THE THIRD DECADE

1980: (Year 21)

  • Administrational changes took place as the "schools within a school" system reverted back to one school with 4 houses- Atkinson, Barrett, Darnell & Richmond.
  • Room A5 set-up as a specialist Physical Education room.
  • On 13th March, the Old Pupil's Association was formed with Patron-Mr. Thomas, Chairman Ross Fraser, and Secretary Adrienne Harris.
  • Summer(March) and winter(late-June) sports exchanges continue with Freyberg HS and Tawa College with Te Awamutu(Rugby) and Glenfield College (North Shore) new ones.
  • Sports teams:- Boys' & Girls' Cricket, Indoor Basketball, and Volleyball; 7 Netball; Rugby; and Soccer. 
  • Music:- The Brass Band and Concert Band had a successful year including the cultural visit to Tawa. The debating trophy was won by Tawa.
  • On 24th March, two bus loads of Geography students left for a 5-day field trip to the Heretaunga Plains, Hawkes Bay. They were billeted by Karamu HS students.
  • On 2nd July there was a 6-day Geography trip to Sydney.
  • On 29th-30th July 24 seventh form students spent a two day visit to Massey University.
  • The Tramping Club has many tramps plus a Snowcraft course.
  • Major production - "Burn-Up".
  • In September Mr. George Procter who was a foundation teacher retired after 21 years on the staff. 

1981: (Year 22)

  • Concrete ramps installed for wheelchair students
  • 6th form Computer Studies course introduced.
  • Summer sports exchanges with Freyberg (home) and Tawa (away). Warren Johns scores 113 against Tawa College.
  • Winter sports exchanges with Freyberg and Tawa and Napier BHS (Rugby).
  • Sports teams: Cricket; 5 Boys' and 7 Girls' Basketball teams; Girls' Hockey; 10 Netball; 4 Rugby; 3 Boys' Soccer; 
  • Cultural visit by Tawa with Spotswood winning the Debating Cup and Tonia Haskell the cup for best speaker award.
  • Interact Club active with 40 members.
  • Strong Maori Culture Club with 39 members.
  • 36 students do the OPC course and 26 7th form students do the Tongariro trip.
  • Marie Haskell attends Spirit of Adventure course.
  • The Tramping Club hold many day tramps and 2 overnight  tramps.  

1982: (Year 23)

  • Strong Maori Culture Club with 36 members.
  • Jonathan Purdy attends Spirit of Adventure course.
  • Sports teams: 2 Boys' & 1 Girls Cricket; 1 Boys' & 1 Girls' Hockey, Boys' & Girls' Volleyball; 11 Netball; 4 Rugby; 3 Soccer; Girls' Softball.
  • Spotswood College Soccer Club AGM recommends that we amalgamate with the Moturoa Soccer Club so as to encompass the junior players from Spotswood Primary, Devon Intermediate and Spotswood College all under the one 'flag' in 1983. All coaching in 1982 was provided at the Moturoa grounds.
  • Winter sports exchanges with Freyberg(away) and Tawa.
  • Music: Concert Band, Orchestra and String Orchestra active. Mr. Alan Purdy the HOD Music resigns.
  • I.S.C.F. group is active.
  • Cultural trip to Tawa with Spotswood winning the debating cup and Donna Leong as joint winner of the best speaker cup.
  • The 22 members of the Interact Club raised funds for several local projects.
  • 7th form students do the annual Tongariro trip.

1983: (Year 24)

  • The end of the Sixth form accrediting for University Entrance.
  • The extension to the front of the Library takes place.
  • The site for the Swimming pool is decided and fund-raising gets underway.
  • Major production:- Musical "The Seven".
  • Cultural visit from Tawa who won the Debating Cup.
  • Music:- Mr. Barry Bradshaw appointed as HOD Music. Orchestra and Choir have a successful year.
  • A small I.S.C.F. group is active.
  • Monday 13th June: A group of 83 5th form Geography & History students leave for a 5-day field trip to Auckland.
  • Dorothy McArthur attends Spirit of Adventure course.
  • Inaugural Taranaki Science Fair is held.
  • The Moturoa-Spotswood Junior Soccer Club now underway.
  • Sports teams:- 3 Boys' & 5 Girls' Basketball teams; Boys' & Girls' Cricket; Boys' & Girls' Hockey; 4 Rugby; 3 Soccer; Girls' Softball; Boys' & Girls' Volleyball;
  • Summer sports visits:- 6th March we visited Tawa College for Cricket;  while on 21st March, Freyberg HS visited us for Cricket and Tennis.
  • Winter exchange with Freyberg: Home was Badminton, B Netball, 1st XI Soccer, Girls' A Hockey. Away were: 1st XV Rugby, A Netball, Boys' Hockey, Girls' Volleyball.
  • Mr. Alec Hutchinson retires after 20 years as the Deputy Principal (1964-1983). He will be a great loss to the administration of the College.

1984: (Year 25)

  • Whole school took part in the Spirit of New Zealand raffle raising $11,000 for the Pool project. An application is made to the Taranaki United Council for an energy development grant.
  • Spotswood raises $3130 for World Vision:40-hour famine.
  • Tuesday 26th June: Two bus loads of  5th form Geography & History students leave for a 4-day field trip to Auckland.
  • Sunday 15th July: 44 students leave for an OPC course at Turangi.
  • Michael Gallon attends Spirit of Adventure course.
  • Major production:- "Trial By Jury".
  • A relatively successful year for the debating team, although Tawa won both cups.
  • Music:- Concert Band(27), Orchestra(20) and Choir(42) enjoyed a successful year including a trip to Tawa. 
  • Sports teams:- 3 Boys' and 3 Girls' Basketball; 5 Boys' & 1 Girls' Cricket; Golf; 2 Boys' & 1 Girls' Hockey;11 Netball; 5 Rugby; Girls' Softball; Boys' & Girls' Volleyball;
  • Summer sports exchange at Freyberg for Cricket and Tennis. On 5th March, Tawa College visited us with Harvey Mason taking 6 wickets for 23 runs.
  • Winter sports exchanges Tuesday 19th June Freyberg home(A Netball, Rugby) and away (1st XI Soccer, Badminton, B Netball and Girls Hockey). 

1985: (Year 26)

  • A fund-raising campaign starts in an attempt to raise $110,000 to cover the swimming pool and build changing rooms.
  • Three long serving staff retire. Mr. Alan Page HOD English after 25 years (1961-1985); Mr. Peter Chapple HOD Science after 18 years (1968-1985), and Mr. Doug Ball HOD Mathematics & Physics after 17 years (1969-1985).
  • Spotswood raises $3300 for World Vision:40-hour famine.
  • The Interact Club was involved in several projects.
  • 40 students leave for an OPC course at Turangi. 
  • Graeme Staddon attends the Spirit of Adventure course.
  • College Maori Culture group formed.
  • I.S.C.F changes its name to Christians In Action (CIA) discussed many subjects during the year.
  • In June, two mini-buses of 7th form Geography & History students took part in a field trip to Rotorua, Kawerau, and Te Puke.
  • Major production:- Musical "HMS Pinafore".
  • Tawa won the Debating cup while Debra Wyatt won the best speaker cup.
  • Music:- Choir(40), Concert Band(24) and Orchestra(19) all had another eventful year.
  • Summer sports exchanges:- Tawa (away) for Boys' and Girls' Cricket, and mixed tennis and Freyberg (home) for Cricket and Tennis. Against Tawa Michael Howson scored 101 while Brett Coombe took 7 wickets for 69 runs. Against a very young Freyberg team, Brett Coombe took 7 wickets for 11 runs, and Shane McAuley 7 wickets for 25 runs.
  • Sports teams: 2 Boys' & 4 Girls' Basketball; 1 Girls' & 4 Boys' Cricket; Cycling; 1 Boys' & 2 Girls' Hockey; 14 Netball (a record); 4 Rugby; 5 Boys' and our first ever Girls' Soccer team; Boys' and Girls' Volleyball.

1986: (Year 27)

  • The Interact Club had a good turn out and  participated in several fund raising activities.
  • Spotswood raises close to $3000 for World Vision:40-hour famine.
  • I.S.C.F. is active with 20 members.
  • 20th March:- Sixth form student Helen Barrett swam Cook Strait (26-30km) from south to north in 6 hours 34 minutes the second fastest time ever swum by a woman.
  • 42 students take part in the annual OPC trip to Turangi
  • Kyle Beggs attends the Spirit of Adventure course.
  • The Senior Thursday afternoon programme "Newspaper" options class interviewed the Prime Minister Rt.Hon David Lange.
  • Music:- Choir(37), Band(32) and a small Orchestra all had another eventful year.
  • The Debating Club was active particularly the junior and intermediate teams.
  • The annual Cultural exchange with Tawa was cancelled.
  • Maori Culture group has 19 members.
  •  Summer sports exchange in Cricket and Tennis with Tawa was held.
  • Sports teams: 4 Boys' & 5 Girls' Basketball; 1 Girls' & 4 Boys' Cricket; Cycling; 1 Boys' & 2 Girls' Hockey; 16 Netball (a new record); 4 Rugby; 5 Boys' and 1 Girls' Soccer team; Boys' & Girls' Volleyball.
  • Winter sports exchanges: First XV Rugby played Te Awamutu College and Hillcrest HS, First XI Soccer played Freyberg HS.

1987: (Year 28)

  • The roll for 1987 is 1056.
  • For the first time ion approx 75 years, New Plymouth does not have a multi-school board. In August all 3 high schools established separate independent boards.
  • In February, TOPEC (Taranaki Outdoor Pursuits & Educational Centre) that Mr. Phil Gayton(P.E.staff) had spent 4 years establishing was opened with 30 Spotswood College students taking the very first 5-day course.
  • In late-February, the Principal Mr. E.E. Thomas is stood down and then resigns on 6th May. The deputy-Principal Mr. Barry Finch served as acting Principal and was subsequently appointed as the 3rd Principal of the College.          
  • Spotswood sells "Four Leaf Clover Stickers" for the Multiple Sclerosis Society as a fund-raiser.
  • Jennifer Smart, Michael Sharp, Mark Dines and Collette Wilson all attend a Spirit of Adventure course.
  • 40 students take part in the annual OPC trip to Turangi
  • Tragedy strikes Spotswood when a one-year Rotary exchange student-Monica Backman from Sweden was killed in a car accident on Monday 30th October.
  • The inaugural Sports Awards function was held in the assembly hall on Wednesday 23rd September with Sally Hale taking out the supreme award- the Sportsperson of the Year for 1987.
  • The First XV Rugby team played games against Tamaki College(Auckland) and 2 visiting overseas teams from Canberra(Australia) and Vancover(Canada).
  • Sports teams: Boys' & Girls' Basketball; 1 Girls' & 4 Boys' Cricket;1 Boys' & 2 Girls' Hockey; 14 Netball; 4 Rugby; Boys' & Girls' Volleyball.
  • Summer sports exchange to Freyberg for Cricket and Tennis teams.
  • The 1st XV Rugby team host a team from Lord Byng Secondary School in Vancover, Canada.
  • Physical Education teacher Mr. Phil Gayton is awarded a New Plymouth City Council "Citizen's Award" for outstanding contributions to the community.
  • The most significant event of the year was the retirement of Miss Janet Grant who had been the senior mistress for 21 years. Miss Grant was a person of such outstanding characteristics of dedication and high ideals. Many generations of pupils owe her a tremendous debt of gratitude.

1988: (Year 29)

  • The roll for 1988 is 1167. There was an increase in returning seniors due to the current economic downturn.
  • A development plan for the next 10-15 years has been put in place.
  • The Taranaki Savings Bank give a cheque for $20,000 towards the covering of the Pool project.
  • The Environmental committee raises $2,500 towards the gully area.
  • 14th September the Taranaki Cycle helmet campaign is launched.
  • Three senior teachers announce their retirements:- Mrs. Martha Morgan after 15 years of service, Mrs Elsa Sutcliffe after 20 years, and Mr. John Lovell the HOD English after 23 years.
  • Tuesday 8th March: Cyclone Bola closes all New Plymouth schools.
  • Senior debating team of 9 held debates against local high schools.
  • Maori Culture group of 22. This group combined with NPBHS and NPGHS to form "Whanau Te Reo O Taranaki" and won the Korimoko O Aotearoa (the bellbird of Aotearoa) trophy.
  • To celebrate universal Children's Day Mr. Chivers set up a United Nations general Assembly in the hall. Fifty 4th form students from all local secondary schools took part with each representing a country as their "Ambassador".
  • 2 students participate in the 10-day Spirit of New Zealand course.
  • Students take part in the annual OPC trip to Turangi
  • Music: String Orchestra, Senior and Junior Concert Bands, Senior and Junior Choirs. The choirs participated in the regional series of the NZ Choral Federations secondary schools competition.
  • Sport: First XI Soccer team beat FDMC 1st XI 1-0. Fraser HS from Hamilton visits.Senior A Basketball Girls' won a minor North Island tournament in Auckland.
  • Sports teams: 6 Boys' & 7 Girls Basketball; Boys' & Girls' Cricket; 2 Girls' Hockey; 13 Netball; Rugby; Boys' & Girls' Volleyball;
  • The all-encompassing Department of Education is broken down into 6 separate agencies.

1989: (Year 30)

  • The start of the Ministry of Education (MOE), and the introduction of "Tomorrow's Schools".
  • The roll for 1989 is 1248, with predictions that in 1990 it will peak between 1200 and 1300 with a gradual decrease in 3rd form roll numbers over the next few years. 
  • The building upgrading programme began with painting of B Block, the "Plaza" in the quad and the planting of some trees.
  • Kristin Holm is selected from lower North island school to attend a two-week science summer school in Canberra, Australia.
  • In the August holidays, 13 students and staff had a 10-day trip to Australia.
  • Music: String Orchestra, Concert Band, and Choir.
  • The Debating Club held a number of debates during the year including one against Fraser HS (Hamilton).
  • Major production - "The King and I".
  • Students take part in the annual OPC trip to Turangi
  • Maori Culture group of 30. This group combined with NPBHS and NPGHS to form "Whanau Te Reo O Taranaki" and were placed 4th in NZ. They won the Taranaki regionals in September.
  • Sports teams: 8 Boys' & 8 Girls Basketball; Boys' & Girls' Cricket; Boys' & Girls' Hockey; 10 Netball; Rugby; Boys' & Girls' Volleyball;
  • The Equestrian committee developed a 21 jump cross country course between the Top field and the Omata Road fields to host the Taranaki Secondary Schools one-day event.
  • The Soccer 1st XI had inter-school games against Hawera HS, Wellington HS(both at home) and Fraser HS (away).