Louise Gridley and Oliver Patel are just two of the 300 new year nine students at Nayland College this year. Photo: Kate Russell.

Coming back to Nayland

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The only co-ed secondary school in Nelson City is reporting its healthiest roll in 12 years as it continues the fight back against its past slump.

Nayland College has welcomed 300 new year nine students and 72 domestic students at other year levels this term – the most out of any secondary school in Nelson.

“This is the highest intake of students we have had since 2007,” says principal Daniel Wilson.

“Including international students, our school roll is sitting at just under 1200 students, 150 more students than last year due to increased intake and retention.”

He believes the roll increase is due to increased confidence in the local community.

“This is demonstrated by the percentage of year eight students choosing Nayland College from Broadgreen Intermediate School rising from 50 per cent in 2015 to 85 per cent this year,” he says.

He also credits the growth and improvement of the school’s learning and extra-curricular programmes – particularly in sport and the arts.

“More students are staying at school longer as they feel connected to the school and want to continue to be a part of the engaging and authentic learning programmes happening here every day.”

Year nine student Oliver Patel says he made the choice to come to Nayland College from Nelson Intermediate School. He bikes to and from Stoke from Washington Valley every day.

Oliver says he enjoyed Nayland College’s open evenings and what was on offer.

The increase in roll is starting to put strain on classrooms, but Daniel says this will be resolved when a refurbished 12 classroom block is reopened next term.

Nelson College deputy headmaster Tim Tucker says they have welcomed around 200 year nine students this year, which is slightly below their usual intake.

Cathy Ewing, Nelson College for Girls principal, says their year nine intake for this year is just under 200.

“Our numbers are on par with last year and we had 42 new enrolments at other levels.”