Fendalton Open Air School

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Fendalton Open Air School
168 Clyde Road,
New Zealand
Coordinates43°30′59″S 172°35′29″E / 43.5164°S 172.5914°E / -43.5164; 172.5914Coordinates: 43°30′59″S 172°35′29″E / 43.5164°S 172.5914°E / -43.5164; 172.5914
TypeState, Co-educational, Contributing
Ministry of Education Institution no.3338
PrincipalPaul Sibson
School roll429[1] (March 2019)
Socio-economic decile10Z[2]

Fendalton Open Air School is a primary school in Christchurch, New Zealand known for its open-air classrooms. Fendalton Primary School was established in 1875, continuing to provide education for primary school children in Fendalton for over 140 years; as of 2007, the school has 520 students, and the principal is Paul Sibson. In 2002 and 2003, it was runner up in the Goodman Fielder School of the Year Awards.[3]


The Fendalton School opened in 1875 at a time when half of the school-aged children in New Zealand were not attending school.

The school started open air classes in July 1924, it was based on pilot programmes in England where it was found that plenty of fresh air and open spaced classrooms allowed children to recover more quickly from disease. The school was closed during the Spanish flu epidemic of 1919,[4] by the principal Ray Blank, Christchurch medical officer R B Phillips and Professor James Shelley, Education Professor of the Canterbury College. Blank and Phillips paid for half of the cost of building the new sun facing class rooms with long verandahs and large windows themselves;[5] the previous rooms were so cold that one cup of hot cocoa was sold to the students at a cost of 1d a week.[4]

The School was officially renamed as Fendalton Open Air School in 1963.

Former students[edit]

Notable students who have attended Fendalton Open Air School include:


  1. ^ "Directory of Schools - as at 3 April 2019". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  2. ^ "Decile Change 2014 to 2015 for State & State Integrated Schools". Ministry of Education. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  3. ^ "Fendalton School former Principal biography". Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-11.
  4. ^ a b Fendalton Open Air School history
  5. ^ The Press, Christchurch New Zealand, 2 August 2004, recovered from Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre, 4 December 2005
  6. ^ "Sir Richard Hadlee biography". Retrieved 11 November 2007.

External links[edit]