Woodchurch CE Aided Primary School dates back to 1665, making it one of the oldest schools in Wirral. William Gleave, of the city of London, died in the year 1665 and left to the Parish of Woodchurch £500 to erect a Free School. £400 was to be spent on the land, £100 for the building of a School House and £20 per annum for the maintenance of a Schoolmaster for ever!
The curriculum of the original school was to begin and end with prayer and to teach authors in Latin and Greek. Every Thursday afternoon the scholars were to be taught the Church Catechism and instructed in the Principals of the Protestant religion for the space of one hour.
According to documentation from 1786, school began “not later than seven in the morning from Lady Day until Michaelmas, to end constantly at eleven o’clock, and he shall get the scholars together again by one of the clock in the afternoon, and so continue together until 5 o’clock at night in the summer and till three or four in the winter.”
The present School House (adjoining today’s school, part of which is still in use as the kitchen) was built in 1873. Attendance in those days is recorded as being poor due to “so many children being required by their parents to gather blackberries and mushrooms which the parents take to market”. During this period the number on roll varied from 60 to 130. The staffing consisted of a Master, a Pupil Teacher and a monitor. The Rector’s wife came in daily to assist with needlework and to hear reading.
The present school was built in 1954 and was dedicated by the Lord Bishop of Chester, The Right Reverend Gerald Ellison; the number of children on roll was 360. Extensions to the school were built in 1972 and most recently the addition of a new entrance and ICT room in 1999. The New Entrance and Computer Room were dedicated by the Bishop of Chester, The Rt. Rev. Dr Peter Forster, on the 28th March 2000. In July 2001 a library was added to our building and was dedicated to William Gleave by the Bishop of Birkenhead, The Rt Rev David Urquhart. In June 2004 the Bishop of Birkenhead opened the ‘Studio’ and the redeveloped school kitchens. These were adapted from within the original school building.
The age of the school gives us a true sense of history, and it is fascinating to read the old log books, which give us an insight into incidents that have occurred throughout the lifetime of the school.
To mark the millennium the school put together the History of Woodchurch CE Primary on to a CD disc, a project to celebrate the occasion, so that future generations of Woodchurch CE children will have access to the past through this new computer age.
Currently school has 201 children on roll with 11 teachers and 9 teaching assistants. We work very closely with our partner schools on the Woodchurch estate and across Birkenhead and the Wirral. We have developed a very strong link with Woodchurch High School, our local Church of England Academy, taking part in different classroom and sporting events as well as religious assemblies. Staff, from the high school, come into school and work to enhance our P.E. and Music curriculum. This link is a key part of school life as it helps to support the spiritual, moral and social development of our pupils, many of which move onto Woodchurch High School at the end of Year6.