Staff at Auckland's Northcote College are looking for silver linings, from a devastating fire on Friday night.

The school's technical block was severely damaged in the blaze, which destroyed some students' nearly finished portfolios.

But principal Vicki Barrie says the damage wasn't as extensive as originally thought.

"Some of the work has been at home with teachers, ready to be marked. Quite a lot of it is stored electronically. We've got records of student achievement."

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Ms Barrie says they'll be trying to reduce the impact of every student.