History of the School

History of Collaton St Mary School

The first Collaton School building was finished in 1866. It was built initially to accommodate 70 children. The school had two classrooms, a small room at the back (which became the computer room and office), for the infants, and the much larger room (class 4) for the older children.

The little room was heated by coal and there was a little stove where they warmed the children's milk on winter days. The heater was said to occasionally smoke out the room, and the children had to be given extra long break-times until the smoke had cleared. There are several entries in the early Manager’s book where there was an urgent need for the chimney to be swept.

Excerpts from the School Log Book

Dec 20th 1904

Mr and Mrs Singer came to the school this morning. Mr Singer gave each child a sixpence and an orange. The Rev: P Lilly thanked Mr Singer on behalf of the children.

May 20th 1910

Closed school because of the funeral of King Edward V11

Jan 6th 1913

We resumed work to-day after the Xmas Vacation.

I have allowed Harry Frost to go into the church for a short time this afternoon to blow the organ for a funeral as there was not a boy out of school to do it.

Oct 13th 1933

1 ton of coal delivered today.

23rd Oct

First weekly delivery of coke -3 cwts-

Reflections of Collaton School

By Mrs Boddington, nee Burge (Headmistress 1934-1963)

When I was appointed as Head Teacher to the school on December 4th 1934 there were 50 children on the books and 3 teachers including myself. The infants used the present Staff Room. One teacher was supplementary, one uncertificated and I was the only qualified one. Most children went home at dinner time, but those from long distances brought sandwiches or pasties and the latter we warmed in a tin stove placed on top of the old stove (which was lit daily) and we also made hot cocoa drinks in Winter. There were about 10 or 12 children who stayed.

In the school field, 1920s with Miss Horsham


I started school in 1918 at the age of five and stayed there until I was 14. The infant teacher was Miss Henrietta Hersham and the Head Mistress Miss Polly Wotten. In the 1920's an extra part was added onto the school, the stones for the extension came from a quarry behind the copse. Dan Sanders brought them down on a slide. The extension wasn't ready for the children to use after the holidays, so the hall was used and divided down the middle by a curtain.

Jack Lang

On warm summer days some lessons were out of doors. We sat on rush mats in the front playground under the trees by the churchyard wall. All of the school attended Church every Thursday. I recall one incident when Eileen Woodrow came to school without her hat; she had to wear a boys cap with the peak at the rear. I assisted the vicar with the communion, I wore boots with steel studs, it was like being on a skating rink attempting to balance on the tiled floor.

Mr Cudlipp

Headteachers
 1866 - Present

1871 Miss Sarah Maria Jenkins

1873 Miss Susannah E Glass

1878 Miss Mary Clegg

1881 Miss Margaret Harding

1897 Miss Jane Penrose

1902 Miss Roberts

1904 Miss Eva May

1905 Miss Jennie Mc Kellen

1905 Mr John G Mabey

1905 Miss E J Symes

1906 Miss Flora V Irwin

1910 Miss Emily Wotton

1924 B M Full

1924 Miss Francis Kissack

1926 Miss Elliot D Williams

1934 Jane Seymour

1934 Miss Vera Burge

1963 Mr Fred Duerden

1970 Mr Frank Bazeley

1988 Mr Philip Mantell

2008 Mrs Penny Millington

2013 Mrs Claire Platt

2015 Mrs Cristy Nelson