Remembering the days of the old schoolyard


The Upper Hutt School Collection


Upper Hutt School first assembled on 11 April 1864, making it the oldest school in town. Although secular, the first location of the school was in St Joseph’s church. Two years later, on land donated by Hannah Barton, the school moved to its first dedicated classroom in Trentham (close to what is now 629 Fergusson Drive). in 1906 it became obvious that the Trentham venue was too small for the growing school roll, so the decision was made to move to a more adequate site, and on 28 March 1909 Upper Hutt School officially opened at what is its current location on Martin Street.

The Upper Hutt School Collection contains over a hundred years’ worth of photographs, predominately of classes, but also a few gems showing school activities. Looking through the decades it is always interesting to see how children’s fashion has evolved, often reflecting the social and economic landscape of the time. During both world wars and the depression, you see more austere clothing. With advancements in technology (both in terms of home appliances for mending and cleaning clothing as well as the creation of new textiles) children’s fashion became less formal and rigid. After the 1960s you really start to see the introduction of pattern, colour and prints. As more and more clothing became mass produced, and prices dropped, you see a larger focus on comfort, flexibility and individualism. From the 1980s and onward children’s clothing was often dominated with prints featuring the latest popular cartoon characters. 

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Comparison photograph showing the difference in school children's fashion, 1912 vs 1994



St Joseph's Catholic Church, which housed Upper Hutt School Students from 1864 - 1866



Upper Hutt School Picnic, ca. 1900



Cast members of 'Robin Hood', the 1933 school play



School children playing Tennis, 1964


To explore more of the Upper Hutt School Collection, click here