The St Peter's Infants School originally assembled at the schoolrooms next to St Peter’s Church. In the mid 1880s it was decided by the managers of the school that the Infants would move into the empty house attached to the Boys and Girls School in Shaftesbury Street. This meant that all the scholars of St Peter’s School would be under one roof for the first time in many years. The removal caused a deal of disruption during the early summer of 1886 whilst alterations to the building took place.
After the staff and children moved out, the old building was demolished and replaced with a brand new house for the Rector to move into. The Rectory that was built remains to this day but is now privately owned. Its first stone was laid in June 1887.
Miss E.E. Foster was appointed Headmistress on 15th December 1887. She later married and became Mrs Norburn. Although her marriage is not recorded in the St Peter’s Infants School logbook, we find the line “Mrs Norburn (nee Foster)” on the page for January 1893. The logbook ends in 1913 and Mrs Norburn is still in charge. This means the leadership of the three departments - Boys, Girls and Infants - did not change in thirty years.
Mrs Church, the original Headmistress of the Girls School, seems to have transferred to the Infants when Mr and Mrs Taylor took over the Boys and Girls departments. She died in (June) 1880.
The youngest children in the Infants (the Reception Class) were known as “the Babies”.
There are only scant details of the staff and work of the Infants School before 1888.
Copyright: Jack McInroy © 2010