Thank you to Sopwell Memories for sharing these wonderful memories with us.
The original St. Peter's Schools were in Old London Road and have since been converted into residential accommodation. The foundation stone can still be seen.
St. Peter's Infant School was for children from two to seven years old and was one large room at the west of the old building. The church school was an adjacent room about 40' x 20' and catered for children over seven. Both schools opened on 29th September 1851 and soon had 120 and 160 on roll.
A Mistress assisted by Pupil Teachers and Monitors staffed each of the Schools. A child could become a Pupil Teacher at the age of 13, and received tuition from her Mistress while teaching for a maximum of 25 hours per week.
Children served a five-year apprenticeship as a Pupil Teacher. In 1872 attendance a the Infant School was about 130 in the one room without dividing partitions or curtains. Boys in the Church School were transferred to Christ Church School in January 1893 and from then on it became a girls' school.
The two St. Peter's Schools were combined in 1931 to form St. Peter's Primary School (JM & I), still in the two original large rooms. The senior girls (over 11 years) were sent to other schools. Another School, Priory Park, had been built alongside the eastern end of St. Peter's in 1901 to cater for boys over 7 years old.
The next landmark came after the last war, when St. Peter's ceased to be a Church of England School and became a County Primary. Shortly after that, St. Peter's took over the Priory Park building in 1953 when that School went to St. Julian's Secondary (now Marlborough). The present school site was acquired in 1968 and had previously been used as a playing field. Finally, the School moved into the present building in Cottonmill Lane on 31st January 1975 and opened the new Nursery Department on Monday 3rd February 1975.
Our school has thus served the community here for well over a hundred years, growing and developing as the world has changed. In 1851 education had to be paid for week by week by the lucky minority who went to school at all. We look forward to helping all children to a full and fruitful life and towards another century of serving the young people of St. Albans.
More information about the History of St Peter's School and many more Sopwell Memories can be found at http://www.sopwellmemories.org.uk/