Callum brings school roll to 300

There was a bit of a fuss when Callum Robertson started at Brightwater School on his fifth birthday.

Callum became Brightwater's 300th pupil, the first time in the school's 124-year history that it has reached that milestone. It exceeded 100 pupils for the first time in the 1940s, cracked 200 in 1978 before climbing out of a slump of 174 pupils in 1991 to reach the 300 mark on Thursday.

However, principal Gerald Baldwin said the record tally would only stand for another week as 43 year 6 students would leave for intermediate at the end of term.

"For us it's like, this may be the only time," Mr Baldwin said.

He attributed the rising roll to the popularity of Brightwater township, saying the semi-rural suburb was a growth area.

"We've had new subdivisions coming up for about a decade now, it's all about the lifestyle," he said.

Mr Baldwin said Brightwater was far enough out of Nelson to let people have small farms but because it was only five minutes from Richmond, people had everything they needed.

Callum's mother Annemarie Koevoet said her eldest son had enjoyed the school visits leading up to this week and had been looking forward to starting.

"He really likes the reading programme although he was a bit nervous about starting today - I was a bit nervous for him too," she said.

"It's alway a bit harder for the eldest child. When the others start they would have seen it all before."

Ms Koevoet said Callum had narrowly missed out on being statistically significant when he was born, being the 1001th baby delivered at Nelson Hospital in 2007. She said Callum was just pipped at the post when a late arrival was rushed into the hospital and became No 1000.

The Nelson Mail