School History

The school opened with 204 third-formers at the beginning of February, 1968. Commander D G Bamfield, the Commanding Officer of HMNZS ‘Endeavour’, performed at the opening ceremony in July, 1969. This performance took place on the Saturday nearest to the 201st anniversary of James Cook’s sailing from Plymouth.

The school took its motto ‘Endeavour’ from Captain Cook’s ship. The motto reflects on
how the Captain and his crew persevered through any obstacle to meet their outstanding goal.

Today and throughout its history, James Cook High School’s students and staff safeguard this motto as their own lodestar of success. At James Cook High School, we value:

  • excellence in personal performance
  • high quality teaching and learning
  • continuous improvement, progress, and innovation
  • high standards of behaviour and self-discipline
  • honesty and integrity
  • the richness of our different cultures
  • tolerance and respect for self and others
  • the unique contribution each individual makes to the school

Endeavouring to do one’s best is the focus for all members of the school both in the classroom and outside the classroom.

Students learn the qualities of honesty, personal integrity, and flexible thinking. They also develop a mature, responsible view of their duties to their families, their school, and their country.

As members of the school’s community, our students respect the viewpoints of others. They also care for the welfare of others and they are sensitive to their needs.  The school rules are designed to provide the orderly conditions for these attitudes to develop as fully as possible. James Cook High School students and staff show our purpose and principals every day with words and actions that show:

  • we care
  • we contribute
  • we endeavour
  • we learn

The school aims to provide an interesting, challenging programmes in academia, sports and culture. These programmes motivate students to have a continuing desire to learn and give them a sense of achievement. Our programming also ensures that students begin to acquire the qualities of good citizens. They enjoy quality education that develops the personal excellence of every student.