As part of our look back on the year that was, The Northern Advocate catches up with some of the people we featured in the newspaper in 2019.

When the Northern Advocate first met Micah Boyte he was weeks away from starting school for the first time and was filled with excitement. We re-visited the 5-year-old two weeks into the school year - he was loving it then, and is loving it now. Reporter Mikaela Collins and photographer Michael Cunningham went to Maungatapere School to talk to Micah about his first year of school

Micah Boyte's favourite thing about school is the library - he loves books, especially ones about sharks.

The 5-year-old started at Maungatapere School in Whangārei this year and told the Advocate his first year at school had been "really good".


"Because it's so cool, I like it and sometimes I like school and I play and then it's all fun. I've learned about letters, numbers and drawing things," he said.

Back to school: Whangārei boy excited for first day at school
Whangārei boy Micah is loving Maungatapere School

Micah's teacher Daniel Cotton said Micah had progressed a lot through the year.

"He's definitely become a lot more mature in the classroom, in terms of decisions he makes in the classroom with sitting with mat time and work time. He's definitely progressed hugely in his learning and has developed more confidence."

Cotton said in the classroom, Micah was known as a very caring person.

"He's always got other children's best interests at heart. Micah is always very quick to apologise or make sure someone is alright if an accident happens in class - like he might drop a block on a child's foot. So he's always very empathetic towards other children's feelings."

Micah Boyte before he started school. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Micah Boyte before he started school. Photo / Michael Cunningham

When asked about what "Mr Cotton" is like, Micah laughs.

"He's funny because he always calls us fart butts," he said.


Micah said his favourite thing about school is the library.

"I like the library because it has heaps of books. It's so fun and the coolest books are my favourites - I like shark ones."

In addition to his love of the library, Micah also enjoys hanging out with his best friends during morning tea and lunch.

"We go to the hut and we do heaps of things.

"Sometimes I get a little bit frustrated when I'm tired," he admits.

While speaking to Micah he shares what he's been learning with us and shows us a paper with the outline of a chicken on it - inside that outline are images he's cut out of things beginning with 'ch'.

"We are learning about the word 'ch' with a 'c' and an 'h' and I said chicken burgers, chickens, chocolate cake, chocolate, and a chair," he said.

Micah loves school but said he was looking forward to the holidays and seeing his cousins from Auckland.