About Us

Vision Statement:

“Ma te huruhuru ka rere te manu” - Adorn the bird with feathers and it will fly.

Strategic Drivers 2024 – 2025:

  • Manaakitanga - The creation of an innovative forward thinking curriculum with the akonga/students at the centre so that school leavers will be ready.
  • Angitu - Freyberg High School will build the ability for all akonga/students to walk competently in both Maori and Pakeha world's.
  • Rangatiratanga - ​​​​Freyberg High School akonga/students will be guided towards being global citizens.
  • Kaitiakitanga - Participation and success in activities out of the classroom will be encouraged and celebrated.


The Salamander

The Salamander (lizard-like amphibian) has been adopted as Freyberg High School’s logo.

The salamander has a reputation for being able to survive the heat of a fire.

​​​​​​​The Salamander and Freyberg

The Salamander was chosen as a mascot for the school as this was a nickname given to Bernard Freyberg by Winston Churchill during the second world war. Churchill referred to Lt General Freyberg VC as “My Salamander”, because he could repeatedly go into the cauldron of battle, be wounded and live to go back out to war again, like the salamander who can live in fire. This is why our school magazine is called the Salamander.

Achievements of Lt General Freyberg:

Imagine you are 26 years old. You are on a ship in the Aegean between Turkey and Greece. British troops are about to launch an attack on Turkey but decided it would be a good idea to light flares on a beach 2kms from where they intend to actually attack to create a diversion. The flares are placed in a small raft and a volunteer is asked for to swim to shore, towing this raft and set up the flares. It is 3.5km to shore. That is 150 lengths of our community pool towing a raft. Freyberg volunteered. He not only set off the flare but then swan the 3.5km back to the ship.

This is the man our school is named after:

  • Born in England but brought to New Zealand by his parents when he was 2 years old.
  • New Zealand School’s swimming champion.
  • A man who trained to be a dentist before war forced him to take another path.
  • Became the youngest general in the British Army in World War 1.
  • Commanded the New Zealand expedition in World War 2.
  • Wounded 9 times in the first and second world wars. He won the Victoria Cross for bravery. He was awarded the rank of Lieutenant General.
  • He came New Zealand’s first New Zealand raised Governor General in 1946 and made a Baron in 1951.
  • When a new High School was built in Palmerston North in 1955 it was named after him.
  • He also wrote a book on wine.

Freyberg’s first Principal; Harry Craig visited Bernard Freyberg in England and recalls that he was well up with school news and read all of the school newsletters at the time.


Freyberg High School was opened in 1955 by Clarance Beeby in Palmerston North. The school was named after theleader of New Zealand’s World War II armed forces; Lieutenant General Bernard Freyberg.


The suburb of Roslyn and the Freyberg school roll had both risen substantially. By this stage the school proudly boasted a full length pool, technology block, library, and gymnasium also named after Lord Freyberg.


A special needs centre, additional gymnasium and joint community indoor pool are added. Further classrooms were also constructed to accommodate the school's growing roll