Thousands of pupils head to school

TINA LAW
Last updated 05:00 29/01/2013
Ayla Ropiha
DEAN KOZANIC/Fairfax NZ
FIRST DAY: Ayla Ropiha, 5, is ready to start school today as a new entrant at Linwood Avenue School.

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Today, Ayla Ropiha will become a big girl, just like her twin sisters.

The 5-year-old will go to school for the first time, joining 10 other new entrants at Linwood Avenue School.

She will be one of thousands of pupils starting school in Christchurch during the next two weeks.

Even though Linwood is proposed to merge at Bromley School under the Government's education plans, principal Gerard Direen said there had been no impact on the roll. He said the school had 18 children starting today, including 10 new entrants.

He expected the school to open with up to 290 pupils, and the roll was likely to continue growing as more families moved into the area from overseas or throughout New Zealand to help with the rebuild.

Ayla's mother, Haley Silbery, said her daughter was excited about starting school, but 6-year-old twins Kitana and Tatiana Ropiha were probably more enthusiastic about showing their little sister around the playground.

Silbery was concerned about the Government's proposal but did not not consider sending her children to Bromley because she hoped the plan would not go ahead.

The Ministry of Education was unable to provide figures on how many pupils were expected to return to school in Christchurch this year.

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