It's a time of new beginnings at Glenavon School.
As 5-year-olds prepare to start their primary school chapter, new principal Phil Toomer will have his first day alongside them.
Mr Toomer will begin his new role at the Blockhouse Bay school this term and says he's "revved up and excited" for the year ahead.
He comes from Redoubt North School in Manukau where he was a teacher, deputy principal and acting principal over seven years.
Redoubt's large roll of 700 will see Mr Toomer downsize to a new roll of 250, however, he has plans to build the school in all areas.
"Student achievement is a big focus for me," he says. "There is no excuse just because a school is low decile to underachieve.
"If you put in the hard work, you can lift achievement."
Coming from a line of educators - both his parents and his wife are teachers - education is in Mr Toomer's blood.
"I believe the answer to a lot of society's problems lies in education and I see a lot of potential for us to become a really great school."
He says one of his proudest accomplishments at Redoubt North was setting up a mini-economy.
"The kids would invoice each other in maths and learn to write job descriptions and CVs in reading.
"It's all about providing the relevant context and background.
"A lot of children also really do well in sport, music and art so I really want to encourage a holistic approach to education that plays to every child's strengths."
Glenavon School is holding enrolment open days on Thursday and Friday at 340 Blockhouse Bay Rd, Blockhouse Bay.
- Western Leader
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