Dorie School approaching record roll

Dorie School principal Anthony Dorreen with some of the school's 81 students.

Later this year Dorie School will reach its highest roll in its 132-year history.

Nine more students expected over the next few months will bring the school total to 90.

The country school, tucked away 30 minutes from Ashburton and 15 from Rakaia, has enjoyed healthy growth over the past decade.

Current principal Anthony Dorreen said the roll had been 48 when he started in 2012.

An expansion of dairy farming in the area had helped and the vast majority of his students came off the farm.

“More families have been drawn here for work and it’s not the single man working on the farm like it was in the past.”

The influx had boosted community and school numbers.

The adjacent purpose-built preschool, now 10 years old, made the transition to school easier for pupils, he said.

Dorie School has four teachers, seven teacher aides, two office staff, a cleaner and release teacher, as well as its principal.

Teacher aide Vickie Watson (nee McKimmie) is a former pupil, as is her father and uncle. She has three children at the school and her mother Kathy McKimmie is the school’s former principal.

The Smith family has seen five generations educated at the school, said Mr Dorreen.

Some 20 students had started in the new entrant class this year and the current roll was 81.

The student mix includes 20 Filipinos, 11 Maori and two Nepalese.

Classes at Dorie are split into new entrant and Year 1, Year 2 and 3, Year 4 and 5, and Year 6, 7 and 8.

Mr Dorreen said the Year 2 and 3 class worked out of the library, but funding for another classroom had been confirmed and building work would start in October or November with the project expected to be ready by Term 1 next year.

Mr Dorreen said the past two Education Review Office reports had given the school largely glowing reports and he believed staff were doing a good job to educate children.

The school was supported by an excellent board of trustees and the wider community.

“We do punch above our weight. We attend as many inter-school sporting and cultural events as we can and we have sporty kids who enjoy athletics, swimming, football and other sports.”

Dorie School’s student council of 11 is currently researching and putting together a presentation that will explore the ins and outs of a possible future BMX track on school grounds.

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