Topic: Sydenham School
Sydenham School, once the largest school in New Zealand, stood on the corner of Colombo and Brougham Streets for nearly one hundred and thirty years. Now there is just a vacant area with some of the relics of the school in the park on the corner of Buchan and Wordsworth Streets.
The school first appeared in the Education Gazette as 'Colombo Road School' on 6 July 1872. The school was actually in operation in 1872 and the official opening was held on 6 January 1873. Before this a Mr Elliot held a school on the site of the Post Office.
The original site cost 100 pound and 862 pounds for the buildings. Residents in the area had to supply 172 pounds to the Provincial Treasury to support their school. The first building was completed in March 1872.
The school grew rapidly. In September 1872 the school had 1 teacher, Mr Elliot, and there were 91 pupils on the roll. In 1873, Mr Cumberworth was appointed as the headmaster and by 31 March 1873 7 teachers were on the staff, and there were nearly 400 children present. This rapid growth refected the growth of housing in the Sydenham area.
September 1880 was the time"Colombo Road School' became the Sydenham School.