History

Chilton Saint James School was founded in 1918 by Miss Geraldine FitzGerald. Lower Hutt was chosen as the wartime location as it was considered a safer environment than Wellington's exposed city centre.

CSJ_Regular-Seal_WhiteThe suburban campus has ideal facilities with expansive playing fields, an outdoor swimming pool and growth space for future development of facilities.

Our campus is laid out across various period and modern buildings, all of which are named after important people in our  history. The latest addition in 2010, the Greenwood Building was opened by the Honourable John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand, and the Right Reverend Dr Thomas Brown, Bishop of Wellington. The building is itself named after Elizabeth Greenwood, a friend of Miss FitzGerald and a leading figure in fundraising for the School’s establishment.

The learning hub for the whole school and used by all students from Preschool to year 13, is the library. This is situated in the Greenwood Building and is named after Nesta Mason, the second Principal of Chilton.

Another focal point of the School is the Jubilee Centre, built in our 75th (Jubilee) year and housing a large multi-purpose gymnasium space used for teaching Physical Education and other uses such as concerts, shows, sports matches and assemblies, combined with a theatre used for dance and drama classes.

Each year the year 13 School Council raises funds for charity and to fund their own projects within the School. A good example of the kind of legacies they choose to invest in is the sculpture ‘Reference Point‘ commissioned by year 13 in 2008. Wellington artist Cathryn Monro created it to showcase the different elements of the School Crest, our motto ‘Possumus’ (We are able), and silhouettes of past and present students, staff and trustees to reflect the 2008 School Council theme of ‘Come Together’.

IMG_0229edPrevious School Council Projects:

  • 2013 House Garden
  • 2012 Ceremonial Cross
  • 2011 Pilgrims’ Way Garden
  • 2010 House Boards
  • 2009 Leaver’s Scholarship
  • 2008 Library Foyer Sculpture
  • 2007 St James Church Hall Safety Fence
  • 2006 House Mascot Costumes
  • 2005 Trophy Cabinet (JC Foyer)
  • 2004 Flag Poles
  • 2003 Knights Road Pergola

We are also lucky to benefit from donations and bequests from time to time, with one such donation helping to build the Greenwood Building. The Helen Watt Memorial Science Laboratory is named after an Old Girl who attended Chilton from 1939 – 1948. Helen, a keen student of science, left a bequest to the Chilton Old Girls’ Association who in turn have donated it to the School.

Learn more

Until the late 1970’s, Chilton catered for boarders however we are now a day school only. The Chilton Historical Trust wrote a comprehensive book in 1993 that details many personal accounts and photos from Old Girls, recounting their memories from their time at Chilton as boarders. To purchase one of the few remaining copies of ‘Chilton Saint James – A Celebration of 75 years’, contact our Archivist, Sue Blundell.