Palmerston Primary School

In 1861 gold was discovered in the East Otago area so many families came in search of their fortune. In the 1850s to 1860s sheep farming was presenting visions of wealth. Large sheep farms were being purchased as well as land regulations changing so anyone could buy smaller blocks of land. These are the two reasons that the population began to rise quickly in this area and a school was needed to educate all the children coming into the area.

So on October 1, 1865 John Ferguson started teaching in a small church by the show grounds. He had 12 boys and 11 girls in his class. He taught them; the holy scriptures, letter formation, writing, arithmetic, geography, sewing, history and music. He was paid 128 pounds a year. The first real school was built in 1867 on Copensha Street with a teacher's house attached to it. This school was there until ruined by a fire in 1970. From January 12, 1885 the school became known as Palmerston District High School.

On the 16 March, 1970 a fire broke out and burnt the school down. It started at 5:50 a.m. People who lived nearby caught a glimpse of the smoke and then heard the fire engines charging towards the fire. The fire brigade thought the fire started in the wiring in the roof. Others suspected it could have been arson but there was no real evidence. Tractors, bulldozers and trucks cleared the area. It was a tragic day for Palmerston School. Where would all the children go?

After the fire the community were in desperate need of a place for their childrens' education to continue. After a lot of quick organisation it was decided that the 3 senior classes would go by bus to Pleasant Valley Holiday Camp just out of Palmerston. The junior classes had to go to Clark Hall and the Community Centre. Not long after the change, the Otago Education Board sent journals, books, library books and other resources to help out.

After the fire a new school had to be built. The builders began work in March 1975. It was finally opened on March 15, 1977. Its nickname was the "Crab Claw" because of its design where they had two classroom blocks on each side and the office block separating the two. Builders also began construction on a swimming pool at this time and it was offically opened on 27 March, 1981. Solar heating was installed because of the cooler temperatures at a cost of $15 997. The school pool is still used today and is great help in teaching the junior children how to swim.

July 2003 was when a school uniform was introduced to Palmerston Primary School. Our colours are black and red. They were chosen because they were the old District High School colours. The boys back then wore a black cap with a red logo on it and the rugby team wore red and black stripped jerseys.

Palmerston School is situated at the base of the mighty Puketapu and right next door to East Otago High School. It has 120 children and six classrooms. It also has a huge activity centre which was built in 2006 to allow space for assemblies, activity week, jump jam, gymnastics, singing, lunch time games and lots more. Our school has a massive play area that incorporates enough space for a rugby field, soccer field and a hockey field. To add to this we have two basketball courts and a cool adventure playground.

All the people in the Palmerston area are very friendly to everyone they meet and great learning takes place in all classrooms because the teachers are awesome. It's a great place to come with lots of fun activities to get involved in.

Palmerston School are involved in a huge range of activities. One of the highlights is the Year 6 Camp where we get to do a lot of fun and challenging activities such as; riding the luge, sailing and panning for gold. Year 5 Activity week is another highlight. It includes a stay over at the museum, white water rafting, sailing and lots more.

The Friendship Bus is a lunchtime activity run by the Year 5 and 6 senior students. They go around and pick up junior students and organise fun games and activities for them.

We have 3 school sports teams. They are netball, soccer and hockey. The netball and hockey teams travel to Dunedin for all of their games and the soccer team plays against other local schools such as Warrington and Purakanui.

Palmerston School goes on lots of school trips and we have heaps of performers come and do things like story telling, magic shows, musical shows and loads more. It is very exciting. We are also involved in lots of sporting events such as; cross country, athletics, swimming sports, triathalons and an Edgar Centre sports day. We have also been involved in the Kaupapa Maori festival for the last two years.

Palmerston School is an awesome place to come!!!!!

Palmerston School is cool!!!!!