Tamariki School

Tamariki School: 2016 building before the extension of the front half of the Main Building.
2016 building before the extension of the front half of the Main Building.
Tamariki School: One of the new spaces in the extension area with lockers for the younger students
One of the new spaces in the extension area with lockers for the younger students
Tamariki School: Our wonderful Admin person, Haley, in her new office.
Our wonderful Admin person, Haley, in her new office.
Tamariki School: scanned typed doc outlining history of the school
scanned typed doc outlining history of the school
Tamariki School: Our new waiting room and new printer.
Our new waiting room and new printer.
Tamariki School:
Tamariki School: The portacoms out on the field - while the building work was happening.
The portacoms out on the field - while the building work was happening.
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Tamariki School: The new Quiet Room.
The new Quiet Room.
Tamariki School:
Tamariki School: Part of the Sun Room - it has its own kitchen and toilet, to cater for  the younger students.
Part of the Sun Room - it has its own kitchen and toilet, to cater for the younger students.
Tamariki School:
Tamariki School: The Sun Room - loads of new space.
The Sun Room - loads of new space.
Tamariki School:
Tamariki School: Our Tree decal - this came about from a drawing by one of the students. It has been used for our tee shirts and hoodies.
Our Tree decal - this came about from a drawing by one of the students. It has been used for our tee shirts and hoodies.
Tamariki School: The new room as part of the 2016 extension.
The new room as part of the 2016 extension.

History of the school

Tamariki School was founded in 1967 by a group of Playcentre parents and people interested in positive mental health. The founders were influenced by the Playcentre philosophy that children learn best through play and in a caring environment, and also by the teachings of Dr. M. Bevan-Brown, a local psychiatrist and author of 'The Sources of Love and Fear'. The school was loosely modelled on Summerhill School in England, a ‘free school’ that was founded and run by educator and author A. S. Neill.

Originally a private primary school operating in a tiny brass band hall in Linwood, Tamariki moved to an old villa in Rutherford Street in 1969. We became an integrated primary school in 1990 and moved to our current site in 1994.

We proudly use the Maori name that has been gifted to us, as we truly are a child-focused school and we welcome children of all cultural backgrounds.

History

Tamariki is the oldest ‘free school’ in New Zealand and one of the oldest in the world. A founding teacher, June Bent, had worked at Summerhill in the 1950s, and which inspired many of the teachers and parents among the founders. There was and is a very strong emphasis on emotional and social wellbeing and supporting each child’s own developmental pattern. Though the parents and teachers in the founding group were very aware of what they did not like or want for their children in the current public school system, they tried not to define themselves in terms of what they didn't want, or indeed to regard themselves as primarily a school, trying to pass on only the academic part of the culture. They rejected the hidden curriculum of unquestioning obedience in the mainstream school system.

1967

Tamariki opened with ten pupils in September 1967, and doubled its numbers at the beginning of 1968. Numbers grew steadily until they reached the roll ceiling of 60.

1969

At first in a tiny brass band hall in Linwood, it shifted at the beginning of 1969 to an old boarding house on half an acre in Woolston. This place was regarded as Paradise by the children, but was difficult work environment for the adults, especially as the numbers rose to the high forties.

1990

Originally a private school, owned and operated by the parents, Tamariki integrated into the state system as a Special Character school in 1990. 

1994

In 1994 the school shifted to the present site, a building and grounds which reflected the children's and staff's ideas of a good place to grow and learn. The roll promptly climbed to 60 again. The teachers found it not quite as paradisal as the old boarding house in some significant ways, though much easier for staff and cleaners. (People here are very messy.) Children have tended to divide themselves up into class levels and to get territorial in ways that they never used to. One factor is certainly school design, another may well be that about 95% of the children had never attended another school, and wanted to be at something others would recognise as a school. For 25 years children with previous school experience made up about 60-70% of our numbers and they were very sure that the less Tamariki resembled an ordinary school the better. 

1996

Springhill, opened to take the children Tamariki couldnot fit

2007

The School celebrated its 40th anniversary!

2016

In December 2016 we completed the extension to the main school building, and also finished our repairs from the 2010 earthquakes. These extensions have made the Sun Room (the room for the youngest students) much larger, and also created new rooms for the students to utilize. The new kitchen has a designated baking area, and the old kitchen is now the staff room. The principal has her own office, separate from the staff room (these used to be a combined space) and the admin area is larger and more functional. During the year of repairs and extensions the sun room, the quiet room and the staff room were housed out in containers out on the field.

2017

The school celebrated its 50th anniversary October 13th-14 2017. Ex pupils and families came along to celebrate our journey so far.

 

 

This page was last modified on: 02 Jun 2024 05:04:17