The very first school in the Glenorchy district was actually at Kinloch, which was a centre for sawmilling in 1884 when the school first opened. However, this school did not last long and in 1888, after the community had banded together to provide a building, a school was opened on the Glenorchy-Paradise Road, close to Henny’s house.
This became known as the Rees Valley School after a school opened in 1911 near the Bucklerburn, but it was Glenorchy School before the new influx of scheelite mining families meant that a school was needed closer to the township. The new Glenorchy School had to move to it’s present site in 1939because the Buckleburn was getting perilously close to the original site, and in true Glenorchy style they found that the new building was a bit of a liability in a good nor’wester and the community needed to pick the building up and swivel it round to make it function better on windy days!
The ebb and flow of population has a dramatic effect on schooling in a small community like Glenorchy, with the school at times bursting at the seams and at others dwindling to low numbers in a single classroom.
Last time the school roll fell to the point where it became a sole charge school with a single teaching principal was in 1987, and it regained its two classroom status in 1993. Since then a lot of energy has gone into maintaining the roll and the facilities and we are lucky enough to boast excellent classrooms, a technology room, a library and a large office space. Covered decking outside the classrooms allows the children to sit outside at break times to eat, regardless of the weather, and hard surface playing court does duty for multiple sports and games.
Education Outside the Classroom is a strong feature of the school year, including local and regional camps and tramps, and other activities such as ice skating in Queenstown and an annual ski camp to Coronet Peak.
The roll sits around the 30; there are two classrooms the junior class is taught by the principal Allie McHugo and the principal release teacher Helen Clark. The senior class is taught by Jamie Barrance, Jenny Keogh supports both classes as our teacher aide and Ann Margaret Aitken is our secretary.
The school produces a fortnightly newsletter which includes both school and community news and it is available via email and this Glenorchy Community Website.
Contemporary Glenorchy School is a small, remote school situated at the head of Lake Wakatipu and is central to the community.
The families of our children are diverse in their economic status and their occupations. We work to provide our children with a positive, quality leaning environment in which they are secure and successful. Glenorchy School values the individual. Everyone working and learning within this environment is important.
Glenorchy School: 'Gateway to learning' Waharoa ke ti arorangi
Vision: To foster an enquiring mind, by engaging children through stimulating and fun learning experiences delivered by high quality teachers in partnership with the community and the environment.
Values: Honesty, Integrity, Respect, Responsibility, Perseverance, Courtesy and Judgement.
Contact the Glenorchy School on 442 9900 or email
The Glenorchy School App is available at the apple app store free for those who wish to find out about the Enviroschool projects that are integral to the Glenorchy School experience.
The Glenorchy School Newsletter is now available through the Glenorchy Community Website and has it's own FB page.
This makes school news more accessible for all and helps to keep the extended community informed about what is happening at school.
The newsletter is published fortnightly, during term time only.
Community news can be put in the school newsletter by emailing the school office