Rutherford College, Auckland

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Rutherford College
Rutherford College Logo Small.png
Kotuku Street,
Te Atatu Peninsula,
New Zealand
Coordinates 36°51′05″S 174°38′47″E / 36.8513°S 174.6465°E / -36.8513; 174.6465Coordinates: 36°51′05″S 174°38′47″E / 36.8513°S 174.6465°E / -36.8513; 174.6465
Type State co-ed secondary (Year 9-13)
Established 5 February 1961
Ministry of Education Institution no. 40
Principal Gary Moore
School roll 1251[1] (August 2018)
Socio-economic decile 5M[2]

Rutherford College (formerly named Rutherford High School from 1961 to 2001) is a co-educational state secondary school on the Te Atatu Peninsula, Auckland, New Zealand. It is named after New Zealand-born nuclear physicist and chemist Lord Ernest Rutherford.


In 1948 the north-western sector of Auckland began to develop as a major suburban area. At that time the then Education Department owned an area of twenty-one acres of undeveloped land lying between Te Atatu North highway and the northern side of the Henderson Creek. This land was set aside for a new secondary school to service the rising population of the Te Atatu Peninsula and farming areas to the north. A further vacant block of three acres was acquired and added to the whole in 1960 and the construction of a multi-course co-educational secondary school facility began.

An open meeting was held on 29 June 1960 in the Public Hall at Te Atatu and it was decided that the new Te Atatu High School would be placed under the control of its own Board of Governors. At a Board meeting on 14 September Mr A.E.E. Clark was appointed from forty-eight other applicants as the first principal and later that month the school name was decided.

Because of the large number of contributing Primary Schools and the wide area served, it was felt that parochialism should be avoided by naming the school after a famous New Zealander, namely Lord Rutherford of Nelson. Mr R.E.K. Barton was appointed First Assistant, and Miss P.M. Corston the Senior Mistress. A Governing Board was also appointed. The Planning of transport, enrolling procedures and uniforms was undertaken. As a result, the Board was able to call a parents’ meeting in the Te Atatu Public Hall on Monday 28 November, at which new staff members were introduced, the school uniforms displayed, and proposed transport routes given.

The High School opened on 5 February 1961 with a roll of 154 third form pupils and a staff of nine. The first double-story classroom block and the technical block were almost complete and the framework had been erected for the administration wing.[3]

Kaleidoscope Programme[edit]

The Kaleidoscope Programme is for students who are gifted and/or talented and subjects. Its program is an alternative to mainstream courses at Rutherford College. Rutherford is one of only a handful of schools in New Zealand to have been granted $300,000 under the Ministry of Education's Talent Development Initiative (TDI). This is to develop programmes that will enrich and develop students with special talents, helping them to excel to greater levels.[4]


Rutherford College is a New Zealand Qualifications Authority accredited co-educational Year 9-13 State Secondary school. It caters for students from year 9 to year 13, as well as providing adult education, special education and night courses. It offers well-qualified, professional staff are very successful in challenging students to achieve academic success in national assessments. The school teaches core subjects such as English, Mathematics and Science, and helps senior students pass NCEA (National Certificate of Educational Achievement). As well as core subjects, specialist subjects such as Chinese Mandarin, Japanese, Māori and German are taught as a second language, as well as aviation, environmental science and biochemistry, arts, physical education, technology, accounting and economics[5]

The Gateway program is also offered to students. This course helps students prepare to join the workforce once leaving school instead of moving on to Tertiary education. In this course students learn to make a CV and explore different options for once they finish school.

Information Commons[edit]

Rutherford College Information Commons

The Rutherford College Information Commons is an integrated learning environment where all students and staff have access to traditional and electronic information resources, electronic learning materials and productivity software, allowing them to integrate more information into course work. The main purpose is to provide access to electronic learning and information resources as well as traditional sources of information.

Students are able to retrieve information from the library database, access course work through Learning Resources, send email and browse the Internet, use Microsoft Office and other specialist programs, including a number of Open Source applications - all on the same computer. The development of computer and information literacy skills will be a key focus area of the Information Commons and opportunities for training will be integrated into all aspects of service.

The Information Commons was officially opened in 2006 and students were allowed full use of the facility from the first term of 2007. Since then, it has become the most popular building on campus among staff and students alike. It is a student-centred facility that provides a variety of study spaces, 40 computers, easy access to information resources and technologies together with multi-skilled staff that support different learning and research needs in one physical location.


The College encourages student participation in a wide range of extracurricular activities, again challenging students to reach their full potential in all areas.

  • The school celebrates annually, Rutherford Day, to commemorate the achievements of Lord Rutherford.
  • The official school song is "Me Hui Hui", written by Pita Sharples
  • Another school song "The Rutherford Way" was written by former school music teacher, Mrs. Manu Fa'aea-Semeatu.
  • The school has a strong bond with its sister school, Da Tong High School in Shanghai, China.
  • Rutherford Colleges Kapa Haka group 'Te Rōpu Kapa Haka o Te Kōtuku' is also the top Mainstream group in the Auckland region.

Notable staff[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]


The arts[edit]

Public service[edit]


  1. ^ "Directory of Schools - as at 13 September 2018". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 22 September 2018. 
  2. ^ Decile change 2007 to 2008 for state & state integrated schools
  3. ^
  4. ^ Cumming, Geoff (9 February 2008). "Standout students". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 6 November 2011. 
  5. ^ Rutherford College Prospectus
  6. ^ Schmidt, Andrew. "The La De Da's - Profile". Audio Culture. Retrieved 28 April 2018. 
  7. ^ Hewitson, Michelle (14 April 2018). "Simon Bridges is on a mission to get people to know (and like) him". NZ Listener (Vol 263, No. 4062). Bauer Media Group. Retrieved 28 April 2018. 


External links[edit]