Web Analytics

October 2023

The Primary School in Photographs
Part 3

Early Days in the New Building

Part 3 of the Series

These were exciting times for the staff and children following the move to the new building in Quarry Lane in April 1972. Classrooms with art areas, home bays for meeting in class groups, libraries in the Infants and Junior areas, indoor toilets, a resource room for larger gatherings, and a school hall for Assemblies or PE. All such a joy, as there was nothing like these facilities, in the old, cramped, poorly lit, often cold former school buildings dating from 1863 and 1876.

In this sequence of images I’m illustrating some of these revolutionary changes, starting with a view of the outside of the school with no railings or fence. The public footpath ran from the Village centre, along the stile footpath and through the school grounds to Quarry Lane. The outside of the building had seven porches for the children to shelter at playtime. There were two playgrounds, one for the Juniors 7 - 11 years and another for Infant children 5 - 7 years. The smaller circular infant playground was interesting as it had been built on top of the former farm pond, surrounded by tall Scots pines which were at least 75years old. The new school site had originally been part of Quarry Farm, and was acquired in the 1960’s as a site for a new Cheshire County Primary School. There were still pig sty’s and cattle sheds on the area, before the new building began.

The new building was built of modern fabrics/and brick around a metal construction as can be seen in the September article. The copse of trees still standing to the west of the building near Quarry Lane were rescued by myself with the help of local councillors as we wanted the site to be one that could be used for nature studies and conservation projects. There were a pair of tawny owls nesting on the site in 1974, with a fox earth on the Ring O Bells site adjacent to the school field.

The pictures illustrate some of the early days in the new school, with local newspaper photographs, together with my early images in colour. I hope in the next few months to archive more of these images on this website. This month I include black & white photographs that were taken by the Chronicle photographer, my friend Gerry Lockley together with several images that chronicle the early days in the new building.

Imagine the excitement of having a large hall, to have PE and games including using gymnastic apparatus. The carpet floored main hall was big enough to have assemblies with all 250+ pupils. There was no limit on class sizes when the school opened, and many were over forty pupils in number. Even the small entrance hall had to be used as a classroom in the early years. There was a welcoming open desk for the secretary, to greet parents in the entrance hall, which was adjacent to a large school kitchen. Wow. Meals were made on the premises, and not delivered in “cans” at 9.00am from a central canteen in Ellesmere Port. The caretaker had her own space, and the school had two oil boilers for heating.

The design of new building was called “open plan” where class teachers had their own space, or could work collaboratively with others as a team. It was an extremely good way of creating and building team work, using the strengths or expertise of each other. There were 7 class areas, which included table space for every child, in sets of four. Each class had a small bay, and a moveable storage cabinet for each child to have a drawer for books, pencils and belongings. The classrooms were linked to separate art/water play areas with sinks, a small cooker and cookery area, with places for science and research. Each area was linked to indoor toilets !!!
The walls could be used for the display of children’s work, and also had space for teaching resources. There were portable white boards for the teacher to use, using coloured marker pens. There were no longer black boards with chalk!! Classes no longer had to walk to the Village Playing Fields at Little Heath for football or sporting actvities, although for the first year, whilst the school grounds were being seeded we did use the sports facilities at the High School, including the huge gym, swimming pool, football pitches and athletics track.

The pictures illustrate some of the exciting days; Pictured are visits to St James’ church for a harvest service, to Grosvenor Museum in Chester and working with an archaeologist. There were residential visits to the Delamere and Burwardsley Outdoor Centres. On one of these, children are pictured near the Telford Lock on the canal at Beeston. There were annual visits for year 6 children to The Lake District, staying at YHA Keswick and visiting the Roman Army Museum on Hadrians Wall. You can also see tapestries, created by the older children, who were instructed by Dorothy Colley, a grandmother of several of the children attending the school. We made a point of involving parents in the activities of the classes, listening to reading, helping with art and cookery, assisting on school visits, as well as having a more formal School Parents Association. We also entertained older members of the community, and in these pictures the Christleton Darby & Joan Club are watching a traditional Christleton Mummers Play, in the new Hall, written and produced by the older children.

I was determined from the outset that our new school building was to be a shared facility for the village, and although because of the 3 Day Week and education cuts, we didn’t get the planned joint Village Room and Library as exists, at the Park School Tattenhall, where I was deputy headteacher, we opened the doors to all village organisations who wanted to use these superb new facilities.

  • Christleton Primary School 1973-4

    Christleton Primary School 1973-4

  • CPS Christmas Play Infants

    CPS Christmas Play Infants

  • CPS early 1970's

    CPS early 1970's

  • CPS early 1970's

    CPS early 1970's

  • CPS Christmas Fair 1970's

    CPS Christmas Fair 1970's

  • CPS Assemble 1974

    CPS Assemble 1974

  • CPS Netball team c 1975

    CPS Netball team c 1975

  • CPS Harvest Service 1970's

    CPS Harvest Service 1970's

  • Mummers Play 1977

    Mummers Play 1977

  • Mummers Play 1977

    Mummers Play 1977

  • Village Tapestries

    Village Tapestries

  • Christleton PS Win Conservation Award

    Christleton PS Win Conservation Award

  • Christleton PS visit Grosvenor Museum

    Christleton PS visit Grosvenor Museum

  • Lake District Visit

    Lake District Visit

  • Visit to Roman Army Museum at Carvoran

    Visit to Roman Army Museum at Carvoran

  • Infant Dept New School

    Infant Dept New School

  • The Library

    The Library

  • Home Bay

    Home Bay

  • Art Area

    Art Area

  • Junior Classroom

    Junior Classroom

  • Classrom in Entrance Hall

    Classrom in Entrance Hall

  • School Hall Entrance

    School Hall Entrance

  • Visit to Beeston Lock

    Visit to Beeston Lock

  • Visit to Delamere Forest

    Visit to Delamere Forest

  • Giant puff ball found in the garden

    Giant puff ball found in the garden


Christleton Primry School Part 3

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, analyse site traffic and understand where our audience is coming from.