KAIATE FALLS SCHOOL
Kaiate Falls School held its first class in 1911 at Upper Papamoa. For the first two years pupils were taught in the home of Mr & Mrs H Jones. At first it was a part-time school – the teacher Miss Muir dividing her time between Papamoa and Upper Papamoa schools. She travelled on horseback over rough tracks to the reach the school during the two years she taught in the district.
The roll during the first year number about 10 – the children of Mr & Mrs A Garrett, Mr & Mrs W Garrett, Mr & Mrs H Jones, Mr & Mrs P Sorrenson, Mr & Mrs M Welsh and Mr & Mrs H Fox. The attendance increased the following year to about 16.
During 1912 the need for a permanent school could no longer be ignored. After many meetings and a great deal of correspondence with the Auckland Education Board a grant was approved for a school building. The timber for the building was brought up the harbour by scow to the Waotao bridge on the main road. From there it was carted by Mr H Jones with a team of horses and block dray. As there was no access to the school site he had to unload the timber on the roadside and later haul it up through the fern to the site. In the summer the school building was finished and a picnic gathering was held to celebrate the occasion. The new building was known as the Papamoa No 2 School but the name was later changed to the Kaiate Falls School. The falls are about a ˝ mile away.
With the completion of the school – (a single room 15ft x 25ft) a full-time teacher was appointed, the first teacher being a Miss Campbell. For short periods during the schools early history it was without a teacher owing to the shortage of teaching staff in the district. In 1954 a new school building was built and the original school stood on a different site as a community hall. Kaiate Falls School closed in 1965 due to a lack of numbers.
The following pupils were at Kaiate Falls School in July 1961 at the time of the 50th Jubilee.
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