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Ohaupo - The School on the Hilltop


Ohaupo School is the vibrant, picturesque rural school, located 'on the hill' as you approach the town of Ohaupo, 10km south of Hamilton.

We enjoy all the benefits of being a traditional rural school, with a proud and interesting history; yet we are also modern and well equipped to deliver cutting edge education for the children of our surrounding district.  We have a current roll of 210 children.

The first school in Ohaupo was started by Emily Kusabs in 1869 in the parlour of her own home. Her first pupils, apart from her son Arthur, were the children of the militia settlers. Emily laboured under very difficult conditions for the princely sum of six pence per week to run the school.

In 1870 a proper school, unlined and humble though it was, was opened on the present site. * It was the first* school building in the Waikato.  In 1915 the school was destroyed by fire, but much agitation by locals resulted in a new school being built in 1916 on the same spot and in the same traditional shape.

If you would like to find out more about our history, you can read about it in "Winds of Change - A history of the European settlement of Ohaupo" by Valerie Millington.

Ohaupo School offers full primary education from years 1 to 8.  Our staff is dynamic and proficient; teachers and educational professionals who love facilitating the learning journey of all our students.  Passing on the passion for learning is what we aim to achieve.


The administration building has a defined front entrance where there is a welcoming reception area. There are two rooms for small group teaching, interviews, and one to one conversations with visiting personnel. A functional staff room and a teacher’s work space area compliment the block. A bright vibrant student foyer especially for the students to enter and call their own provides a unique ownership of this facility as well.

We are very excited that our Year 1 & 2 students are enjoying a purpose built, innovative learning environment in the Kowhai Hub.  Together with our Rata Hub (Years 3 & 4), Totara Hub (Years 5 & 6), Kauri Hub (Years 7 & 8) and Nikau Hub (Hall and Library), the learning and teachings of a modern learning environment are facilitated throughout our school.  Our learning hubs connect our human relationships with our natural world and recognise the Maori World view of Kaitiakitanga.  The protection or overarching guardianship of our school is led by the Kahikatea Hub (leadership/management) as the native tree of the Ohaupo district.

Ohaupo School is part of a pilot scheme commissioned by the ministry which ensures that the school maintains a very modern, ultra-fast Intranet. This is operated throughout the school and is housed in the new Admin Block. This ensures that the students are given the ultimate opportunity to maintain pace with today’s ever increasing ICT environment.

We are connected to the internet via a high speed wireless link to the University of Waikato and implement on-line procedures to safeguard our children. We have built up a base of software and search engines that are user-friendly and Kid Safe. 

The community and school cooperatively constructed a hall which provides the school with a haven of opportunities. For example, after-school care, extra-curricular activities (such as karate and music lessons), fundraising opportunities, assemblies, wet weather sports, cultural celebrations to name but a few.

The school hall is available to the community for hire for meetings and other activities outside of school hours. The hall is an all-purpose venue, with catering facilities, a stage and an extra room that can be closed off. Contact the school office via phone 07 823 6736 or email office@ohaupo.school.nz for details.

Two tennis courts, an adventure playground, an obstacle course, sandpit and a large grassed playing field all encourage the students into physical activity.  The grounds are spacious and kept in very good condition with care and maintenance by students, staff and community volunteers. There are many beautiful, established trees that provide shade for students in the summertime. The large playing area enables students to participate in a wide range of sports both during school time and at the weekends.

Ohaupo School has a Smoke-Free, No Dogs, No Cycling policy and we ask visitors to respect this.

The dental service at Ohaupo operates from a mobile clinic for a short period of the year. However, parents can contact the dental therapist for emergency treatment. Please contact the school office for details.

School Vision

We offer our students a range of learning opportunities through:

Speech Competitions

Each year our students enter the school competition and the winners go on to competitions at Lower Waipa. Our top Year 7 and 8 students go on to compete at the Waikato Full Primary speech competition.


Our students enjoy playing sports and mixing with their friends on the flat open grounds which make up the vast proportion of this school. The students enjoy sitting under the magnificent old trees of our school, or contemplating the serenity of the native bush, planted many years ago by the local community.

There is always keen competition for the Year 3-8s between the local schools at Lower Waipa Swimming, Athletics, and Winter Sports (soccer/rugby/netball). Our top Year 7 and 8 athletes go on to compete at the Waikato Full Primary Association events, swimming, cross country and athletics. 


We are one of only two primary schools in New Zealand who have a brass band. Our band is taught weekly by volunteers who are members of the Hamilton Brass Band. Many students are able to use the instruments free of charge.  They compete in the Waikato / Bay of Plenty brass band competitions.

We offer students the opportunity to be involved in our school rock bands, who participate in local competitions such as Rock Quest and Pulse. We also offer after school lessons in guitar and drums.

We also have an extensive range of instruments in our music room including several marimbas.

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees (BOT) is an elected group of parents, the Principal and a staff trustee.  The role of the Board is to govern the school, providing strategic leadership, ensuring standards of education are met, resources are provided, and that it complies with legal and policy requirements.  "Enhancing student achievement" is the Board's focus.  Please visit the Board of Trustees page for further information.

Parent Teacher Association

The PTA provides an opportunity for teachers and parents to work and socialise together.  It enables parents to get involved in the school and provide extra resources and activities for their children's education.

The PTA supports the Board of Trustees in fundraising for the school.  Innovative activities are planned by the committee (eg, Agriculture Day, Fireworks Fiesta, Quiz Night, Gala Day), which works hard to make families in the school community feel welcome and informed.  Parents are encouraged to join and attend meetings held at regular intervals at the school.  For further information please visit the PTA page.

House System

We operate a House System where House Leaders are fostered to take responsibility through whole school sporting and cultural experiences by organising functions and nurturing younger pupils in House Competitions. Peer mediators are trained to communicate effectively with their peers.

Cultural Diversity

We encourage Cultural Diversity and have hosted many International students in the past three years. We pride ourselves on excellence in ESOL teaching. Our children are inclusive and accept children who have different needs and are from different cultural backgrounds.

School Productions

Our Senior production in 2014 was 'Bugsy Malone', which was a great success.  All of our Senior students participated, and whether they were acting on stage, performing music, dancing or providing behind-the-scenes support, everyone had a wonderful learning experience and were able to put on two sell-out shows for the delight of parents and the wider community.

The First Choice School

We are a busy rural school with the facilities to rival city schools and we take pride in the knowledge that our children are well prepared to achieve well at secondary school in the future.