Our History

Early Days - Palmerston North

In the years 1880 onward many families arrived to make their homes in the area. Settlers coming to the Manawatū came via Foxton from Wellington in small vessels trading to the port. They travelled onto Palmerston North via Pioneer Highway, so named in memory of our pioneers. Children in the area in the early days attended either Campbell Street, College Street or Longburn Schools but as the population grew, it was decided that a new school in the district was needed.

In February 1910 an approach was made to the Education Department for a grant to establish a school at West End, householders were also asked to find half the cost of the site, eventually the original site selected (Corner of Botanical Road & Church Street) was exchanged for the present site.

The building was erected at a cost of approximately £3000 and for its size it was the most up-to-date school building in New Zealand at that time.

West End School opened 1 July 1913 with an opening roll of 200.



Over the Years 1913-1963

Note: This is a summary of material from the 1963 Jubilee Booklet was originally written by the late Mr F C Campbell, 1st Assistant at West End School.

‘West End School has come a long way since 1913.

Consider the amenities now commonplace. There was no central heating, no electric lights, no school telephone, no school library, no baths, no Home and School Association, no dental clinic.

In the absence of central heating on cold mornings runs were resorted to, the boys along College Street and the girls along Botanical Road. Children studied Geography and History and Arithmetic. A popular visitor to the school was the Art Instructor. There was Woodwork for the boys and Cookery for the girls, this was given in the Manual Training Centre in Campbell Street.

Basketball, rugby, cricket and hockey were played and visits were made to the Municipal Baths for swimming instruction. These used to be behind the Opera House on Church Street.’

Note: In 2020 this is the current site of Farmers by the Plaza.


West End School is a multicultural contributing Decile 5 school located near the Central Business District of Palmerston North and Massey University. The school draws from a wide variety of cultures and socio-economic levels. This makes West End School a diverse, stimulating and exciting learning environment. The school is well known for its commitment and excellence to learning for ALL, utilising innovative and current learning and teaching strategies. The parents and community of the school have a very high interest in our school and accordingly have high expectations for their children’s learning. This is supported by an active Board of Trustees and PTA. In addition, a strong relationship has been fostered since 2001 with Rangitane Iwi representing Taneurangi O Manawatū based in Maxwell’s Line. As a result the school is supported in its commitment to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, (protection, participation and partnership) and the importance that this document has for iwi and kura.