 Esplanade Road, Mt Eden, T: 09 623 3385

The World Belongs to the Dissatisfied



DECEMBER/JANUARY '10/ '11 Ponsonby News  

Christmas issue - covering December and January - news/views and all that is happening in and around Ponsonby