School History

During the Hamilton Wars a lot of land was confiscated and given to members of the Armies of the day for services to their Regiment. A lot of land became Waewae Tapu and could not be allotted as gifts to the members of the Regiment. In the early part of the 1800s Hamilton was not divided into the suburbs as we know them now. Hamilton was known by the Maori people as Kirikiriroa. (Kiri meaning gravel, Roa meaning a long stretch - a long stretch of gravel). So that the Crown could not confiscate all the land, the Courts decided that wherever there was a Maori burial ground or Pa site or monument of sorts, that land stayed with the Maori tribes. Most of the area we now know as Frankton was covered in swamp and was not habitable. Of this area 400 acres was given to Major Jackson Keddell, the 2IC (second in command) to Lt Col. W Moule, who was Commanding Officer of the 4th Waikato Regiment Militia. This land Major Keddell then sold to Mr Francis Jolly in 1863-64. 
Research by BEV ITI.

Frankton School has a long and varied history from its opening in April 1911 as a two-teacher school with one room and a porch. Archives note that the school "out in the swamp" is now "less than two miles from the centre of the city". Historical research also indicates that Frankton derived its name from Frank Jolly, an uncle of Thomas Jolly who bought the large block of "Frankton land" from Major Keddell of the Fourth Waikato Regiment. Frank Jolly's name would have appeared as "Frank's town", shortened a little later to simply "Frankton". It soon became apparent that the school was inadequate for the neighbourhood's needs and by 1919 the original "long room" had been divided into two classrooms with a further four rooms being added, making a complete six classroom block, catering for 363 children, a far cry from today's lower teacher-pupil ratios.

From these small beginnings the school roll continued to grow until Frankton became one of the largest primary schools in Hamilton with a roll of over 700 pupils. An important factor which led to the progress and growth of Frankton School was the development of Frankton as the centre of a railway junction. In its heyday 300 railway and state houses thrived close to the school with children of railway workers swelling the roll. This, however, is not the case today with few railway families evident owing to restructuring and rationalisation of the Railways Corporation.

A reduction to the large roll numbers in the school came when Form 1 and 2 children went to Maeroa Intermediate in the early 1950s, the opening of Rhode Street School in 1959 and again Aberdeen School in the mid 1970s. However the roll has steadily built up again and continues to grow.

Over the years new amenities have been added to the school which include swimming baths and new toilet facilities, an assembly hall, a new library and resource room, main school block and administration upgrading and refurbishment, additional withdrawal spaces and the enlargement and renovation of the staff room.

In the late ninety’s 2 extra classrooms were built on site and an addition to the original Library allowing extra space for our computer suite and our Whare Akonga. 

Highlights of the Year 2000 were firstly the completion of the Administration Block.  The Rt Hon Helen Clark, the then Prime Minister, was present at a powhiri where she officially opened this new building.   This was the first time since 1966 that Frankton School has a stand alone, brand new facility.  This building has two entrances,  one facing the Memorial Gates especially for our parents and visitors.    The second was the establishment of three Maori Enrichment Classes in junior, middle and senior areas of our school.  This was initiated by parents and staff and was well supported by the community.

In 2001, the BOT provided a stand-alone room for the After School Activities programme and had the old administration area remodelled into a large classroom.

A new staffroom was remodelled from two classrooms and opened on 19th April 2002 by our Kaumatua Waka Heperi and special guest Roger McClay,  then the Commissioner for Children.  We finished the 2002 year with 627 (Y1-Y6) children.   In January 2002 holidays work began on removing some of our concrete areas, upgrading underground amenities and landscaping. 

In 2003 the old uneven concrete was replaced with children’s designs in aggregate concrete and pavers which include the Waikato River, a maze and chess board.  The three pre-fabricated classrooms along the Rifle Range Rd boundary were re-positioned and decking and cloak bays added.  New decking has also continued along the old block and the P.T.A. were successful in reaching the target of $27,000 for new shade cloth for this particular area.  

In 2004 the classrooms were renumbered beginning with Classroom 1 by Swarbrick Park and further shade cloths were bought for outside the old block and Rooms 13 and 14. New decking was built outside the New Entrant rooms which included covered sandpits. During the January holidays 2005 the Junior New Entrant area was repaved and a circular lawn laid.  A few weeks before the end of the year work began by Mitchell Construction on the Pearl Blackwell Hall extensions.  Money is always ‘tight’ at Frankton but we were able to extend the hall by the stage length, upgrade the toilet and kitchen facilities, and replace existing joinery with the new aluminium windows.  This made school assemblies more comfortable for our 600+ students.

In 2006 we received another E.R.O. Report which we were very proud of. During 2006 parents and children became involved in getting the grounds re-established after damage caused by the hall extensions through builders, vehicles and equipment. Through a concern for the environment and a sense of responsibility parents and children worked together to develop classroom gardens and names such as Tuatara Turf, Patiti Kokonga, Sea Shell Garden, Teddies Retreat, Ti Kouka Shade, Tainui Tundra, Pukeko Park and Sunshine Village to name a few.   The vision of 600 children at Frankton empowered to take part in creating and maintaining a beautiful, peaceful school environment had begun.  We had our 5th year of bulb planting along our school boundaries and a new native screen planted along the neighbours tin fence on Massey street.  Frankton School wormery continued and Enviro Agents, began marketing the product as ‘Liquid gold’.  Mrs Glenis Armstrong and her classes began a partnership with the local zoo, and paper recycling continued to happen at Frankton School.   2006 saw the beginning of our Totem Pole paintings representing our ethnic diversity at Frankton. All this activity culminated in the school winning a Silver Enviro Award for creating a sustainable environment.  Once again we renumbered some of our classrooms ready to begin 2007.

After extensive planning during 2007, property development during 2008 included 2 new toilet blocks, remodelling of our library area to give us a large new Learning Centre and Resource area, new decks and the start of the remodelling of A Block.  Our new Learning Centre was opened in Term 4, 2008 by the Minister of Education the Honourable Chris Carter. It is important to remember the history of our library.  Records show that Frankton School started with a very small library which was replaced in 1980 by the Fred Gullen Memorial Library. Fred Gullen, as Chairman of the Frankton School Committee, gave outstanding service to Frankton School for many years and was instrumental in raising the money to build this library.  Over time this building has seen many changes but from 1980 until today the core function of this building has been to inspire and delight the young minds of our children through books.  Because of difficulties retaining staff for our Maori Enrichment classes, staff and BOT, in consultation with our community, decided to disband these with a commitment to greater bi-lingual/bi-cultural practices throughout the school.

2009 was an ERO year and once again we received an outstanding review which stated we would not be reviewed for another 4 years. Our staff commitment to bi-cultural education was highlighted and affirmed.  During 2009 extensive work on A Block (Rms 4-12) was completed and a new toilet block for the New Entrant area.  At the end of 2009 work began on remodelling B Block (Rms 19, 20, 24) to create an extra teaching space and recreate a more inclusive New Entrant area.

A multi-purpose building was architecturally designed in 2010 by De Lisle Jenkins due to roll growth.  With the $392,000 from the Ministry and money from our 7 Year Property Plan we were able to move the Room 1 Prefab next to the Whare, making room for two classrooms, a middle area for cooking, art, etc, two withdrawal rooms and two new toilets.  This block was opened by Mayor Julie Hardaker on Wednesday 2nd March, 2011.  January 2011 the Waikato Health Board started building a 5 Chair Dental Clinic.  This was opened on Thursday 26th May, 2011 with Waikato Health Board officials and the Rt. Hon. Peter Dunn, Associate Minister of Health.  During the January holidays of 2011 Francis and Kelly Pye and helpers painted our first Virtues mural.  Later in the year another was designed and placed on the Administration wall facing Massey Street.  During the October holidays a verandah was erected outside the ASA House to give shelter and extra space. 

On the 3rd April 2011 Frankton School turned 100 years old.  We celebrated during the weekend of 1st to 3rd April.  It was fantastic to see some of our past pupils. The weekend included a Meet and Greet on Friday night, Opening Ceremony on Saturday with performances from our Kapahaka, Choir and Pasifika Group and a Dine and Dance in the evening. A Virtues Service on Sunday ended a fabulous weekend.

During the 3rd term of 2012 the old Dental Clinic was remodelled as a classroom for the overflow of new entrants in Term 4 and a whole school exterior paint was started with the colours of Sandsone and Pohutukawa.

In 2013 new sign displays were erected on school buildings including the Kete Metaphor, Mission Statement, Kawa and historical motto, Kia Tika Kia Pono - Be Honest and True.  We also completed a technology upgrade.  This involved replacing wiring and switches so that we could successfully access 'ultra fast broadband'.  The school also increased its technology tools with Ipads and Apple TVs.  In term 4 we had a visit from ERO and we received another outstanding ERO report recommending a second review period of 4 years. 

The Judy Dixon Virtues centre was opened in 2014 by judy dixon herself in her last fully year as Principal.  the community were invited to contribute ideas towards a mural on the wall of this building.  Green Frog took these ideas and created a mural.  Recognition must go to the Santini family who took this project on with dedication and commitment.  

Also during 2014 Mr I planted a Fruit Forest by the Admin Block.  A Block was reroofed, the ablution area upgraded and a new laundry area established.  ASA had a kitchen upgrade and Rooms 15, 16, 19 and 20 were refurbished.  

In 2015 Mrs Judy Dixon retired from Frankton School after 23 years of service and former Deputy Principal, Mrs Kirsten Ratana returned to Frankton School to take up the Principalship.  Term 4 saw the establishment of our lockable bike and scooter shed.  There was a major bulding project which saw areas upgraded to improve accessibility for students with special needs. This included a wheelchair lift in the hall, pool hoist and refurbishment of the ablution room.  Frankton School roll closed on 16 December with 739 students.  

2016 was another successful year at Frankton School with the establishment of two collaborative teaching spaces; one in the New Entrants and one in Year 3.  We had a new storage shed built, minor capital works to improve classroom lighting and to create a breakout space in Rm 9, the upgrade of our Social Worker in Schools office to enhance this area for students and whanau, a sand pit built for middle and senior school students and the upgrade of an office area where our ORs teacher works with students.  The creation of a Jump Jam team was exciting for everyone and this group went on to compete in the regional competition in Tauranga.  The Student Council travelled to Wellington and had visits to Te Papa Museum and Parliament. Student learning and teaching was strengthened through the use of a document written by staff titled "Principles and Practices of Formative Practice at Frankton School.'  This document highlighted teacher and learner actions.  School closed on the 16 December with 742 students and a staff of 70.  

In 2017 we had four collaborative teaching spaces, single cell classrooms and the Whaanau class.  The school replaced all the sunshades and erected a new one in the swimming pool area.  The school maintained a high standard of learning and teaching for students.  The Education Review Office reported on Frankton School in 2018 and identified many of our successes.  School Events such as Water Extravaganza, Interschool sports, Whole School Singing and Whole School Assemblies continued to create a strong sense of unity and pride. We ended 2018 with a school roll of 730 students. 

From humble beginnings we can now be justly proud of Frankton School and its achievements and be totally committed to continuing to provide a quality education system to serve the needs of the pupils well into the 21st Century.





1912 Placard

Frankton School has a long and varied history from its opening in April 2011

1936 or 1937

1939 Basketball Team

Standard 6

Frankton ex Pupils



The Rt Hon Helen Clark, the then Prime Minister opened our new Admin Block in

Standard 2

1947 NE

1948 Year 1 or Primer 1

Records show that Frankton School started with a very small library which was replaced in 1980 by the Fred Gullen Memorial Library

1949 Year 2 or Primer 2

1952 Year 4 or Standard 2

In 2011 Frankton School became 100 years old!

2008 Civic Award

Frankton Primary School

  • Address:Massey Street
    Hamilton 3204 New Zealand

  • Phone:+64 7 847 6726
  • Fax:+64 7 847 7587
  • Office Hrs:8.00am to 4.30pm

© 2019 Frankton Primary School. All Rights Reserved. | Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy | Site Map | Email to a Friend | Print Page |