School rolls rise around region

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Pupil numbers at schools throughout North Otago are looking very good.

High schools and primary schools started back yesterday and, to the delight of many schools in the area, pupils numbers had increased.

St Kevin’s College is up on pupils at the same time last year and although the school is uncertain on the exact number, it is thought to be about a classroom full.

Principal Paul Olsen said they were happy with numbers at the school.

“The increase in the school role in both the hostel and the college is obviously very pleasing to see.

“This coupled with another excellent set of NCEA and Cambridge results is a reflection of the dedication of our teaching staff and the wonderful support we receive as a college family from the local community,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to an exciting year of growth at St Kevin’s; our equestrian programme and the ongoing development of our arena facilities, and of course the continuing success of both the Cambridge and VPath programmes.”

Waitaki Girls’ High School was also up on last year, principal Tracy Walker said.

“We have 430 girls on the roll this year and 55 in the hostel – both of these numbers are up on last year so we’re very pleased with that,” she said.

Waitaki Boys’ High School also had an increase in numbers to the school this year, rector Paul Jackson advised the Oamaru Mail by email.

Fenwick School has had a large number of new pupils starting.

Principal Lloyd Bokser said the school had had to open an extra classroom.

“We opened an extra new entrant classroom because of the number of pupils we’ve had. We’re currently at 265 pupils and the school is running 12 classrooms this year, which is more than usual.”

Pembroke School, which finished last year with about 205 pupils, has 230 to start this year and principal Brent Godfrey said it was a positive reflection of where the school was at.

“It’s really good to see just exactly where the school stands and that people have decided to send their children here.”

Mr Godfrey acknowledged that classrooms were on the fuller side.

“Classes are fuller than what they were last year.”

St Joseph’s School principal Jenny Jackson said the school had attracted more children.

“We currently have 223 pupils and that’s more then what we had last year, which is fantastic, and it can only mean good things for the school.”

Oamaru Intermediate numbers are also more than last year.

Principal Mary Healey said it was great to have more pupils at the school.

“We’re really pleased that we have more numbers and we’ve added an extra classroom, but it means we’ve had to cut the library in class.

Hopefully we will be able to sort something with the ministry and maybe get a new classroom, but it’s wait and see at this stage.”

Maheno School has 46 pupils slightly up on last year, Kakanui has grown to 26, up from 15, while Papakaio remained very similar to last year.

By Brayden Lindsay

PHOTO: BRAYDEN LINDSAY – Pembroke School had 11 new entrants begin their education at the school yesterday. All were loving their first day.