Pupils relish being back at school with positive attitudes

By shauni James

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LUNCHTIME: Tui Stokes-Kaukau (left) enjoyed having lunch with his new friend Sherikhan Samuel, also 5.  PHOTOS/STEPHEN PARKER
LUNCHTIME: Tui Stokes-Kaukau (left) enjoyed having lunch with his new friend Sherikhan Samuel, also 5. PHOTOS/STEPHEN PARKER

The first week back at school appears to have been a success for Rotorua schools on many levels.

Western Heights Primary School principal Brent Griffin said his school had more than 40 new children who had been "absolutely fantastic" and fitted in very well.

"They are excited about being at school."

Despite having an enrolment scheme, the number of students seems to be increasing and the primary had 440 children starting this year, which is 30 children higher than normal.

The school had 14 new prefects and a senior leadership group that will be going on an overseas excursion to Brisbane in September, Mr Griffin said.

The seniors have also been supporting the junior classes on wet weather days by going down to play with them.

This year the school has started up a class with a specialist physical education teacher, with classes twice a week.

The classroom teachers also run one physical education session.

"It's really exciting to get back.

"The kids came back in great spirits and are eager to learn."

Owhata School principal Bob Stiles said the school year had started wonderfully and everyone was all settled in.

"At the moment we've had 34 extra students enrolled this year, so it's a great start to the year.

"We have two new teaching staff which is wonderful."

Deborah Epp, principal of Mokoia Intermediate, said her school also had an increased roll, and an extra teacher and classroom.

She said she was grateful to all families as they had made sure the students were well groomed and prepared for back-to-school.

A celebration assembly was held on Friday where the new senior leaders introduced themselves and showed the house banners.

"It's been a very happy, positive, buzzy start to the year."

Rotorua Lakes High School principal Bruce Walker said yesterday was the school's first full day back, but the Year 9 students had been there all week with Year 13 peer supporters who were helping them get used to the change.

The roll was stable and about the same as last year, Mr Walker said.

"We're looking forward to the year. Our NCEA results were excellent and I'm hoping this will be another great year for the students."

Rotorua police Sergeant Chris McLeod said drivers around schools had been exceptional and role models during the first week back.

There had been no complaints, he said.

However, he reminds drivers that "this is just a day by day thing and can change at a drop of a hat by inattention".

Often parents were stressed as they dropped off their children due to being late for work or other life stresses and that could cause crashes, he said.

"Keep your eye on the ball, drive safely."

- Rotorua Daily Post

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