Education and activities news for 2010 to 2012 from St Mary's School, Tristan da Cunha and Tristanians studying overseas.

St Mary's School Christmas Show
Pirates of the Curry Bean
held in the school hall on 29th November 2012
Photos from Tina Glass
Photo above shows all the cast taking a bow at the end of the successful and entertaining show

Report from Head Teacher Anne Green

St Mary's Christmas Concert was put on earlier than usual this year because some of the children who were leaving on the 'Baltic Trader' and 'Edinburgh' early in December had major roles in the play.

This year's show was a musical comedy, 'Pirates of the Curry Bean'. There were lots of jokes, piratical songs and comic situations which gave great enjoyment to the audience.

It was also an occasion to say farewell to Education Advisor Jim Kerr, his wife Sue and granddaughter Bethany, and to thank Jim for the enormous contribution he has made to raise the standard of Education on the island, and wish him well for the future.

Outside 'The Squirty Squid' - from left - Lynette Green as Deadeye Dinghy, Leo Glass, Tristan Glass as Fiddlesticks the Cat
and Jade Repetto.
The Periwinkle family of
Jade, Tristan and Leo
with 'Mum' Natalie Swain.

The Periwinkle family of Jade, Tristan, Leo and 'Mum' Natalie Swain
with pirates
left Leanne Swain and Kimberley Green.



Pirate Captain Redbeard (of the 'Curry Bean') played by Kimberley.

Captain Cod (played by Janine Lavarello)
at the wheel of HMS 'Crunchy Frog'




Behind the bar of 'The Squirty Squid', Jade, Tristan, Leo and Natalie.

Natalie singing her solo.

Jade, Tristan and Leo.

Jade, Tristan and Leo in the Old London docks.

Admiral Horatio Hornhonker (Riaan Repetto) and Captain Cod (Janine).

The crew of the 'Crunchy Frog'.
Facing away, Leanne Swain. Chloe Glass, Rhyanna Swain, Chantelle Repetto,
Janice Green, Shannon Swain,
Nathan Swain and Jamie Glass.
In front - Riaan and Janine.

Back row from left - Chloe, Rhyanna, Shannon, Nathan and Jamie.
Front- Chantelle and Janice.

Slack - Rachel Green (in wheelbarrow) and Scuttle - Kelly Swain.
(Cockle and Muscle salesmen!)

Linda - (A. Wally) and Caryn Green (A. Pratt) Health and Safety Officers
with Captain Cod - Janine

St Mary's School Show on 3rd October 2012
held in the Prince Philip Hall to entertain visitors from SA Agulhas II
Report from Jim Kerr and pictures from Jim and Tina Glass


To entertain the community and visitors from the SA Agulhas II St. Mary’s School put on a small variety show in the Prince Philip Hall. The younger children sang and danced to the tunes of ‘Knees Up Mother Brown’ and ‘Here We Go Looby Loo’ as well as performing an action song, ‘She Sat ‘Neath The Lilacs and Played Her Guitar’, chosen so that some of the school guitarists could show off their new found talents. Classes 4 and 5 (12-16yrs) delighted the audience with a dance that they choreographed with the help of Anne-Marie Collins who has recently joined the school team as a trainee teacher. The highlight of the evening was a fashion show of clothes made from recyclable materials. Pupils modelled the creations resulting from a Craft and Design project led by Poppy Lavarello with Class 5. They researched fashions and designed marvellous costumes from materials such as bin bags, crisp packets and newspaper.

Images of the Show

Cameras Presented
Pictures and Report from Dawn Repetto

Photos of a special St Mary's School Assembly held on Monday 18th September when Factory Manager Erik MacKenzie presented cameras to Kelly Swain, Lynette Green and Natalie Swain in gratitude from a passenger aboard MS Explorer who was shown around by the girls earlier this year.

The full story:
Erik MacKenzie was travelling back to Cape Town on National Geographic Explorer in March 2012, and was told by one of the passengers, Orah Buck (Toronto-based farmer, photographer and writer) , about how she had met and been shown around the village by three local girls. She even ended up taking the girls for a tractor ride at the factory - much to their amazement. Crew member Jamie Regan heard how they had been interested in "Granny Orah's" photography and gave Erik her camera to pass on to the girls.
Once home and with her permission, Erik traded her camera in and was able to buy each of them their own camera. They are Samsung compacts, each with 16 megapixels, a carry case and 4 Gb card which the girls should get good use out of. One of the conditions has been that they provide Erik with a disc of pictures when I leave for Cape Town next year that he can pass on to Jamie and Orah to remind them of the trip.
Stole Design Project Report from Jim Kerr

Earlier this year Lorna Lavarello Smith asked if some of the pupils of St. Mary’s School could create some designs for the stole that she will use at her ordination and offered a prize for the one she chose. Poppy Lavarello, who has recently joined St. Mary’s School as a trainee teacher has qualifications in Art and Design and was keen to take the project on with members of Class 5. She led the children aged between 13 and 16 through a design process that included research on religious symbols and themes related to Tristan da Cunha. The youngsters thoroughly enjoyed drafting their designs and working on improvements until they were satisfied with their creations. The end results were very pleasing and Lorna had great difficulty in choosing a winner. Her final choice for the ordination stole was the design produced by Leanne Swain. Lorna was so impressed with all of them that she is incorporating the other designs into her red, purple and green stoles.

The stole designs are shown below with the winning entry and Lorna's article underneath

Kimberley Green
Rachel Green
Lynette Green

Janine Lavarello
Natalie Swain
Kelly Swain

Caryn Green

Riaan Repetto
Linda Green

Ordination Stole Design Chosen
from outstanding entries by St Mary's School pupils

Islander Lorna Lavarello-Smith, who is Vice-Chair of the Tristan da Cunha Association is training to be ordained as an Anglican priest.

She asked Education Adviser Jim Kerr to run a competition in St Mary’s school for a design for her ordination stole. Trainee teacher Poppy Lavarello took on the task and Class 5 turned the competition into a project. They researched religious symbols and discussed ways of including Tristan related things.

The outcome of it all was some absolutely amazing designs which were impossibly difficult to choose from. Lorna finally settled on the design alongside and a designer is working on turning it into a stole which Lorna will wear at her ordination in Peterborough Cathedral on 30th June 2013.

The winning design was by Leanne Swain.The other designs will be eventually incorporated into Red, Green and Purple stoles at a later stage as they are far too beautiful not to use.

Lorna was astounded at the creativeness of the children, and will wear the stole with a great deal of pride next year. She added that It will feel like she will have a little piece of home with her at her ordination.

We hope to have pictures of the pupils with their entries soon.
Leanne Swain's winning design

School Party
on 15th December 2011

Photos from Sean Burns
show pupils in the school hall
performing the traditional
Pillow Dance

Education Adviser Jim Kerr's photos show:
Left: Amber Repetto and Right: All of the under 5s with their Imagination Library books from the Dollywood Foundation run by singer Dolly Parton

Below: Centre Pupils arriving at their Patch in the Police Land Rover; Left:Pupils 'Spading In' their Patch; Right: Pupils ‘Planting In’ their potatoes

Jim's full report on school activities in the last six months of 2011 is published in the February 2012 Tristan Newsletter




School Articles in Tristan Newsletter
While we endeavour to have a range of pictures and information on the website both 2011 newsletters have included in-depth reports and pictures about St Mary's School from Education Adviser Jim Kerr. These are not available on the website.

Administrator Sean Burns
visited the school garden
on 30th September 2010
and sent these images
of St Mary's School pupils
and in the picture on the right
Education Adviser Jim Kerr,
Derek Rogers
and Sean's wife Marina

Teacher Caroline Rogers' Retirement Party
On her birthday, 27th May, Caroline Rogers retired. Caroline started teaching at the age of 16 and began full time work at St. Mary’s School in 1963. During most of her career she taught the infant age range and there was a period, when her children were young, that she worked part time or as a supply teacher. Caroline is a popular member of the school team and much loved by staff and pupils especially for her patient and calm nature.
Photo from Jim Kerr shows school staff
Left to Right Back: Sue Kerr, Anne Green, Renee Green, Yvonne Glass, Jim Kerr, Tina Glass and Sheila Glass Front: Marlene Swain, Sharon Glass and Caroline Rogers.

Jim Kerr wrote a full school report which appears over three pages with several other photos in the August 2010 Newsletter.

Tristan Film Project

Education Adviser Jim Kerr is working with the school children to make a film which it is hoped will be one of the highlights of a forthcoming Tristan da Cunha Film Festival to be held in various UK venues and at a future Tristan da Cunha Association Annual Gathering.

The children are very excited about the project and have been keen to use the equipment which has been provided with funds donated by the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC). The Tristan da Cunha Film Festival is being coordinated by Ray Burnett of the Scottish Small Islands Film Trust in association with Tristan’s Government UK Representative Chris Bates.

Sue Scott, a marine biologist and photographer visiting Tristan, brought wet suits for all the children and on the day that they tested them out in the swimming pool Jim gave them a finepix waterproof camera to try. They enjoyed taking pictures of each other and the results are amusing. A few weeks later Sue took them snorkeling in the rock pools near the harbour where they took turns filming with the ‘flip’ and took more pictures with the finepix. Their filming techniques are improving and Jim believes there are enough steady shots to edit a short clip showing Tristan’s rock pool life.

Photos from Jim Kerr

Showing pupils diving
in the swimming pool

Children proudly show their iMac and cameras

Left to right – Caryn Green, Jade Repetto, Dean Repetto, Rhyanna Swain, Kimberley Green and Leo Glass.





The diving group
with Sue Scott,
and right cameras in action
in the rock pools.

We hope to replace these pictures with ones of a higher resolution soon.


The day before Sue left a short interview was filmed. Jim helped the children choose some appropriate questions and Riaan Repetto enjoyed posing them. Jim hopes it may be possible to mix some of the rock pool film with the interview.

Jim  has talked to the children about topics for filming and they are now considering a wide range of topics for filming including :

·         School events
·         Conservation and Wildlife
·         Visits to Nightingale and Inaccessible
·         The fishing industry and the new factory
·         Agriculture
·         Interviews with elderly people to get a feeling for recent history and change
·         Tristan houses
·         Government Departments
·         Island churches
·         1961 volcano

The project is now reaching an exciting stage and we look forward to publishing news of filming as it is carried out.