Since 1814

Celebrating 200 years of our school.

Eltham Church of England Primary school has been at the heart of the community since 1814, and it is our rich history, combined with our innovative approach to teaching and learning within a strong Christian ethos, which make our school a unique and vibrant place of leaning.  Travel back in time with us to discover how our school has grown and changed since it was founded over 200 years ago.


  • 2014

    The school has 170 boys and 143 girls in attendance. Pupils and staff of Eltham School celebrate the bicentenary of it’s opening in 1814.

  • 2013

    Pupils create a bicentenary mosaic with artist Wendy Arnold Dean. ‘Bunfire’ day is reinstated.

  • 2008

    The school is awarded an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted Report.

  • 1996

    New mobile classrooms are delivered in two sections across the school keeper’s garden.

  • 1984

    In the summer, two teachers, Mr Kingston and Mr Watson attend a computer course and the school gains its first computers.

  • 1983

    The school has 333 pupils but is still only a one-form entry school, meaning 47 pupils to a class.

  • 1981

    In June, the school managers become the ‘Govenors’ and assume overall responsibility of managing the school.

  • 1969

    A plaque is dedicated to the opening of the school’s three new classrooms.

  • 1968

    The Roper Street centenary is celebrated. The children dress as Victorians and parade to the old school site in Pound Place. Work starts on the school’s extension for new classrooms. The school keeper’s 1868 house is demolished and the new one built in Orangery Lane. The first house in Archery Road is also demolished to create access to the new public car park.

  • 1965

    The Inner London Education Authority (ILEA), new name for the LCC, take over administration.

  • 1959

    The Jubilee Cottages are demolished and the land is used to extend the school (Corbett/ North/Caretakers House).

  • 1953

    The Junior and Infant schools are combined.

  • 1951

    The Public Health Department fumigate the school after an outbreak of scarlet fever.

  • 1947

    Maroon and Gold are chosen as the school colours.

  • 1939–1945

    School children are evacuated and teaching ceased. The school is taken over by the Heavy Rescue Service and air raid shelters are installed in the playground alongside the Infant school.

  • 1933

    The Infants School moves to Roper Street where a new building is erected in the school grounds.

  • 1931

    The school gets its first telephone, Eltham 1528.

  • 1929

    Managers decide to move the Infant school across the High Street to be with the Elementary School. United Dairies start delivering 1d bottles of milk to the school.

  • 1922

    A new classroom (Gregory) is added to cope with demand.

  • 1914–1918

    Ex pupils who lost their lives in WW1 are commemorated on the 1924 Eltham War Memorial at St John’s church.

  • 1907

    On the 18th April, Choir boys mis-behave and tactically leave banana skins out for teachers to slip on.

  • 1905

    The London School Board suggest that boys and girls should be taught together. School managers spend £1 on toys for the Infants and replace the Elementary school desks, which seated seven children to a row.

  • 1904

    London County Council take over the administration of the school.

  • 1902

    36 children are removed as Gordon School opens.

  • 1897

    The school hall is subdivided to provide more classrooms.

  • 1870

    The Elementary Education Act provides rights for children aged 5–13 in England and Wales to an education.

  • 1868

    Boys and girls departments move to new accommodation in Roper Street, with separate rooms for the boys and girls and houses for both head teachers.

  • 1864

    Only 19 pupils attend school on the 2nd September, as hop-picking season has started.

  • 1862

    William Casserton is taken off the register on the 28 November, after not attending school for 18 days.

  • 1852

    The Infant school is transferred to a new building at Back Lane.

  • 1840

    The Infant school is established as an addition to the original building.

  • 1830

    132 boys and 141 girls are in attendance at the school.

  • 1818

    Church wardens inspect the school on the 25th July and report ‘children had dirty hands [and] scruffy long hair. The school was noisy and the room not clean.’ The School Master, Mr Davis, is found to be ‘more pert than respectful in his behaviour to the visitors’.

  • 1816

    By October of this year, the school has 118 boys and 95 girls. The School Master Mr Bartram is dismissed on the 3rd October for ‘gross misconduct’. He had a child out of wedlock which is deeply frowned upon by the Church at this time.

  • 1814

    The first pupils are admitted on the 16th April 1814, 76 boys and 61 girls, the first being James Houltum, aged 14, and Elizabeth Stubbing, aged 6. School hours are 9–12 noon and 1–4pm. School costs 1d a week, with many unable to pay, the Vicar often makes up the shortfall from his stipend.