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Heritage

A brief school history

Creating our new art and community building involved looking at old plans of Drayton Park and taking soil samples This revealed that a row of Victorian houses once stood where the school does now. When Mr. Parrott became headteacher, he found a number of old school records in his office, some of which went back as far as 1927. One of these was a punishment book recording past canings!

 

All this piqued our interest in the history of the school. One of our governors, Andrew Myer, put in lots of effort researching the school’s past and after a few false starts, we found this:

 

In 'Islington: Education', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 8: Islington and Stoke Newington parishes (1985), pp. 117-135, it says,

 

DRAYTON PK. PRIMARY, Drayton Pk., Holloway. Opened 1860 as Highbury Wesleyan School for Boys and Girls in room under church. Financed by school pence (4d.), voluntary contributions, parliamentary grants from 1866. Roll 1860: 58 boys and 27 girls. New building 1866 for boys, girls and infants; average attendance 125 boys, 45 girls, 60 infants. Roll 1871: 161 boys, 135 girls, 132 infants; 1878 accommodation 578, average attendance 433. Voluntary school in 1906 but taken over by L.C.C. and renamed Drayton Park council school by 1908 with same accommodation. Reorganised 1927 for 240 junior mixed, 260 infants in separate departments in new building. Junior mixed and infants amalgamated 1966. Nursery opened 1980 in part of infant accommodation. Roll 1982: 200 junior mixed and infants.”


This raises lots of historical questions! What was 'school pence?' Why is 'school pence' written as '4d', and not '4p?' What is a 'Wesleyan' church? What was the 'L.C.C.?' What happened to the juniors and infants when they 'amalgamated' in 1966? Maps show that the entrance block, clearly an addition to the older building, was in place by 1967.
 

We have also now found pictures of the chapel where the school started, in Victorian times, a little further down the road; the purpose-built building it moved into in 1866; and also its new home, on our present site, which it moved to in 1927 (see below). For a fuller story of the school, with maps and more illustrations, click on the document below called ‘Drayton Park School - its history’. Or if you want to dig into some of the school’s archives, try:

  • the school punishment book, 1929-54
  • extracts from the school’s Log Book, 1927-1975
  • Louisa Anderson's remarkable school history topic, 1995
  • a letter to Louisa Anderson from Frank Brereton, a teacher at the school from 1948 to 1991, describing his time here
  • or a copy of the Friends of Drayton Park newsletter from 1978


We hope soon to run a project in school on the history of Drayton Park, and publish our findings here on the website. If you would like to see any of our old records or if you have any information to add to Drayton Park’s history, please do contact us. We are also planning to set up a website page with people’s memories of Drayton Park school, so if you were a pupil or teacher here and would like to share your reminiscences, please email them to us with the title ‘school memories’.

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