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Great Oaks From Little Acorns Grow

History of St Pauls

History of St Paul’s Primary School


St Paul’s National School was opened in Park Lane in 1857.  A Treasury Grant was made of £776 towards the total cost of £1900.  255 boys and girls and 103 infants attended the school.


Mr E Thurston was Head of the Boys Dept, Miss A Birkbeck Headmistress of the Girls and Miss M Snowden Head of the Infants.


The annual budget was £113 per year; the Headmaster was paid £45, the Headmistress £30 and the Infants Headmistress £20 leaving just £18 for heating, lighting, equipment, furniture and cleaning.


In 1921 the Boys and Girls Departments merged and in 1926 St Paul’s became a county council school.  In 1927 St Paul’s was designated an infants school and pupils at 8 years of age were transferred to nearby Ivy Lane and children under the age of 8 from Ivy Lane were transferred to St Paul’s.


In 1946 Miss Olliver retired after being head of the Infants for over 35 years.


Before moving to its current site at The Oaks in September 1973 the school existed on 2 premises - the main building was in Park Lane and the annexe was in Greenway Lane.Each building accommodated 3 years of infants and 1 year of first year juniors.


What did pupils think of their time at St Paul’s? 

St Paul’s Primary School, Park Lane, Chippenham - 1937


Rosemary attended in the 1960’s and she remembers having to march in and out of assembly to music by Beethoven.  She enjoyed the Christmas Bazaar, her mum used to knit woolly brooches for it and Rosemary felt particularly proud to see other children wearing them.


Hazel attended in the 1970’s, she had to do PE in her underwear on a cold day because she forgot her PE kit and her mum was not very impressed.  Hazel also remembers the golden pheasants that were kept in an aviary.  She also recalls the warm milk that had to be drunk under sufferance.


Jonathan remembers the hot summer of 1976 when the milk kept going off.  Also the swimming pool that was always cold.


Andy also attended in the 1970’s and can recall the birds of prey models in the hall that were used for house points – he reckons it was a 70’s version of the national lottery.  He also says it was a sad day at the school when British Bulldogs was banned in the playground because it was too violent, they had to resort to hide and seek after that!


Country dancing... Maypole dancing…What can you remember?