The site the school occupies is near an early Maori pa site, an old British barracks and a settlers graveyard. Many of the descendants of the families buried here still attend Pauatahanui School.
The school started in 1855 in a private home, moving a couple of years later to the local chapel. In 1860, a small corrugated iron school was built with materials from the former soldiers' barracks.
Increasing rolls meant a "new" school was built in 1939 and that building is incorporated into the present day school structures.
Pupil enrolment of 34 recorded in November 1899 has expanded to 200 present day.
Even the School bell has an interesting history. It was purportedly salvaged from the barque Tyne which was wrecked at the entrance to Wellington Harbour in 1868. The School highly values its rich historical past.
During World War II the school began holding an annual Calf Club Day, originally to teach children the importance of self sufficiency. Later an increase in the number of lifestyle blocks in the area saw more and more children entering livestock into what had become the Lamb and Calf Day. The Lamb and Calf day has become a very important date in the local calendar and involves every school family.
The size of the school and the quality relationships that exist at all levels fosters a community feeling and an atmosphere of inclusion, co-operation and respect. The school has a very active and supportive Board of Trustees that work together for the benefit of every child.