We are very proud of our school which was built in 1864 and is one of the oldest schools in New Zealand. In 2014 Hamilton West School celebrated it's 150th jubilee with a very successful reunion and Spring Fair held at Labour Weekend.
Hamilton West School has its origins in the Redoubt that was built in the earliest days of European Settlement. The Redoubt was situated in Victoria Street where St Peter's Anglican Cathedral now stands. Sometime in the 1870's the school shifted to a site where WINTEC is now located. We moved to our current site around 1940. On several occasions the school was used as a military hospital during the second world war.
Interestingly our current school was built on a gully that was filled in with material from the Anglesea cut. The students at school at the time would have seen the cut being excavated when they looked out the classroom windows.
The large wooden classroom block on our current site is believed to be the longest wooden structure in the Southern Hemisphere.
At Hamilton West School we celebrate our Maori heritage which is traced back hundreds of years. The ancient Maori name for the whole area surrounding the school was Te Rapa. There was a large fortified Pa, also called Te Rapa, sited nearby. Cobham Drive now runs over this ancient Te Rapa Pa. The transposition of the name Te Rapa from this area to its' present position at the north of Hamilton City was a mistake made by the early European surveyors in the 1870’s. The Lake Rotoroa foreshore and surrounding hinterland has always been a centre of occupation for Maori people and today we love to explore this fantastic resource on our doorstep.
At Hamilton West School we provide students with many leadership opportunities to enable them to develop their intra-personal and inter-personal skills. We want our students to grow and become leaders of the future in our community, nationally and internationally.
Each year we have large numbers attend Young Leaders Day to allow our students hear how well known and respected leaders from many backgrounds came to be achieve their aspirations.
Examples for leadership opportunities provided for students at Hamilton West School include:
Student Councillors and Ambassadors House Captains and Vice Captains Sports Captains Wet Day Assistants Office Assistants
Students at Hamilton West School are given lots of opportunities to have input into their school. This means within the classroom where inquiry learning provides the opportunity for students to have control of their learning.
Other activities beyond the classroom also provide the chance for students to have input to how their school looks and feels.
Enviro-Agents are one of the groups that have input into the operation of the school, as do the student councilors and the class representatives who meet with the Principal to discuss ways to improve Hamilton West School.
The Principal also has an open door policy and the students know they are welcome to stop by his office to make suggestions about making Ham West even better than it is today.