Highest year 9 roll for King's

King's High School year 9 pupil Flynn Allen (13) is one of 225 year 9 pupils on their first day at the school. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
King's High School year 9 pupil Flynn Allen (13) is one of 225 year 9 pupils on their first day at the school. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
King's High School in Dunedin has recorded the highest year 9 pupil intake in the school's 75-year history.

And for Flynn Allen, of Taieri Mouth, the whole thing is a little overwhelming. He has come from Taieri Beach School, with just 14 pupils, and he was the only boy in year 8 last year.

Compare that with going to school this year with 225 boys your own age.

''It's giant. It will take a bit of getting used to - just seeing so many people and buildings in the one place.''

Initially, he felt like a small fish in a big pond, but after a couple of hours at the school yesterday, he realised there were pupils he knew.

''Surprisingly, I know about 15 people here. Some are friends from Big Rock School. We used to go to technology together.''

Rector Dan Reddiex said the last record was set in the 1980s when Ian Simpson was rector.

''There were 220 pupils at year 9. We were close to breaking that record last year with 217.''

Mr Reddiex believed the growing roll was the result of a focus on values-based education, high academic expectations, clear boundaries and accountability, and compassion and care for the pupils from staff.

Otago Boys' High School rector Clive Rennie said his year 9 roll this year was down slightly to 160 pupils, and Otago Girls' High School principal Linda Miller said her year 9 roll was down from 160 last year, to 140 this year.

Despite the year 9 roll declines, the two schools remain the largest boys' only and girls' only schools in Dunedin.

Bayfield High School principal Judith Forbes said her school was expecting more than 80 year 9 pupils this year and Logan Park High School principal Jane Johnson said her school was expecting about 130 year 9 pupils - both rolls were similar to last year's.

Queen's High School principal Julie Anderson said her year 9 roll had increased from 87 last year to 91 this year.

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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