1915 - 1918
At the turn of the century there were three communities in the area: Upper Kaimai, Lower Kaimai and Omanawa Falls. Tauriko as we know it today did not exist. In 1915 Mr Yeoland and his family moved to the area known as 'Cambridge Road' and started work on a new mill being built by the Tauranga Rimu Timber Company. The mill was located near the start of Belk Road. The company wanted to register as the 'Taurico Timber Co', but since there is no 'co' in the Maori language it was disallowed and replaced by 'Tauriko'. Thus the district acquired the name.
With the steady increase in settlers into the area of Tauriko, a group of parents decided to provide a building to use as a school. A cottage of 500 square feet was put onto a one acre site, leased from a Mr Ridder. The 'School of Cambridge Road' was then opened on the 11th of February 1918 with Miss C.N Wallis as the temporary teacher and a roll of 15 students.
The school roll had risen to 40 students and a request for a new school was given authority in May 1922 when four acres of land were purchased on the present school site. A two-roomed building plus shed and out-offices were erected on the site. When the new school opened in February 1923 the roll was 56 students. In November 1929 the school ceased being known as 'Cambridge Road School', due to the confusion of mail being delivered to the town of Cambridge in the Waikato. The school was then renamed 'Tauriko School'.
In 1931 the school roll dropped to 22 students and during the next 5 years this went down as low as 16 in 1934. The reason for the decrease in the roll was the closing of the local mill in 1926 which employed a large percentage of the community. By 1938, however, the roads and transport had improved, the district was growing rapidly, and a school bus was put on for students to be transported to Tauriko.
1940s and 1950s
In 1948 a swimming pool and tennis court were established and Tauriko School was thriving on the growth in the area. In November 1948 the school roll was 88 and an application was made for another classroom. It was not until June 1949 that the authority was given and during this time classes were held in the shelter-shed and community hall. The new classroom did not actually open until July 1952. In 1954 the roll had risen to 124 and an application was made for another classroom.
After many submissions, in 1966 the Department of Education finally gave authority to build a new classroom and remodel the existing classrooms. The changes in the school took 13 months and in July 1967 the new classroom was ready for use. All the remodelling work was finished in time for the Golden Jubilee of Tauriko School in February 1968.
In 1972 a new relocatable classroom was delivered to replace the prefab which had been condemned. The School closed with a roll of 140 in 1972. In 1974 a new prefab classroom was moved onto the school grounds. In the same year the KRSA, or Kaimai Rural Schools Association, was established. This formed a relationship between Tauriko, Kaimai, Pyes Pa and Oropi Schools. The schools would hold sporting events at the various schools for the children to compete against each other, and this relationship continues today. On the 30th of June 1978 Tauriko School received its first library. 1979 saw the beginning of alterations to the administration block and exterior painting of the whole school. The alterations to the administration block included a main office, principal's office, staffroom, sickbay and cleaner's room.
1981 saw another new relocatable classroom put on to the school site. Computers began to be purchased for the school and in 1988 the beginning of 'Tomorrow's Schools' saw parents and community leaders being elected on to the 'Board of Trustees' and assisting the principal and staff in governing the School. By the end of 1988 the school had a roll of 165.
In 1990 The school was linked to the town water supply, and in February 1993 Tauriko School held it's 75th Jubilee. In 1997 The Principal Mr K. Gibson retired after 20 years. A new library was built at the school, and Mrs Debbie Smith took over as principal in 1998. In 1999 the school underwent a complete facelift. All classrooms except Rooms 1 & 2 were relocated to new positions, and another new classroom was built. The original 1923 classrooms were transformed into the office building and moved to their present position beside the staff car park.
The school roll grew to a 302 students in 2000. Since then it has fluctuated between 220 and 350 students during the course of the school year. In 2004 another 3 classrooms were built, and in 2006 Tauriko School changed its branding and a new sign was erected at the front gate. In 2007 the Performing Arts Centre was opened, and by 2009 the number of classrooms totalled 14.
Ms Suzanne Billington took over as School Principal in January 2011. With this new Leadership, the school had an opportunity to review its vision for learning and what this means in the 21st Century. Community consultation and rich professional conversations on a number of occasions have supported the school to develop strategic goals which drive the future direction of the school. These can be found in the School's Charter and reflect the future focus of the school.
The school has developed a curriculum that is progressive and that reflects the New Zealand curriculum and is meaningful and beneficial to the Tauriko School community. Key themes, that were reflected in the community's wishes for its children, are sustainability, citizenship, wellbeing, globalisation and future focus. These themes pervade the school's curriculum and are supported by the school's strategic goals. Tauriko School believes that 21st teaching and learning will utilise 21st century technologies and teaching and learning practices in a purposeful way. We want our students to be fully prepared to take part in a society as 21st Century citizens.
With its emerging focus on collaborative classroom practice, the school is looking to develop teaching and learning spaces that further support professional and student collaboration for rich and meaningful learning.
The school is renowned for its strong community links, for its belief in partnership around learning, for its strong, effective professional teaching and learning focus and for developing confident leaders who actively contribute to their communities. Its growing roll is evidence of this and currently the roll is at approximately 330 students.
The future of Tauriko School is bright and positive. Our children stand strong with a proud history behind them and we look forward to celebrating the past 100 years together.