History of the School




The School Bell



From its earliest beginnings in February 1921 Cornwall Park District School has been special.   Its location in the beautiful Cornwall Park Estate and the support of a community and its teacher’s, has each in their own way, contributed to a legacy of quality education and excellence.  Sir John Logan Campbell, benefactor to Auckland of Cornwall Park Estate, was from Cornwall, England.  In acknowledgement of his heritage the school logo was adopted from the County of Cornwall’s Coat of Arms. 


School Logo and Motto

The logo and motto of Cornwall Park District School are a respected part of our tradition.  It features a shield which comes from the armorial bearings of the Country of Cornwall.  In the centre are fifteen golden discs which represent the gold bezants contributed by Cornwall towards the ransom of King Richard many centuries ago.  Beneath the shield is a scroll bearing our school motto ‘Honour Not Honours’ which reflects the vision of our first Principal, Mr W.A. Birss (Feb 1921 – May 1938) and his successive generations.  The shield and scroll are surrounded by a gold, then blue band (the school colours) inscribed with the words “Cornwall Park District School”.  The word ‘District’ hails back to the early days when Cornwall Park classes ranged from year one to year eight, before the opening of Remuera Intermediate.  Today the connotations of ‘District’ have changed to that of the school primarily serving the residents living in the suburb of Greenlane and others bordering Cornwall Park, when space and roll permits.

The gold outer laurel wreath represents recognition of success.


History of the School

Cornwall Park School first opened its doors on 9th February 1921. The initial roll was 198 pupils and the Headmaster was Mr W Birss.  The school grew very rapidly and by 1924 the roll had reached 437 and plans were made to add more classrooms and a staff room to the school. It was Mr Birss, the founding headmaster, who, in the early 1930’s, established the collection of world flags which formed the foundation for the Cornwall Park School tradition of Flag Day.


Flag Day

Mr Birss, who was also Consul for Ecuador, felt that it was important for the children to know more about other countries and approached the representatives of those countries to ask them to donate a flag of their country to the school.

This was a time in history, just after World War One, when people around the world worked very hard to bring about peace between countries. Each week children from the school would hoist a new flag and sing that country’s national anthem. Mr. Birss started our extensive flag collection.


Thanks to the generosity of parents our collection continues to grow and we are able to replace worn out flags.



In 1928 saw the opening of an Infant School at Cornwall Park, but at the opening ceremony, the headmaster reported that the accommodation was already inadequate and more classrooms were needed. These additional classrooms weren’t added until 1938.  When Remuera Intermediate School opened in 1954, Cornwall Park School lost Forms 1 and 2 which resulted in a drop in the school roll and from then on the school became a contributing school covering years 0 to 6 (or Primer 1 to Standard 4 as they would have been then).


The school roll fluctuated during the 1970’s and 80’s and the Principal at the time, Mr Jack Oliver worked tirelessly to maintain the special character and traditions of Cornwall Park School while the Education Board sought to limit the school roll and propose changes to the school zone. During the 17 years that Mr Oliver was headmaster, he introduced a specialist music teacher and part-time specialist art teaching. Jack Oliver is remembered in the naming of the school hall, the original school hall was built during his time as headmaster.


The school was completely rebuilt during the 1980’s and 90’s. This caused some concern to the school community because of their close tie with “their school”. However they realised that the new school buildings would be better suited to the needs of the children and future generations.


In 2010 our school grew with the removal of two classrooms and a 5 classroom block built in replacement.  This building project was completed at the end of Term 2 2010.


School Uniform

Over the years pupils have been identified by a uniform in the school colours of blue and gold.  In 2002 this was updated to ensure our children have practical, comfortable clothing which projects a smart image and can be worn with a sense of pride in belonging to Cornwall Park District School.  All uniform items carry either the traditional monogram or the new CPDS label.   The school uniform is available from the School Uniform Centre, 553 Remuera Road, Remuera.  www.schooluniformcentre.co.nz.



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