Year 2 pupils at Cromwell Primary School were full of questions last week for some special guests, older members of the community who had been pupils of the school in its former incarnations, some of whom went on to become teachers themselves.
    Dressed up as their favourite characters from books as part of Literacy Celebration Week, the 6- and 7-year-olds were curious about how their elders’ school lives differed from their own.
    ‘‘Did you have friends?’’
    ‘‘Did you have a school garden?’’
    ‘‘Did you have a playground?’’ were some of the questions asked, and the children were surprised to hear that boys and girls used to play separately. They seemed relieved to hear that not only did their visitors have friends while at school, many of them remained friends now.
    Teacher Cath McLellan said the visit was part of a research project the pupils were doing on the history of the school from its first classroom in 1825, now under water since Lake Dunstan was formed, to the current school in Molyneux Ave.
    ‘‘We have researched the school from the past to the current day,’’ Ms McLellan said.
    Colin Cowie, a former pupil, teacher and principal, explained that the biggest change he noticed was that pupils could not see out of the windows in the old stone building as they were