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School History

ph256 9A Dream is Born

The Auckland Christian Fellowship Church led by Pastor Rob Wheeler pioneered the setting up of the school in 1977. Rob had seen Christian schools in operation in the United States during a visit in the mid-1970s and saw the need to bring a Christian perspective to education in New Zealand.

School Beginsph256 3

The school began with 45 pupils and was located in the basement of Haddon Hall, City Road, Auckland City. The school was called the Christian Fellowship School and the first principal was Mr Claude Warner. The school commenced using ACE (Accelerated Christian Education) material but because of its heavy American content decided in 1980 to use the traditional New Zealand infant programme teaching a phonics base for the development of language skills.

New Site

ph256 7Mansion 1980s1981 saw the miraculous move from City Road to the present site in Mt. Albert. The property was bought from the Karitane Nursing Trust and much effort from staff and parents saw the buildings transformed from hospital wards & nursing quarters to classrooms and offices.

Mr Bob Eastland was appointed Principal in 1982 after Miss Francine Bennett had acted as Principal for 2 previous terms. Mr Eastland resigned later in the year due ti ill health and Miss Francine Bennett became the Principal in 1983. The secondary programme started in earnest and emphasis of the school moved from the primary area to the secondary.

Financial Breakthrough

In 1985, Mrs Bev Norsworthy was appointed Principal and the enrolment policy ph256 15returned to emphasize enrolment at the beginning of a child's educational life so that a strong foundation is laid for the learning which follows.

The school continued to grow to a capacity of 220 and attempts were made to sell the Mt.Albert property and move to larger premises. All attempts were thwarted and it was eventually decided to stay on the Mt.Albert site. A financial crisis arose about this time with climbing interest rates and roll limitations. A time of prayer and fasting was called as we asked God to intervene. This He did miraculously in 1990 when the Institute in Basic Life Principles offered to purchase the property and lease it back to the school at very attractive rates

geoff in office 300A Change of Direction

At this point, the school also became independent of Auckland Christian Fellowship and is now operated by a non-denominational trust called the Biblical Education Services Trust. In 1991 Mr Geoff Matthews was appointed Associate Principal to relieve the pressure off Mrs Norsworthy who was becoming more involved in developing curriculum material from a Biblical perspective. Mrs Norsworthy resigned as Principal at the end of 1992 to set up the Christian Teachers College of Aotearoa New Zealand (now Masters Institutue) and Mr Matthews was appointed Principal in January 1993.

Expansionph256 2

In 1997, the School Board applied to the Auckland City Council for a roll increase from 220 to 320. The application was granted in February 1998 and the school began to expand again. Classrooms were remodelled and new rooms were developed from unused rooms. By 2000, the roll had risen to 290. The roll for 2002 is expected to reach the new ceiling of 320 by mid year. The School Board applied to the Government requesting the school become an integrated school but the Minister of Education declined the application. A strategic plan was produced for the buildings and property in 2001 with plans for new classrooms, playground development and a gymnasium.