Schools in Tiniroto

How has the school changed over time?

The population in Tiniroto began to increase with more settlers in the 1890’s and the education of their children became more and more important with the growing numbers. The first meeting concerning the school was dated 17th July 1891 and was held at the Lake House.

The first place of learning for children in Tiniroto was a rapu whare near the Sinton’s home. The school seats consisted of planks on kerosene tins, no desks. Miss Wyllie was the first teacher.

The first school recognised by the Hawkes Bay Education Board was built on the Tiniroto Hill overlooking the lake in 1893. The school house was actually attached to the classroom! This was near the same site that our school today sits.


How has the roll changed?

When Tiniroto school first opened there were 20 kids on the roll. The ages of the children varied between 5 and 12 (which is similar to today although we go up to age 13). These students had to either walk or ride their horses to school because there was not a bus or a bus driver to take them to school unlike today.

Over the years the roll has gone up and down and for many years there were two classrooms operating – one for Seniors and one for the Junior students. At its peak a room between the two classrooms was used for special learning groups.

The highest roll recorded was 38 pupils at the end of term 4 1998 when the teachers were Mr Clifford Wicks and Mrs Diana King.

There have been lots of different staff members over the years and the number of teachers has depended on the roll.

Today the roll is 15 Year 1-8 students and Mrs R Trafford is our teaching Principal, Mrs D Roadley is the part time teacher, Mrs J Law is the office administrator, Mrs S Crombie is the teacher aide, Mrs K Johnson is the cleaner and lawnmower.





Memories from Past Pupils...

I talked to a local lady Pam about her memories of Tiniroto School. Pam’s father was a pupil of Tiniroto School in the much earlier days. He came to school in a wool fadge with his triplet brothers hanging on a horse! In those days it took so long to get to the school from Awapiko Station that Mr Mossman wasn’t able to go to school as often as he would have liked.

Pam was 12 when she came to Tiniroto. At that time there were no buses because there was no bus or driver, so instead she had to ride her horse. Even though today it only takes 15 minutes to drive from her house to school it was a really long way in those days. So she used to ride her horse to Bob and Elsie King's (who were the rabbiters) house at the top of the hill and then she boarded there for the week. She would tie the cover round its neck, put her school bag on her back and then ride her horse to school and back everyday. She only got to go home for the weekends!

They missed a lot of school days because in the winter the river would go right up to and over the road in lots of places. The snow would fall heavily around the school and also block the road. We sometimes have school closures to do with the weather too but it is only a once or twice a year because the roads are so much better these days.

Mr Kent didn't go to Tiniroto School himself but his sister did. His job was to saddle up her horse in the morning before she set off to school. One day he decided to play a trick and he attached the girth to the stirrup iron instead of the girth strap. He put her on and off she rode down the road to school. Nothing happened until she rode up the steep hill in the school house paddock. The saddle slipped right back and she fell off in the blackberry! He wasn't very popular after that!

By Matewai