Fresh faced year 9 students at Kaiapoi High School were coming to terms with their new - and much larger - school environment on Wednesday.
Principal Bruce Kearney said the school roll had climbed to 660 students this year - twenty more than anticipated - and the growth was largely in year nine enrolments.
An extra class for the year would accommodate the new recruits, he said.
As expected the school was also taking on more students from Woodend, Waikuku and Pegasus after the zoning boundary was changed last year.
But students were also coming from Ohoka and Woodend.
The students were introduced to their new school without their older peers at an orientation day on Tuesday, but were negotiating a busy school playground on Wednesday.
Tegan Grimes,12, said she was enjoying the change.
‘‘Meeting all the different teachers because at (Kaiapoi) Borough you only had one teacher.’’
Fellow year nine novice Finlay Mabley, 13, agreed.
‘‘The change is good, just moving around the school and not being in the same place all day.’’
Harley Ritchie, 13, said he enjoyed the independence and ‘‘not having someone tell youwhere to go’’.
The students, from Class 9S, were also quick to point out the challenges - which included navigating their way around the school and dealing with the large number of students.
Mr Kearney was pleased families new to the area were ‘‘thinking local’’.
‘‘People are moving out here and coming to their local school and that’s how you become a part of the community - so that’s great to see.’’
- (Live Matches)