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Our School

Thorndon School

Te Kura o Pipitea


Ko Te Pae o te Huia te taumata.
Ko Te Ahumairangi te maunga e whakaruru ana.

Ko Pipitea te awa e rere mai nei.

Ko Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika ngā mana whenua.

Ko Te Kura o Pipitea tā mātou kura.

Koia ko mātou!

Thorndon School is a medium-sized inner city school with a long history, having been first established as a church school in 1852.


At Thorndon School we value our diverse community. Our students and their families are culturally, ethnically, socio-economically and educationally diverse. We enjoy a very supportive parent community. Maintaining and building on this will continue to be an area of focus.

We hold a number of social events during the year, involving parents, staff and children. These events are an opportunity for parents and staff to meet socially and in the past few years have been most successful. Early in the year we hold an informal Meet the Teacher barbecue at which parents can meet their child’s new teacher.

Because the school is still relatively small it is possible for staff to know most of the children and there is a great deal of interaction among the different age groups at the school. The size of the school makes it possible to maintain a
relaxed, family type of atmosphere and this is encouraged. We see ourselves as a village where everyone contributes to the wellbeing of our students.

We welcome parents into the school and encourage parent help on trips, in classrooms, in the library and with the curriculum.


Children at Thorndon are encouraged to become risk takers, to develop independent learning skills, to take responsibility for their own learning and to ask questions. We have a strong commitment to the arts and children have many
opportunities to participate in activities in the performing arts and the visual arts.

One of the major resources for the school is the city itself, and we are within walking distance of such places as Parliament, the City Library, the waterfront, theatres, the Michael Fowler Centre, the National Library and, for older children, Te Papa. Many other places of interest can be reached with a short ride by public transport. Groups of children occasionally attend
lunchtime concerts at Old St Pauls and St Andrews on the Terrace as well as going to view exhibitions at the City Gallery and at Te Papa. The school is also within easy walking distance of the Railway Station and the bus terminal.

We welcome enquiries from interested parents and are happy for children and parents to visit the school.

Vision & Values

An inclusive space that fosters resilient, collaborative learners and creators.

Our values are used to guide the school in all its activities.

Creativity/Innovation developing innovation, inquiry, and curiosity, by thinking critically, creatively, and reflectively.

Excellence – by aiming high and by persevering or adapting in the face of difficulties.

Working Together – being honest, responsible, and accountable and acting ethically.

Inclusion – welcoming diversity, seeking equity (through fairness and social justice), participating in community for the common good.

Respect for the Environment – pursuing ecological sustainability, which includes knowledge of and care for the environment.

School Site Plan

site plan
5ec59a1ce3867d63ceb67bb5_School Map-p-1080.jpeg

Thorndon school is the oldest state school in Wellington.


The School was founded as St Paul's School in April 1852 in Sydney Street East (now Kate Sheppard Place). In 1873 responsibility for the school (renamed Thorndon School) was transferred to the newly-formed provincial education board.


In 1880 the School was moved to its present site in Hobson Crescent, between Hobson and Murphy Streets. 

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