St Patrick's Catholic Primary School

Christ Be Within Me

Origins of St. Patrick's School

St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Primary School was founded in 1891 when it was housed in a temporary iron building. August 1893 saw the opening of the new Church in Conway Rd, and after the summer holidays, the school beneath it. This was a mixed all age school for children aged 4 to 13 years.

St. Patrick's Church and School at the end of the 19th century

A report in the ‘Kentish independent’ said that the school would accommodate 155 children, but in fact the number on roll in 1893 was 220, and by the following year this had risen to 256. The normal staff consisted of a headteacher and two assistants, with one or two ‘pupil teachers’. The school had only three classrooms. By 1907 it seems that space was such a constraint that at least one class was working in the playground.

An entry from the head teacher in their log book

The new building (shown above) opened in 1909 at a cost of £5,200, which contained separate Boys’ and Girls’ schools, each under it’s own Headteacher. The accomodation under the Church was now used only by children of infant age. This became a department under the headteacher of the Girls’ school. By 31st August 1909 there were 339 children on the rolls and in the following year the figure was 430. (This is a huge number when you compare it to our current roll of approximately 360 children. Today the site of the school is much larger with many more classrooms and teachers.)