What is believed to be the oldest school in New Zealand celebrates its 175th birthday this weekend.
Wakefield School, about 15km south of Richmond in the Tasman District, is planning a big party to mark the occasion, and 91-year-old Marie Baigent will be among the hundreds attending, as the oldest former pupil.
She's married to Peter Baigent who is the great grandson of the woman who founded Wakefield School in 1843 - the early settler Mary Ann Baigent.
Mrs Baigent began at the school in 1933 as a 6-year-old.
"I remember my mother and other ladies in the valley, they had their bicycles as there were no cars, and they put us children on the back, on the carrier, and we'd peddle up to Wakefield School."
If they timed the walk home right they'd meet the town baker Mr Webley during his bread deliveries.
He'd give the children a lift in the sidecar of his motorcycle.
"One day I was taking the bread home and I must have got hungry and I ate the middle out of the loaf and was sent to bed without my tea. But my old granny, who lived to be 100, she lived with us at the time and she sneaked a meal to me."
Principal Peter Verstappen says the school's start date is minuted in provincial council records, but he has cast the net wide to find out if it can lay claim to being the oldest school still operating.
So far no one has come forth to disprove it.
"The school opened in the front room of Mary Ann Baigent's cottage, in around June 1843 as I understand," Mr Verstappen said.
"They realised their kids were running wild in the bush, and that wasn't a desirable solution so she gathered them up and started this school and from the 8th of October 1843, it was officially designated a school and they began appointing staff."
Mr Verstappen believes the school's namesake is Wakefield in Yorkshire, and not the early Nelson colonist, Arthur Wakefield.
Captain Arthur Wakefield was among 22 settlers and at least four Māori killed at Wairau during a confrontation in June 1843.
Mrs Baigent remembers the two rooms still there today, some terrible brick toilets, and the headmaster's office across the road.
"The two rooms are still there, right on the front of the road, and in the middle there was a cloak room. I think I had at least two classes in that cloak room, and then there was a big old room they shifted across the road, and the headmaster had his office in there."
She remembers there being only three teachers, and the children from nearby Eighty Eight Valley coming in the "kid cart" when their school burned down.
The legacy of Mary Ann Baigent continues in the youngest descendant at school today. Seven-year-old Kyro David Peter Baigent says playing rugby is what he most likes about school.
He has an important role at this weekend's celebrations.
"I'm cutting the ribbon on the new sign. I'm cutting the ribbon because I'm a Baigent."
Student Abi Platt has picked up an important research project.
"We're all in the rock band and we're all doing something in the 175th. Like, me and Lockie we're doing a recording thing. We're going to record people who used to go to this school."
Mrs Baigent will do the honours of cutting the birthday cake
Mr Verstappen says the school, which began with a roll of about a dozen children - including five of Mary Ann Baigent's own children, has just under 300 today.
He says the future looks as vibrant as the past, but it's not without its challenges.
"We have a coherent and supportive community, excellent teachers, wonderful facilities and a progressive curriculum with a lot of professional support from around the Nelson area.
"We're well placed, but where the pressure are, are much the same as anywhere."
Mr Verstappen says more children are presenting with higher needs, whether they are learning, emotional or behavioural needs, which is putting pressure on resources.
He says this year is the first the school has had difficulty recruiting staff, due to the general teacher shortage.
The school's 175th celebrations begins today and runs through to Saturday night.