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Our School

Tēnā tātou katoa e te whānau

Dobar dahn, Nabad, Hola, Ciao, Ni hao, Namaste, Talofa, Bonjour, Χαιρετίσματα, Grüß Gott, Zdravím, Приветствия, สวัสดี, Sawasdee, Konnichiwa, Pozdrowenia, Selamlar, Guten tag, Salaam, Salama Aleikum, Leikum Zdras-Tvuy-Te, Ahn-Young-Ha-Se-Yo, Marhaba, Nay Hoh.


Hi, I’m Liz Patara, Principal at Clyde Quay School (CQS).   The purpose of this note is to provide prospective parents and newcomers with information on the special educational experience that CQS strives to offer every child.  


About CQS


Established in 1889, CQS was originally sited near Oriental Bay before relocating to Elizabeth St in Mt Victoria.  The school has a long and proud tradition.


CQS provides a comprehensive full primary experience for around 240 children, the majority of whom come from Mt. Victoria.  


Classes extend from a cosy new entrants area, where class sizes are kept below 15, right through to year 8.  Year 8 children move straight to secondary education without going to intermediate schools.


The varied backgrounds of the CQS community provide rich experiences for children.  A decile 10 school, CQS has families from across a range of socio economic groups and occupations.  The school also has a lovely multi ethnic feel to it. CQS represents over 25 cultural groups. Kiwi Pakeha 46%, Maori 6%, Pasifika 3%, Asian 30%; Europeans 6%, Other groups 8%.


We believe the diversity of CQS community is a reflection of the world our children will live in as adults, and that the school prepares them for success in that world.  It is something, which makes all of us very proud. As one child said to me on my first day, “Whaea Liz, different is good”.


Enrolment Scheme


In order to avoid overcrowding, the Board of Trustees (Board) has implemented an ‘Enrolment Scheme’.  Each year the Board will ask for new enrolments from residents living within the home zone to determine student numbers for the year ahead.  This enables the Board to assess how many out of zone places might be available in any one year. This information will be published to the wider community, at the same time calling for applications for those students requiring a place.  If there are more applicants than there are places available, selection will be by independent ballot.


Full details of the ‘Enrolment Scheme’ policy and procedures are available on our Enrolment Page.


Quality Education


CQS aims to produce creative thinkers who have highly developed skills

so that they are:

  • Connected;

  • competent in reading, writing, maths and sciences;

  • literate in information communication technology;

  • actively involved in the arts;

  • enthusiastic about sports;

  • knowledgeable about and extend their talents;

and that they continue to value diversity


English as a second language, reading recovery, writing and mathematics intervention, as well as enrichment programmes meet the special needs of particular children.


CQS is committed to regular assessment to monitor each child’s educational progress.  Children are also invited to participate in the Kiwi Competition examinations.


CQS has invested a lot in the technology curriculum morphed into Science Technology Engineering Mathematics to ensure that students are connected, maximising the learning experience.  The complexity and opportunities increase as students move through the school.


CQS values parental and whanau input and caregivers are encouraged to visit and help-out.  We are all aware that education is for life and that school and home can make a great difference to a child’s success.


The school aims to provide all students with a basic knowledge of Te Reo Maori.  The Y7-8 students have learned French since 2003 and 2018 has seen the introduction of Mandarin at this level. In addition to this, the school provides space for Chinese tutors to offer Chinese classes after school.

Experienced and Capable Staff


The staff is competent, experienced, and their respective expertise channeled. The Principal, Liz Patara, is an experienced educationalist and to maintain currency continues to undertake further study, the most recent was a 2018 sabbatical researching coaching and mentoring plus collaborative learning.  There are 10-12 teaching staff. At any one time the school also has up to 10 additional people (specialists and support staff) working in the school.


Staff is caring and committed to providing the best possible education for all CQS children.  They are all approachable and keen to ensure that both children and parents find the school a rewarding experience. There is a balance between experienced teachers and those early in their career. The male female balance strengthens the school as does the different cultural experiences each brings.


Careful attention is paid to managing school behaviour to ensure a climate in which students have an appropriate level of respect for each other and staff.  Bullying is incumbent on all of us to address.


Debra Weston and Catherine Dunn, in the office, go out of their way to assist and welcome visitors.


Preschool Transitions


CQS is fortunate to have a number of quality early childhood centres either in the immediate vicinity or a short distance away.  Pikopiko Clyde Quay Kindergarten is actually within the grounds of the school. Many families find it convenient to have younger siblings at these centres knowing that older brothers or sisters are only a stones throw away at CQS.  This makes transition from preschool to CQS a positive happy experience.


After school care


Technicolour Kids provides a quality, safe and interesting after school care programme. Justine Fletcher a qualified and experienced provider of after school care, heads the programme.  Many parents who work in Wellington City choose Clyde Quay because they know that their children will be well cared for after the school day ends.


Senior School and Secondary Transitions


A feature of CQS is the number of children who come in at years 7 and 8; particularly where parents consider a full primary school experience with less numbers in Y7 and 8 is beneficial to their child.


Year 7 and 8 children are encouraged to take leadership roles and responsibilities in the school; the leadership strand is currently under further development. CQS aims to hone leadership qualities across the senior school.


Children graduating at the top end of CQS generally head off to Wellington East, Wellington College, Wellington High and a number of private secondary schools.  These schools report that CQS students have an excellent reputation for achievement at the secondary level.


City Learning


Wellington City provides a unique teaching resource for CQS.  Children frequently undertake projects at Parliament, Te Papa, city galleries, theatres and museums and the central business district at large.


“Learning-alive” is how we view the city’s resources.  Education inside the school gates becomes real when children see it in action within Wellington.


Arts and Culture Sports and Recreation


CQS has a tradition of valuing the arts and performing arts; parents involved in this area are well utilised; it makes for a rich and vibrant school life.  Dance, music and drama are a part of the senior school programme. School concerts are creative and fun. The school attracts many touring artists and from time to time the school provides space for music tutors to run group classes.


For a school with limited space CQS has a very active sporting side.  All children at CQS receive swimming instruction from the trained personnel at the Kilbirnie Aquatic Centre and 2019 will see an additional provider CitySwim, located at Wellington East Girls College.  School teams compete in a number of local competitions including netball, hockey, softball, rugby, table tennis, mini ball, and more. Parents are actively involved in sports; they coach and organise many sporting events.


Community Support


CQS has a committed and dedicated school board and good community support.  Parents are welcomed to attend Board meetings and are regularly canvassed for opinions on school policies and future directions.  


The CQS strategic plan identifies a number of exciting projects including:

  • further playground development

  • upgrading information technology

  • modernising learning environments

Further Information


If you need more information, and would like to view the school’s ERO Report, or you would like to talk to other parents about CQS, please contact either me or Helen Burnet and Catherine Dunn in the office.


Our phone number is 3850900 and our email address is (

We will be very happy to provide prospective newcomers with the information you need on CQS.


Liz Patara aka Whaea Liz

Tumuaki/ Principal

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