School Office: 01279 734210

School History


Sheering Church of England Primary School was founded in 1816.

Francis Tutte’s Bequest
Francis Tutte, who had been Rector of Sheering since 1778, on his death in 1815 bequeathed the sum of £105 in new three and a half per cent stock, the interest on which was to provide a school mistress to teach twelve poor girls of Sheering to read, spell and sew.

The first school mistress was Miss Melinda Small. It is not clear where this school was held, but it is known that by 1827, the school had 50 pupils of whom 35 were girls and 15 were boys. Up until the nineteen thirties the interest on the bequest was used to give prizes to girls for sewing and scripture.
Francis Tutte had also been vicar of Henham, a village 12 miles away. He had to preach 13 sermons a year in each parish.

The children would have been taught in one large room, which today is divided into two classrooms. There was a stove in the centre of the room where the teacher stood to keep warm in winter. The most important lessons were the three Rs (reading, writing and arithmetic), religious instruction and needlework. A far cry from the enormous range of activities that take place today. Discipline was absolute. For those who dared to defy it, there was instant punishment. Children were ‘stood in the corner’ or else got the cane.

Attendance at the school was not always good, as even the youngest children were often kept away from school to help with rural activities, especially harvesting. Often the school was closed for periods of about a month because of illnesses such as measles. Pupils paid a penny a week for their schooling and were sent home if they went to school without it. Children often left school at the age of ten.

New Buildings
In 1851 a new school was built in the street for 54 children, probably aged between five and 14 years old. The school was enlarged in 1874 with a school-house and outside conveniences. The school began to receive finance from the government in 1880. A picture of the school in 1931 shows that there was a large garden in front of the school and that a school house was attached to the main building. The parish room was situated on the side of the school.

Wartime Damage
During the Second World War the school was damaged by bombing and children from Sheering attended Churchgate Street Primary School.In 1987 pupils at Sheering School began to wear school uniform.

More Recent Times
In 1966 a large extension was built to the school, which dwarfed the original cramped building. Pupils no longer had to troop into the Parish Room next door to eat their meals, as the school now had a new kitchen and a hall. Instead of the old outdoor closets, children were able to use indoor toilets. Full central heating was introduced and oil-fired boilers provided hot water. A school house, where, in the past, headteachers had lived, was demolished to make way for a wide drive. The school now had 102 pupils. Newspapers at the time reported on the extension

A staff room, built to match the Victorian building of 1851, was built at the back of the school in 1997. This has enabled the old staffroom to be converted to offices for the Head Teacher and the School Business Manager.

Centenary Celebrations
The first school log book had been started in 1879 and a hundred years later on February 3rd 1979, this centenary was celebrated in style, with all the pupils and staff dressing up in Victorian costume. one of the visitors to the afternoon’s entertainment was May Lambert, who as May Brown had started attending the school in 1908. At fourteen she became a pupil-teacher for which she was paid about eight shillings a month. A special centenary cake was baked and all the children were given a piece to take home.

In 2004 a well equipped computer suite was added at the rear of the school. Lately a programme of redecoration and refurbishment has provided carpets, new classroom furniture, kitchen equipment, interactive whiteboards and a fresh look for the school hall. Future plans include replacing the demountable which houses the library, with a permanent building to be called the Hays Library to celebrate the 31 years of service given to the school by ex-headteacher Philip Hays.

Contact details:

Reception - Mrs Z.Steel

Telephone: 01279 734210

Head Teacher - Mrs L. Brittaine

Telephone: 01279 734210

Sendco - Mrs S. Billett

Telephone: 01279 734210

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