Tauhara Primary School

Tauhara Primary School is on Crown Road, Taupō, and it opened in 1959. The area around the school developed quickly. The school roll increased rapidly. At its largest the school roll was over 700 children and had 24 teachers, with Mr Black as the headmaster. There were 28 buildings on the school grounds. Then in the 1970’s came the big change when the Intermediate opened. The roll dropped continuously. Many buildings were taken away, and a number of teachers went to the Intermediate to teach. Mr White was the second headmaster, followed by Mr Black in 1967, Mr Maxwell in 1971, and from 1972 till 1985, Mr Chateris. Mr Nankevil was next, then Mr Powell, and then the current princpal, Whaea Bev Purdie.The school library burnt down in 1986.

One of the people who attended Tauhara Primary who we interviewed and now she is a teacher aide at Tauhara Primary School.

Hi my name is Lynne Delany-Hornsey. I attended Tauhara Primary School in 1962 at the age of five. I joined my other brothers and sister here with the three older ones being foundation pupils. Our classrooms were prefabs and the heating was a coal fire in the room. I use to do banking once a week. I would bring my little brown owl book in and bank one penny. We had afternoon naps on the mats in the junior classes. We used to get milk delivered to the school in little bottles which we had at morning tea. I used to play softball as well as netball and the other ball game at the school was rugby. All the rubbish in the school was burnt in a big incinerator which used to be where the end of the hall is now. I wish we knew now what we know about our environment and all the damage that our coal fires and incinerator may have done to damage this. I used to use a pencil for all my writing and when you were in the senior class you got to use an ink pen, which was quite messy as it ran out all the time and you had to fill it up all the time. We did all of our work out of text books. We did do school camp which to this day I wonder how we managed to pass all the health and safety they have in today's world. I can end this by saying that my days at the school where very special with good friends made who I still see today. On closing my job now is a teacher aide working at Tauhara Primary School, and the difference from then and now is the technology available to the students.

An interview with our current principal.

Whaea Bev Purdie has been teaching here for 19 years a deputy principal for 5 years and a principal for 14 years. Eight years ago there was not many laptops and only a few whiteboards. She was quite allergic to chalk and it made her sneeze but it was good that there was half blackboards and half white boards. When she came she redid all the classrooms. There was only lino for the floors so she put nice blue carpet and it made it nice and bright.

This is Whaea Bev's perspectives.

I wanted to become a teacher because I loved my primary school years. I did not like college because the teachers just gave you books and told you to do things. I wanted children to enjoy learning all the way through school so that’s why I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to make a difference and not have kids 'hate college' like I did.

I saw the advertisement for Tauhara in the teachers' gazette online. We used to farm in Reporoa and I used to bring my netball team through on a Saturday and I loved Taupō and it was near Reporoa so I applied for the job and I came down from Auckland for the interview and they gave me the job. I was really happy. When I came here the teachers here were Mrs Cameron, Whaea Marcia, Mrs Brown, Mrs Burley, Mrs Filer, Whaea Ann Ngamanu, Mrs Ray, and Whaea Milli. The teacher aides who are still here were Mrs Pettigrew, Mrs Hornsey and Whaea Leonie. Mrs Braddock was the librarian. The school secretary was Mrs Redley and Mr Field was the caretaker.

An interview with an ex-pupil.

Hi my name is Richard Hurae. I went to this school in 1975. My brother and sisters also went to this school. We used blackboards, books, and pencils. If you were naughty you would have to spend your lunchtime writing lines 'I will not be naughty.' If you were really naughty you would go to the headmaster's office for the strap on the hand. We had rugby balls and soccer balls. I played rugby in the weekends and my team's name was Tauhara. My best friends were Leo Peto and Albert Brown. I enjoyed my time at Tauhara Primary School.

We hoped you enjoyed our story and we hope you learnt a lot of things from our work.