THE HISTORY OF THE SCHOOL
According to a directory, of 1895, the Board School at Renishaw was erected in 1873, “for 180 boys and girls and 80 infants”. The average attendance was 170 boys and girls and 64 infants.
The history of Renishaw School towards the end of the nineteenth century is recorded in the Infant Department Log book with the first entry dated Friday, 12th March 1875, when an examination was held in the afternoon, by Her Majesty’s Inspectors with the school managers being present.
In the early years, the weather tended to determine the attendance figures. Holidays were also different from those of today. In that year of 1875, the Harvest holidays lasted from 12th August to 13th September.
On the 3rd August 1876, the headteacher, Miss A Brown left and Miss Harriet Stickley took over. Over the next decade headteachers came and went. (One interesting point – Christmas 1878 – each child received an orange and a few nuts). By January, 1888, the heating had been rearranged and additional piping put in so that the school was heated by hot water. The system not surprisingly, suffered badly during spells of severe cold weather.
Another major factor which affected attendance was illness, as can be testified by the entry for May, 1895, when the school was closed for three weeks, owing to an outbreak of measles. By the 1890’s the numbers in school were rising. It was also a period during which fees were paid.
The school would close for national celebrations and occasions. This was the case on 22nd and 23rd June 1897, when Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee was celebrated.
In 1906, the school was six weeks late in opening after the summer holidays owing to alterations (window enlarged, new floors put in etc.) On opening, the school was so damp that parents refused to send their children!
Other interesting observations for the turn of the century include magic shows held on Tuesday nights, the school photographer visiting school, parents fined five shillings for children’s irregular attendance and on one summer day, the temperature being so high, the floors were watered and disinfected to cool the air.
By now the school had transferred from being a Board School to a Council School. 1916 was a year of change. On 28th July, Mr Henry Griffiths left after serving as headteacher for thirty six years and on 28th August; Percy Gill commenced his duties as headteacher. Moreover in the year, the different departments merged and catered for children from infancy to the age of fourteen. During the years of the Great War, Red Cross ambulances called to collect gifts, known as “comforts”, for wounded soldiers.
Two dates of interest from the year 1925 were 3rd November, when the County Lending Library took up residence in school on Tuesdays between 6pm and 7pm and 24th December, when school reports were introduced for the older children.
In 1928, Hallidays of Staveley erected a practical woodwork room. The material used came from Stonebroom and Shuttlewood where old schools had been demolished.
On 29th June, the first annual school sports for the area were contested.
In December, 1932 Percy Gill left to take up an appointment as Headteacher at Clowne
Boys School and in April 1933, Herbert Seston became the new headteacher. Just before Christmas of that same year, the football team was started and fitted out with full equipment. The first match was against Camms Endowed School and the result – 3-1 victory.
In September, 1936, the school year changed to coincide with the Secondary School’s academic year. This meant a September start.
On 30th June 1937 Mr Seston left and the following day, James Richards took over as temporary headteacher, a post which was to become permanent. On 4th October of the same year “milk in schools” was inaugurated. Clowne Co-operative Society supplied 550 x 1/3rd pt. of milk in the first week.
February, 1938 saw the electricians arrive to wire the school ready for the introduction of electric lighting and on 26th April, the Staveley Electric Company Ltd. connected the power supply to the schoolhouse and school. Electric lighting at last!
On the outbreak of the Second World War. The senior children at Barlborough School travelled to Renishaw School. Forty-five attended in the morning and the same number in the afternoon. They alternated this arrangement on a weekly basis. The reason for this action was the military personnel were occupying Barlborough School at the time. On 2nd January, 1940 part of Renishaw School was likewise occupied by the military but lessons continued as usual after the Christmas holidays. In February, the Barlborough children returned to their own school following the military’s vacating of the premises.
On 21st April, 1942 the “blacking” of the whole school occurred in preparation for its use as a rest centre. Finally 8th May (V.E.day) saw the school as one of the main focal points for celebrations. Villagers thronged into the playground for dancing and community singing.
On 27th February, 1950 the G.P.O. installed the school telephone and in July of the same year, the Queen passed through Renishaw en route to and from Renishaw Hall.
In 1951, building alterations were carried out in that the boys’ classroom became the headteacher’s room and a partition was erected in the infants’ room.
Other dates from the 1950’s include:
August 1954 – the school re-opened as a primary school
March 1955 – work started on a new classroom on the school garden
October 1955 – the Hospital Hall used as an additional classroom (this lasted for one year).
September 1957 – senior children now transferred to Westfield School.
February 1962 – during the infamous gales of the month, the school was partially damaged.
April 1964 – the terrapin classroom was erected.
April 1966 – swimming instruction at Ringwood Baths commenced.
In July, 1973, – Mr Richards retired and Mr Bland was appointed acting headteacher, and on 4th February 1974, Mrs Marjorie Ford took up her duties as headteacher.
September 1978 – the children entering secondary education attended Eckington Comprehensive school.
July 1982 – Mr Bland retired and Mrs Cooper took over as deputy headteacher.
July-August 1984 – School was opened during the holidays to provide free meals to those children normally receiving them during term time. The meals were served to all village children who qualified, whether or they attended this school.
The meals were paid for and cooked by a group led by the Chair of Governors.
January 1987 – the Mothers and Toddlers Group started.
July 1987 – Mrs Ford retired and Mrs Cooper became acting deputy headteacher
January 1988 – work began on the new nursery.
April 1988 – Mr John Dickinson took up his duties as headteacher.
May 1988 – the new nursery and community room were opened.
November 1994 – the new infant block was opened.
January 2004 – construction of new sports hall completed.
November 2005 – two new classrooms opened and terrapin classroom demolished.
January 2011 – a new foundation stage unit was opened.
September 2016 – a new Year 6 classroom was opened.