Monday, 18 January 2016

School Days are nearly here again

A brief chronological history of Rotorua Schools 

As the new school year approaches, I wonder how many of us knows /or cares how schooling began in Rotorua?  For me school was to be endured, not enjoyed, although some subjects were easy others were a real trial. This has, it seems, been the norm for quite a few in my generation.  I got to thinking today about when formal education began in Rotorua and was a little surprised by what I discovered from Don Stafford's "The Founding Years in Rotorua: a history of events to 1900".

Rotorua's first school was at Ohinemutu in c1867, followed closely by Te Wairoa in 1870 from that time on the schools and education in Rotorua has fluctuated with the ever changing population. The local Maori were keen for their children to learn, so much so, that the Native Schools were Rotorua's first ever schools. 

Here is a time-line of some of our oldest schools as recorded in Don Stafford's books :

Ohinemutu 1867-c1887, then on the current site on Arawa St, from 1887-Present
Te Wairoa 1870 –c1886
Rotoiti : Te Akau  1871
Te Awahou 1877-c1894
Te Taheke  1890-c1892, dismantled and moved to Matawera (Te Ngae) c1896-1926
Mamaku School 1899-Present
Whakarewarewa Native School 1902-Present "Te Kura o te Whakarewarewa
Rotoiti : Waiiti 1904-Present
Mangorewa, Central Rd 1906-1950
Ngongotaha School 1906-Present
Oturoa 1906- c1946-1950
Reporoa Primary School 1923-Present
Lake Rotoma School 1928-Present
Rotorua High School 1929, becomes Rotorua Girls High and Rotorua Boys High c1958
Horohoro School 1930-Present
St Michael’s Convent School 1939-Present
Glenholme Primary School 1945-Present
Lynmore Primary School  1955-Present
Malfroy Primary School 1955-Present
Ngakuru School 1955-Present
Lake Rerewhakaaitu School 1955-Present
Waikite Valley School  1955-Present
Kaharoa School 1956-Present
Rotokawa School  1956-Present
Rotorua Intermediate 1957-Present
Otonga Primary School  1958-Present
Western Heights Primary 1958-Present
Sunset Intermediate 1959-2007

This article was just one of many requesting a High School in Rotorua since c1910

There have been several more schools established in Rotorua since this time including our first total immersion Maori language school. Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Ruamata in 1986. 

Rotorua District Library has books published about and by some the schools above as they celebrate their anniversary's, come up to the 2nd Floor, NZ History and Travel section and see what you can find about your old (or current) school.

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