Our School and Its History
St. Andrew’s school was originally known as the Boothstown Church School, and was set up by a board of local dignitaries under the auspices of the Church of England. The old building was opened for use as a school in August 1874.
The school was the first of a number of new schools in the Boothstown district to be financed as a result of the 1870 Education Act. The Act was the first to provide public money to local boards for founding schools. The parish of Worsley became responsible for maintaining the school, even though a government grant was given for educational materials and books.
There are many references in the old school log books to the costs of running the school. In 1886 the school received 7s and 2d per pupil to cover its yearly costs!
The first of the many governors included the Earl and Countess of Ellesmere and the Earl of Mulgrave (a local clergyman). The Countess and her daughter were regular visitors to the school. These early governors were called foundation managers. The school still has church foundation managers.
History of St Andrew’s C.E. Primary School
Life as a Victorian pupil in Boothstown
School started at 7.30am for the teachers. They received specimen lessons from the headteacher to ensure they all taught in exactly the same way. The pupils arrived at 8.30am for the school day which was mostly spent in almost silent and repetitive activity.
The children ages 4-14, were placed in standards depending upon academic ability. Besides learning how to read, write, calculate and recite, they also undertook tasks to prepare for their working lives, such as needlework, woodwork and smithying.
The small outer buildings by the old building were used for these activities. The school had a very good reputation, old log books now show the district merit shield was frequently won, despite competition from other local schools. Success led to financial rewards for the school.
The old saying payment by results refers to the way in which extra funds were given when pupils were moved into a higher standard as a result of the annual examinations.
100 Years of Learning
The headteacher from 1896 to 1921 was Robert Turner. While three monarchs ascended the throne, World War One was fought and won, the Russian Revolution took place and the universal suffrage movement was founded, the school continued almost as exactly as it had in 1874!
Although many pupils left school before their 14th birthdays, especially at harvest time, some did move to secondary school in Eccles and Walkden. In 1933 all the older pupils (over 11) were transferred to Walkden Senior (high) School, and Boothstown Church School became an infant and junior (primary) establishment.
The 1944 Education Act brought many changes. The curriculum was broadened and grammar and secondary modern schools were widely established. In Boothstown the school had more than 200 children in the old building.
By the 1970’s there were more than 290 pupils and new buildings replaced the old. As the school’s centenary approached, education was moving into the era of the computer. Boothstown CE Primary school saw many changes over the next decade as two more phases of building were completed and the nursery was built in 1981.
Developments in recent years
In 1986 the school became known as St. Andrew’s taking it’s name from our church. Despite intentions to provide new premises during the 1970’s and 80’s there has never been a time when the old buildings haven’t been in use.
We have also a comprehensive programme of community activities well established which adds a playschool, cubs, scouts, guides, brownies, keep fit etc., to the family of St. Andrew’s. The old school bell sounded each morning at 8.30am to mark the beginning of the school day, in a village smaller than today’s, the tones were heard all over Boothstown.