History of Normandale School
The first school in Normandale opened in a one-roomed establishment in 1911, on the corner of Poto and Normandale Roads (now the Normandale Playcentre). This school continued until the roll fell to 7 students and was closed in 1937.
The new school opened in February 1969 and consisted of a four class infant block, a two classroom block, an administration block with a dental clinic and a boiler room. There was also a staff of 5 teachers, a part-time caretaker, and 156 students. Everything was brand new: parents had to come and help to unwrap desks, chairs and books.
In 2009 Normandale School has 9 classrooms, a hall, after-school facilities, a modern library, a computer suite, and a new adventure playground that is being installed later this year. Currently there are 128 students, 6 full-time classroom teachers, 2 part-time teachers, an office manager, a bursar, 3 support staff, and a caretaker!
The school is nestled in a valley surrounded by native bush, which has matured over the years. This creates an environment which is attractive, safe and appreciated by children, teachers, and the wider community.
In 1972 a school inspector remarked that, “a spirit of co-operation pervades the school and results in smooth administration and good standards of work being maintained... the children are particularly courteous and well-behaved”.
Terry Barrett, the school’s first principal, reminisces that the foundation pupils were remarkable: they answered the phones, showed visitors around - the enthusiasm and responsibility they showed was a feature of Normandale School.
40 years later – I am proud to boast that these traditions have continued. Current students have high achievement levels, show leadership skills, and continue to show enthusiasm for their learning.
The early strong community spirit is still evident, with a strong ‘Friends of Normandale School’ operating, and the school enjoying a high level of support for all events.
While many of the tools of teaching have changed over the years, (e.g. chalk and blackboards to e-learning), some things never change - excellence in literacy and numeracy, the values of respect, creativity and perseverance, and the many happy memories for students, their families and staff.
Normandale School is truly the heart of its community.
Anne-Marie Gordon - Principal