School is Opened

With the coming of settlers, the need for a school became urgent as children had to travel by train to Paekakariki to the recently opened school. Paekakariki School was at that time, the only school south of Otaki. Mr Howell and other settlers kept pressing for a school at Paraparaumu.

At last in 1889, in a building resting on skids and provided by Mr Howell, Mrs Ramage, a local resident, opened an aided school. An extract from the Wellington Education Board’s minutes of 30th January 1889, reads: “Board approved of the opening of an aided school at Paraparaumu under the charge of Mrs Ramage.” The school log reads: “Have taken charge of Paraparaumu School today; 15 boys, 11 girls.”

Entries in the log record lack of equipment and crowded conditions. The first school was on the roadside near the present school. There were no roads, the only access being along the railway line. On February 29, 1890, the Board accepted a tender for £198 15s for a school to be erected on the present site. On February 29th 1890: “James Leete, teacher, took charge of Paraparaumu School this morning. Six children present; the weather wet and cold”.

  • 1959 – Bus route extended from Majestic Theatre for the convenience of the large number of children. 70th Jubilee celebrations in October in Memorial Hall. School entered and small sum taken.
  • 1968 – Roll 414. The double prefab is removed. The PTA run two weekly maths classes for parents on “new maths”. The Maori Club use a classroom weekly. School attendances for winter term 95%. The PTA financed equipment of books, projection screen, horizontal bars and blackout curtains.
  • 2000 – Mrs Laura Snowden became the first woman Principal of the School. The School celebrates children’s efforts in behaviour and academic achievements with special assemblies and awards. The community is welcomed to the School with morning teas and open days. The new landscaped playground was opened and the School is the first School with a petanque piste.
  • 2001 – Two new classes were opened and major internal refurbishment of the oldest school buildings took place. Work began on redesigning part of B Block in order to create a Hall.  The School was a case study for the NZ Council for Educational Research’s project on “Achieving sustainable School Improvement”.
  • 2002 – Paraparaumu School now has its very own school hall. It was officially blessed by Kaumatua Mr Don Te Maipi and was opened by the TV 2 team from “What Now”. Several old traditions were restarted at the school including “The Flower Show” and the “Great Bake-off”. Two new major fundraising events were started and are planned to become annual events. They are “The Coastal Christmas Craft Carnival” and the “Paraparaumu Garden Trail”.
  • 2005 – Saw the opening of our Kotuku Library. The Library facilities now include extended premises, air-conditioning/heating, new resources and a new computer pod.
  • 2006 – Four of our classrooms are fitted with “wireless sound fields” (an assisted listening system).
  • 2008 – Interactive whiteboard was purchased for the new entrant room. Rocketing into School programme for four year olds was launched. Learning stories are a new form of reporting in line with the new curriculum. Cool Schools Peer Mediation programme introduced.
    Te Reo Maori enrichment programme launched.
  • 2009 – Building commenced on the new 21st century flexible learning space. Eight pods of four computers and interactive whiteboard were purchased.
  • 2010  – Our Inquiry Learning space “Te Puna Matauranga” was officially opened and the front of the school grounds received a major upgrade. Reporting on student achievement against NZ National Standards was introduced in line with Ministry of Education requirements.
  • 2011 – The School frontage on Ruapehu Street was upgraded. We were able to incorporate the historical Jubilee sign and new signage to acknowledge both the history of our school and also its progressive modern direction in the education of our students.
  • 2012 – The school receives huge recognition for student achievement and performance in the September 2012 Education Review Office Report (ERO). ERO are so confident in how the school is functioning that they will return to the school in 4-5 years (instead of the usual 3 years) to review it again. Another huge highlight is the completion of the senior playground facility worth $45 000. This is a result of our hard working PTS grants and our community fundraising efforts. We have become an Enviro-school and look forward to continuing to work alongside the District Council and other Enviro Schools.
  • 2013 – We were excited that the administration building is being replaced during the first half of 2014. We were also preparing for the 125th School Anniversary that was be held over the Labour weekend of 2014.
  • 2014 – Our new Principal, Steven Caldwell was appointed at the beginning of term 2. He has returned to the school after leaving as Deputy Principal to take up a Principal’s position at Titahi Bay North School in 2006. The Administration building was completed on 31st July. On the 10th August we suffered and extensive fire to our school. We lost 5 classrooms and our library.
  • 2016 – Construction began on our 6 new Modern Learning Classrooms. These buildings reflect the latest in classroom design and will support the teaching and learning programs found at Paraparaumu School. They opened in Term 1, 2017.
  • 2017 – Paraparaumu School opened the Kapiti Coasts very first Maori Bi Lingual class called Te Whanau Kotuku.
  • 2018 – Due to high demand, Paraparaumu School Opened a second classroom in Te Whanau.
  • 2018 – Playbased learning was introduced into years 0-2 classes. This has since been embedded and is an integral part of our junior programme.
  • 2020 – A brand new junior adventure playground was built. This is a wonderful addition to our school facilities.
  • 2021 – Rooms 1 and 12 were totally refurbished into exciting and modern teaching environments.