The Hill family is certainly making its mark at Castlecliff School with the third generation starting his first day on Monday.

Five-year-old Noah Hill was a new entrant and guiding him around the school was older brother Max (6). Also on hand was their dad Aaron and grandad Bruce, both former pupils at Castlecliff School. Mr Hill senior has served as board chairman and all the Hills live within a stone's throw of the school.

But Noah's arrival was an auspicious day for the school itself because he's the 150th pupil enrolled there.

Principal Kathie Ellery said reaching that enrolment milestone elevated the school to U4 status, which in Ministry of Education-speak means the school is treated as it should be based on its level of staffing and funding..


"We were a U2 school with 67 kids enrolled a few years ago but now at 150 we're U4. That's what Castlecliff historically was for a lot of years before its roll dropped," Ms Ellery said.

She took over as principal in 2013 and said the rising roll was driven by more families arriving in the suburb. Now the school - celebrating its 12th anniversary this year - boasts nine full-time staff and a number of part-timers.

"It was really about changing the perception (of the school) in the community. We've got some of the best teachers here and we listened to whanau about their expectations of what they want from their school."

Ms Ellery said the growth Castlecliff School was showing was proving the school was sustainable. Currently 50 per cent of their roll is in made up of Year 1 and 2 students providing a strong core of students who will go through the school.

"All of our new kids are living in this suburb. We don't have any bussing around to collect kids from others parts of the city. They all live here, and walk, bike or scooter to school.

"A lot of newcomers enrolling their children have bought homes in the suburb. When I started here in 2013 a lot of families were renting property but that's changed a lot since then with more of them able to buy affordable homes and staying here."