Set in beautiful countryside between the villages of Waltham St Lawrence and Shurlock Row, which it serves, the school can be described as a vibrant and caring learning environment at the heart of the community.
At Waltham St Lawrence Primary school we aim to provide a happy family atmosphere where an enjoyment of learning and a strong team spirit is fostered.
High standards and expectations in work and behaviour lead to our pupils making excellent progress while they are at the school.
When the school was inspected in July 2012, Ofsted said, Waltham St Lawrence is a good school. ‘Pupils in all year groups make good progress from their starting points… ‘The school curriculum provides a vibrant experience for pupils promoting their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development well. It is broad and balanced, and relevant to the needs of all pupils, including disabled pupils and those with special educational needs.’
The school has very strong links with parents and the local community, and is developing links further afield with Mnyacongo school in Tanzania.
Waltham St. Lawrence School was opened in 1910 as an all age village school. Many of the children came to school by horse drawn wagons, particularly in the bad weather when the unpaved lanes were too muddy to travel on foot. £2 was provided to buy 40 pairs of slippers to give to children arriving at school with wet feet. These were repaired over and over again by the older girls. It was quite common to close the school for several weeks when there was an epidemic of whooping cough, measles or scarlet fever.
The first headteacher of the school and the children began a tradition of helping Dr. Barnardos Homes, which has continued to the present day.
During the First World War the children collected eggs for the wounded soldiers – in 1916 over 1000 eggs were collected. In 1918, 2,250 pounds of blackberries were collected for “Government Jam”. During this year it was necessary to install a soup kitchen at the school. The older children created a vegetable garden that won great praise from visiting H.M. Inspectorate, in spite of the difficulties of cultivation on difficult clay soil.
In 1939 the senior children went to Wargrave and the school became a primary school. Evacuees shared the school from the beginning of the War and many pupils were sent to the school from the RAF at White Waltham.
Over the years the school’s outward appearance has changed. An extension, completed in 1983 has provided a new Infant class and indoor toilets. In 1990, a link between the school and the dining block provided a new cloakroom, and a dry passageway to the dining room.
In 1999 the dining room and kitchen areas were converted into 2 classrooms for Key Stage 1 whilst the old Reception/Year 1 class became a servery/dining room. The Reception/Year 1 class now has its own fenced off Foundation Stage play area with a sandpit, gardens and seating.
During the summer holiday of 1998 an adventure playground was constructed using money raised by the PTA. It continues to be very popular with both children and parents alike!
During the last few years the school has been completely redecorated both internally and externally. Inside there has also been complete refurnishing.
In 1999 a quiet garden area was built, where children can sit with friends. The final design of the garden was reached after holding a design competition involving all the children. In 2009 the Quiet Area was improved with the addition of two shelters and more benches, as well as a fenced corner where the younger children can dig.
After a period of 25 years the use of the school bell on the roof to indicate the start of school sessions was re-introduced in 1985. A traditional bell rope in the school hall allows it to ring out at the start of the day and at the end of playtimes.
In the summer of 2009 the office area was extended to provide a new headteacher’s office and a larger admin area. The playground was also improved and enlarged when the shelter housing the oil tank was demolished.
2010 was a very special year as the school marked its centenary. It continues to evolve and change with redecoration and refurbishment. The hall is the centre of the school where the children gather for assemblies, plays and productions, and to do PE, dance and gymnastics.
In 2011 we had an extension to the cloackroom to incoporate space for small group teaching area.