St Mary's Primary School Celebrates 200 Years

Current Year 6 pupil Ptolemy Davies looks back at the week of celebrations


St Mary's School
83 Felsham Rd,
Putney, London
SW15 1BA

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I am a pupil at St Mary’s Church of England Primary School in Putney and, being in Year 6, I have learnt a lot about the history of our school, but this report is also about 2019.

2019 is a very exciting year for St Mary’s school as we are celebrating our 200 year anniversary. During this year we have had a very special week called Bicentennial Week and there were many plans in place to help us celebrate.

The school is the oldest of the Parochial and National schools founded in 1819 in a field in the back lanes of Putney. St Mary’s began as a Sunday School at St Mary’s Church, Putney and in 1819 was given its own building close by the church on land donated by Earl Spencer. After several further donations, the first in 1833 by the government, the second in 1867 by a Miss Williams from Wandsworth, the school grew larger.

The school was hit by an incendiary bomb in Word War II and only saved by locals who were drinking in the Half Moon (a local pub). They formed a chain to carry fire buckets to put out the fire. Further buildings were added to the school and today the school consists of eight classrooms, staff offices, an IT suite, a Music room, and Art room. The first ever classroom is now our school hall.

Not only was the building different then but the children’s school days were very different from ours. They went to work at 5am, then to school at 9 am until 5pm and then back to work afterwards. This was stopped in 1918.

Some interesting children have attended St Mary’s School - for example Gordon Goody - one of the Great Train Robbers attended St Mary’s in the 1930s!

St Mary’s has three main aims during its Bicentennial year - to reflect on St Mary’s past, celebrate the present and create a sustainable legacy for St Mary’s future. We are achieving this through lots of celebratory activities, improving the buildings and grounds, linking with the local community and developing legacy projects.

We really enjoyed the last week in February which was our Bicentenary week, when we had a history show, skipping workshops, a history dress up day - where we got to dress up as a famous person who lived during 1819 to 2019. Finally we held a Service of Thanksgiving and Commemoration on Friday 1st March at our church St Mary’s Putney. It was a great week.

Ptolemy Davies

May 3, 2019

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