There have been more rumpled ties and grass-stained knees than ever before but boys are a welcome inclusion at one private girls' school in Palmerston North.
Carncot School had a shakeup of its school roll 12 months ago when it invited boys back after more than 30 years.
One year on from the conversion to co-ed, only a few things had changed at the year 1-8 school, principal Christine Michalski said.
There has been a lick of blue paint in the newly built boys' bathroom, a few more books about sharks, dinosaurs and motorsports added to the library, and a boom in the popularity of rough and tumble lunchtime rugby, she said.
"In the classroom it's business as usual but when the boys go outside into the playground, they've truly transformed it.
"I've been seeing all these wonky ties and grass stains coming back in after lunch but that's the wonderful, exciting part to see, all the activity and total engagement - you would think the boys have always been here," Ms Michalski said. It is not the first time lads have hung out in the playground - the independent school was founded in 1903 and boys learnt alongside girls until 1980.
The roll now sits just under 100 pupils, with seven boys holding their own with their female classmates and early indications for the 2014 roll showing more male students again.
Carncot's sport captain, Mika Cotton, 13, said having the boys around had livened things up at lunchtime and she hoped more boys would sign up.
The school's trust board is now offering scholarships for boys and an information evening is on Thursday at the school in Broadway Ave about year 7 and 8, or the intermediate school years, coming to Carncot.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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