Churchill Park School's History
In 1960, the Auckland Education Board purchased nine acres of Churchill Park from the Auckland City Council to build a new school, as both St Heliers and Glendowie Schools had huge rolls, and a new sub-division was planned.
The Mayor of Auckland City, Sir Dove-Meyer Robinson, was most supportive as he lived at 743 Riddell Road, where Graeme Hart now resides.
Glendowie No.2 School's establishment school committee were successful in changing the school's name to Churchill Park School prior to the school's opening in 1964. A letter was sent to Sir Winston Churchill asking him to suggest a motto for the school but sadly, the letter arrived after his sudden death.
Stage One of three planned stages comprised a block of four classrooms and a small administration area. Four staff were employed including the Head Teacher, Mr Conan Panther. The foundation students numbered about 130 ranging from Primmer 1 – Form Two (now Year 0 – Year 8).
Many designs for a school badge were submitted to the School Committee in 1964 from a number of professional designers, but Mr Panther's design was selected. The Southern Cross represents New Zealand's position in the Southern Hemisphere, water represents the school's proximity to the waters of the Waitemata, and Churchill Park's pine trees also feature.
Later that year, the school was officially opened by the then Tamaki Member of Parliament, Mr Robert (Rob) Muldoon, a Kohimarama resident, who later went on to be Prime Minister during the years 1975 – 1984, and who was later knighted Sir Robert Muldoon.
It is also of interest to note that to celebrate the School's 25th Anniversary in 1989, THE WALL was opened by Sir Robert. Later, the hall was opened by Dame Thea Muldoon, Sir Robert's widow, on June 4th 1993.
Prime Minister the Right Honourable John Key opened our administration block on September 10th 2010. Whilst here, he took the opportunity to visit our newly established wetlands. This was a joint project between the school and the Auckland City Council. An unused swampy area (that was bypassed by the herd of 60 cattle) in the park, and a swampy area that flooded in heavy rain, within the school grounds. The school was fortunate to receive a grant of $4700 grant from the World Wide Foundation for its share of plants, construction and fencing.
A fire at 3am on November 2011 razed the library, teacher resource centre and computer suite. But the Phoenix rose and a multi-purpose, modern learning environment (MLE) was built. The build also allowed for much needed extra car parking.
The school currently holds the Enviroschools Green-Gold award (highest level challenge). The philosophy behind Enviroschools is for students to experience how to make decisions and take action to improve the physical and social environment of our places, our community and our world. A worm farm, rain collecting water tanks, vegetable garden, wetlands, weta houses, 100s of native plants and native trees and solar panels and recycled materials used in art works displayed around the school, contribute to the school's journey.
In 2015, the school was awarded the Transpower Neighbourhood Engineers' Award for the design and construction of an outdoor classroom set above the wetlands.
Past Principals, in order of their tenure, are:
- Mr Conan Panther
- Mr Ian Bond
- Mr Robin Holst
- Mr Les Hoddle
- Miss Anne Bowmar
- Mrs Liz Gunn
- Mrs Marie Todd (present)