Our History

Havelock School is a co-educational state school that offers full primary education for students from Yr 1 to Yr 8 within the terms of The New Zealand Curriculum.

Since the first school was established in Outram Street in 1861, across from the present school site, Havelock School has had a very historic association with its community. The first official school building is still preserved for the town as the Rutherford Youth Hostel having been turned 90º in 1927 to catch the sun.

The present school was built as a three-teacher block on the site of the historic Brownlee Park in 1961. Shortly after, the school roll grew to four-teacher status and a prefab was added. A new administration area was added in 1979 and extended again in 2000, with further plans for extension and modernisation in 2022. In 2008 the dental clinic was removed and early in 2009 the foundations laid for a new multi-purpose facility, generally referred to as the hall, which was opened in Aug 2009 by Karen Sewell, the Secretary for Education at the time. A more permanent fourth classroom was added in 1982 and in 1983 the roll topped one hundred and a fifth teacher was employed. This roll peak was only short-lived and by 1985 the roll was below one hundred and the fifth teaching position lost. The fifth classroom never eventuated. Roll numbers since then have ranged from 50 - 96 and look likely to remain variable within this range for the next few years.

Staffing currently comprises a principal with a small teaching component, four teaching positions, school/board secretary, two part-time teacher-aide positions, a cleaner, a caretaker and a librarian for a small number of hours per week.

At present the school has four full-size carpeted classrooms. There is a very good swimming pool, changing sheds and adjacent implement shed. The administration area comprises a staffroom, medical room, storeroom, school office, principal’s office, art store, staff toilets, resource/workroom, janitor's store and Learning Support room. A community library built adjacent to the dental clinic was completed in 1991 and allowed the former library to become the resource and teachers' workroom. A new driveway off Lawrence St was completed in the mid-nineties and extensive new playground improvements with landscaped gardens make an attractive learning environment. The new hall gives more valuable teaching space as well as being a valued asset to the community.

Classes are run as composite groups. Teachers' plans originate from the needs of the students themselves and link closely to The New Zealand Curriculum, the school's programmes and policies. While there is good interaction between classes, aspects such as co-operative planning, excursions outside the school, teacher inter-change, periods of family/whanau grouping and peer tutoring are always seen as part of the wider learning environment on offer to students at different times.

Over the Marlborough Anniversary weekend in 2011 the wider school community from yesteryears gathered to celebrate 150 years of Sound education. A great few days were spent catching-up and reflecting on the years between leaving the school and where past pupils found themselves tin 2011. Our oldest past pupil Jessie Windleburn (100) and our youngest Harvey Brownlee (5) cut the cake to mark the occasion. Photos were taken, speeches made, toasts proposed, students performed, the updated honours board unveiled, dinner shared, a thanksgiving service attended and a totara tree planted by the Walker family next to the rimu planted by William Pickering in 2003... a huge weekend.

If you'd like to nominate a past pupil for the honours board then please forward their name, degree, institution and date conferred.

Should you have any queries then please make contact with the school on +64 3 574 2106 or via admin@havelock.school.nz


Two famous scientists have "laid down the gauntlet" for Havelock School pupils to aim for the best in all their pursuits. Both Lord Ernest Rutherford, winner of the Nobel Prize for chemistry, and William Pickering KBE, the pioneering space and satellite scientist, attended this Marlborough Sounds school many years ago.

This rich history of scientific achievement guides important elements of the school's philosophies - learning for life and teaching students to think for themselves.

Children need to be able to ask good questions and ask them at the right time and place. We aim to teach them a reasoned approach to understanding and ensure they're aware also of the social aspects of learning for example, being game enough to ask a 'dumb' question if they don't understand something.

Teachers promote the skills required to sort through the mountains of information now available to students, while learning to co-operate and work as part of a team are also viewed as being important. Ensuring higher level thinking skills are passed onto children is important and needs to be balanced with the curriculum's requirements to teach the basics of numeracy and literacy.

To find out more about either Rutherford or Pickering click onto one of the links. One day we hope to have other former students featuring on this page. Now there is a challenge!