Napier Girls’ High School has shaped and influenced the lives of young women since 1884.
We value tradition and aspire to the highest in education. This is reflected in our vision:
“Inspiration from the past, learning, contributing, empowering for today and tomorrow”.
Our students consistently achieve above the national average in national qualifications. This reflects the Personalised Learning and innovative approach to teaching and learning that is a feature of our school.
Holistic education underpinned by sound values is important to us and we have a proven record of outstanding achievement in the sports and cultural areas.
Our values and traditions create a safe, inclusive learning environment. Excellent relationships exist between our staff and students. Teachers are dedicated professionals who work hard to develop the full potential of each student.
We have many traditions that create a safe caring environment where students gain a sense of belonging. We have sound pastoral and career systems to ensure students are known and given appropriate individual guidance and support during their years at Napier Girls’ High School.
Our on-site school Hostel, Hewett House, offers quality residential accommodation for 170 students. It is a supportive, caring living and learning environment.
Our aim is for each girl to develop and leave school an intelligent, confident, caring young woman well prepared take on the many varied and exciting challenges of their exciting future.
It is a real privilege to be involved in the education of young women
Mrs Dawn Ackroyd
In July 1883 plans were submitted to the Board of Governors for a school for girls in Napier. In August of the same year the Board advertised for a lady principal who would be required to teach English, Latin, French and Mathematics and take charge of the boarding establishment.
Miss M.E. Hewett was appointed, and the school opened on January 29, 1884. The original school course included English, French, Latin, German, Drawing, Singing and Calisthenics. Thirty nine pupils were on the books that first day, and one boarder was enrolled.
In those early days, the Napier Boys’ High School was also in Clyde Road, on the Northern side. When the boys moved to their present site in 1926, the girls’ school acquired their former area. This is where the technology block, the netball and tennis courts, the gymnasium and the swimming pool are now situated. Napier Girls’ and Boys’ still combine for several social activities, e.g. hostel activities, dramatic productions, socials.
The original school building had classrooms on the ground floor, and rooms for the boarders upstairs. It stood where the main hostel building, Hewett House, now stands. It was badly damaged in the 1931 earthquake, and had to be demolished.
The main building of the present school, named Spencer Building after Miss A.E.J. Spencer, the school’s third principal, stands in what was the original playing area of the first school.
With changes in education, and an increase in roll, rebuilding has taken place, with the addition of the McCarthy Building (Science and Drama), Arthur House (Music), and the R. James gymnasium and a complete renovation of the main Spencer Building. The Walker Building, a major new technology development and English suite was completed in 2000. The Naumann Building was replaced by the Hague Building in 2006, a state-of-the-art facility accommodating Geography, History, Social Studies, Accounting, Economics and Computing rooms.
Other facilities include a Hall in which the whole school can be seated, five computer rooms and a well-stocked comfortable library with networked computer pod for research, carpeted classrooms and modern science laboratories, horticulture unit and a theatre.
The school is fortunate to have pleasant grounds, that include tennis and netball courts, a swimming pool, a soccer field, pleasant seating areas with grass and trees, and a shade area. In 1999 a paved and landscaped area was completed for students at the back of the newly refurbished Spencer building. The school recognises the special needs of senior girls and caters for them. For example, Year 13 students may wear mufti, and may go home for some of their study periods. An employment skills course for Year 12 and 13 students was established in 1999.
A tradition of the school is the involvement of senior students in leadership roles. Each year students are elected as Prefects. Year 13 Leaders, Form Captains, Peer Support Leaders, Bus Prefects and Junior Leaders are other leadership roles.
Today, Napier Girls’ High School has a roll of nearly 1000 students with 70 teachers and visiting instrumental teachers. An enrolment scheme was put in place in 1997, and enacted in 1998 when the school was forced to turn away 100 prospective Year 9 students to prevent overcrowding. There has been a significant waiting list ever since.