Year 6 students from Selwyn House School organised a pop-up roller skating event at Spark Park on Hereford Street on Thursday, 14 September. Wonder Wheels is a school project that we supported as part of our LEOTC programme. 

The students set up the space during the day before the event kicked off at 4pm. The students came dressed in masks and capes prepared to give roller skating a go on the concrete site. Members of the public were also welcome to stop by and try roller skating from 4 – 6pm.

The event was part of the Selwyn House students’ studies as an Exhibition project; a Year 6 inquiry celebration of the journey towards developing inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who are active, compassionate lifelong learners. Working with Gap Filler as part of their education programme  this year, the students identified the need to create a fun family/kid friendly activity in the centre of the city and wanted to bring “some colour” back to the central city of Christchurch. The Year 6 classes from Selwyn House have worked together with Gap Filler, Life in Vacant Spaces and additional professionals, mentors and more to create, design and install a Gap Filler-inspired project in the central city.

“The girls in Year 6 are 10 and 11 years old. It is amazing to see a group of young girls take an interest in adding “life” back into a city which was badly damaged when they were only 2 and 3 years of age” says Jennifer Shepherd of Selwyn House School.

Our Learning Facilitator, Sally Airey says of this event: “The students, responding to a lack of fun free family events in the central city, came up with the idea of holding a skating event called ‘Wonder Wheels’ to activate a central city vacant site. Authentic learning experiences like this provide students with an opportunity to take collective action and create and contribute in a real way to the civic life of our city. We believe that providing practical and creative opportunities for students to contribute to our city will support the next generation of engaged and active citizens and at the same time make a city that is vibrant and fun to live in. We hope that this event encourages others to use this and other vacant sites in creative and fun ways,”

Spark Park (91 Hereford Street) functions as a public space that the owners have made available for temporary public uses through engaging Life in Vacant Spaces. LIVS have brokered access for food trucks, gardens, a small studio/shop and markets in the past.

Learn more about our LEOTC programme here.