Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 

125 years of education in Freemans Bay

125 years of education in Freemans Bay

Auckland, 9 August 2013

At the end of August Freemans Bay School – known as Napier Street School until 1978 – will celebrate its 125th jubilee, to which all past students and staff are welcome.

When Napier Street School opened in 1888, Freemans Bay was a very different place. Sandwiched between the central city and the far western suburb of Ponsonby (whose few residents at the time were, therefore, Auckland’s original Westies), Freemans Bay was already densely populated with Auckland’s working class.

Many of the school’s students came from the cheek-by-jowl cottages in the area bounded by Nelson St, Wellesley St, Union St and Wellington St. Most of those dwellings are long gone, demolished by the Auckland City Council’s “urban reclamation” programme in the 1950s and 60s, and the few that remained were removed for the motorway in the mid-1970s.

In the 125 years of the school’s existence its student population has reflected huge demographic change. In the late 1940s Maori all over the country began to move into the cities, and in Auckland many of them settled in Freemans Bay. In the late 1950s the migration of Pacific people into Auckland began, and increased significantly in the 1960s and 70s. Again, many settled in Freemans Bay and their children attended Napier St School, often arriving without a word of English.

In the 1970s the worldwide trend towards inner-city gentrification began, gathering pace in the 80s and 90s until these days Freemans Bay is one of the most expensive parts of Auckland – a fact which would have astonished parents at the school only a couple of generations ago.

Immigration rule changes in the 1990s have added another layer to the story, prompting people from countries the world over to move to New Zealand, most of them to Auckland, where many of them live – at least initially – in the new multi-storey apartment buildings in the CBD.

The result is that Freemans Bay School enjoys one of the most diverse student populations of any school in the country, which is celebrated as a real strength.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 


Howard Davis: Joel Coen's Monochromatic Macbeth

The Bard of Avon may well be smirking up the sleeves of his lace doublet at the irony of Will Smith's Oscar debacle, but now that the initial furore has dissipated, it's worth revisiting the movie for which Denzel Washington was also nominated. More>>

Howard Davis: Kenneth Branagh’s Black & White Belfast

Branagh has assembled a wonderful cast, including Ciarán Hinds, a gently formidable actor who well deserves his Oscar nomination, and Judi Dench, who steals every scene she’s in. More>>


Howard Davis: Dennis Villeneuve’s Dune - A Brief History

So many elements of Herbert’s novel have since become tropes of popular SciFi that Villeneuve’s film sometimes seems deceptively derivative. What makes all this nonsense essential viewing is his astonishing visual sensibility. More>>


Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which has been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland