Our story

A special New Zealand high school steeped in tradition

Our Special Character | TŌ MĀTAU MANA MOTUHAKE

Woodford House is a Special Character New Zealand high school. As an Anglican community founded on Christian principles and values, our Special Character education shapes the head, heart and hands of every member of our learning community. We are an interdenominational school closely affiliated to the Anglican church within the Diocese of Waiapu under their 16th Bishop, Andrew Hedge.

Click link to learn more about “Understanding the Special Character of an Anglican School

As we are an Anglican School, Chaplains and Senior Leadership Teams from Te Aute, Hukarere and Woodford House schools are growing faith-based and Māori connections through shared visits.

Our beautiful chapel lies at the physical and spiritual heart of Woodford House. We are privileged to have a full-time Chaplain, Reverend Raewyn Hedge, who leads weekly services for all students and supports our girls to explore their own faith and spirituality.

Steeped in Tradition

Woodford House opened in 1894 with 22 students and five teachers.

On 22-24 February 2019, Woodford House proudly celebrated 125 years of educating young women. The school marked this significant milestone with a weekend of celebrations and welcomed home over 900 Old Girls, former staff, board members, parents and friends.

To mark this important milestone, the school commissioned the Woodford House documentary. Produced by Woodford House Old Girl, Kate Fraser and her husband Graham Ritchie, the documentary traces the history of Woodford House from its founding in 1894 by Mabel Annie Hodge to the present day.

The film features many candid interviews with staff, students and principals, past and present, as well as a large selection of archival footage sourced from around the country. Kate and Graham have worked their magic to create a compelling and insightful artefact for Woodford House, with plenty of Old Girl humour.

Today we have a roll of over 350 students and a dedicated team of exceptional staff. Woodford House is a Special Character girls only boarding and day school that provides every student with an exceptional education and endless opportunities, allowing her to be the best she can be.

Our founder Mabel Hodge
Woodford House was first build in 1911

Our Founder

Mabel Annie Hodge, the founding Principal of Woodford House, opened the school in Dr Hamilton’s old home on the corner of St Aubyn and Market streets in Hastings. There were 18 day girls and four boarders, and her philosophy was the “hand, body and brain must be developed together.” The basic ingredients of the Woodford House education, established over a century ago, are still true today.

Miss Hodge, a gifted teacher, was a woman with foresight and drive. In 1911, Miss Hodge relocated the school to the hills of Havelock North and opened a new school with 60 boarders. The hall and dining room used today are part of the original building. These have been added to over the years with an extensive range of facilities. The grounds have also been landscaped to maximise the 18-hectares that overlooks the Heretaunga Plains.

The foundational vision of Miss Hodge and the school’s founders has enabled us and will continue to equip us to provide best practice in girls’ education.

Pre-Enrol at

Woodford House

Click here to register your interest and place your daughter’s name on the pre-enrolment list for Woodford House