From early beginnings in 1876 in the raupo residence of Mrs Noble, and a roll of 10, Urenui School had grown to a full primary with over 100 pupils by 1974. Over the years amalgamations, better roads and school busses meant the closure of smaller schools. First the Piko School to Okoki in the 1920's and finally Okoki to Urenui in 1971, Kaipikari (1936), Waiau (1940) and Pukearuhe (1948).

In 1975, with the opening of Manukorihi Intermediate, Urenui then lost its Year 7 and 8 pupils.

Several pupils who have passed through Urenui School have distinguished themselves as adults. One of these pupils, of which the school is very proud of, was Sir Peter Buck KCMG DSO, also known as Te Rangi Hiroa, who went to Te Aute College and Otago University, qualified as a doctor, later becoming Chief Health Officer for Maori and then changed to a scientific career, specialising in anthropology.