Linwood Avenue School opened for teaching on 11the April 1928 with 6 classrooms. Because of a rapidly increasing roll several “open air classrooms “ which were in fact marquees were added. During the winter months these open air classrooms proved unsatisfactory for both teachers and students and two new rooms were built in response to parent dissatisfaction.
In those first early years the Education Board provided only the basics. The school grounds were paddocks and despite the hard economic times that were prevalent in the 1930s the school committee and parents got involved in working bees and fundraising to develop the school grounds and gardens.
The Depression of the 1930s closed two of the four training colleges for teachers and the school starting age was put up from 5 to 6. Classes of forty or more were common place and many teachers lost their jobs.
It is indicative of the strong community spirit that even in these dark times the Linwood Avenue School committee decided to proceed with the building of an assembly hall. Finally in 1938, after much fundraising the hall became debt free and still exists to house assemblies and community groups today.
The immediate area around the school has been developed into a strongly retail and service sector over recent decades. This includes a large shopping mall, medical centres, government offices and social organisations such as the Salvation Army. Several churches, sporting clubs and early childhood centres are also located within the area.
During this period, the school has successfully forged close ties with the local business community, sporting organisations, community groups and learning organisations. Local businesses sponsor scholarships for students at the school, awards for achievement and excellence in sport, culture and academic subjects. Service organisations such as Rotary also support student achievement through awards for learning and achievement, and scholarships for future schooling.
Since the earthquakes of 2010 to 2011, much work is being done to restore the community, its services and infrastructure. This is a mighty challenge for the people of Christchurch, and it will continue well beyond 2020, as the city rebuilds and sees a renewed character emerging.
Highly respected former Prime Minister Norman Kirk is an exceptional and distinguished example of the students who have developed their skills, knowledge and character while at Linwood Avenue. Many students go on to achieve excellence in their chosen field, including sporting (e.g. representing NZ in netball and soccer), tertiary education, local government (e.g. chairing community boards) and many are actively involved in the local Linwood community and business organisations. Most children take good advantage of the school’s values and learning experiences to support their family, work and personal life.
We’re proud of them all. We look forward to a future of continued school development and success for the children who attend Linwood Avenue School.