In the year 1718, lessons for the children of Bebington began in the Belfry of St Andrew’s Church. It was here, all those years ago, that our school was born. The school underwent many changes in the forthcoming years and moved to three different sites.
In 1791, lessons moved to the old vestry which then stood on the eastern wall of the church. Indentations in what is now the outside wall show where the pupils sharpened their slate-pencils. The other walls of this room were demolished in 1827.
In 1828 a new school along with a house for the school master was built in Acres Road on land supplied by Sir Thomas Stanley. These buildings are now private houses.
In March 1856, Major Orred of Tranmere Hall gave 3,060 square yards of land in Green Lane for a new school. A 'neat and spacious structure in the Gothic style' was built the following year at a cost of £500. This school had 3 teachers and could accommodate 150 boys and 100 girls.
The children of St Andrew’s were educated in this building for 115 years. Fortunately many records from this time remain, including registers which show that the pupils came from addresses all over Bebington including Heath Road, Higher Bebington Road, Oakleigh Grove and Bromborough Road. Many of our pupils today live at the same addresses.
In the 1970s it was decided that the building was no longer fit for purpose and plans were put into place to build a new school on Townfield Lane. On Tuesday 12th March 1974, the new school was officially opened by the Bishop of Stockport. The headmaster at this time was Mr Rodman, after whom we have named the boat in the infant playground.
There were after-school clubs including football, netball and a model railway club run by the school caretaker, Mr Booth. The boys played football at the Oval just as they do today and the first entry in the log book from this period records a 1-0 victory against Stanton Road on 9th October 1974. Pupils went on school trips to many of the places that we do today including Liverpool Museum, The Lady Lever Art Gallery and The Floral Pavilion.
The 1980s was a very eventful decade at St Andrew’s. On Tuesday 16th February 1982, the PTA held their first film night, at which they showed the Disney Film ‘The Incredible Journey’. In the log book, it states that 300 people attended.
On 4th May 1982, the headteacher gives a recount of how the whole school assembled on Heath Road to watch the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh drive by on the way to Port Sunlight. He described it as a splendid event in the life of St Andrew’s School.
On 8th March in the same year, there was a break-in at St Andrew’s. The thieves broke numerous windows and caused widescale damage. The headteacher reported that they got away with - a pocket calculator! After a succession of break-ins throughout the 1980s, the governors decided to purchase a burglar alarm and full perimeter fencing.
In 1984, St Andrew’s purchased their very first computer. In his report to governors, Mr Rodman describes this momentous event: “At the beginning of February our school took a step forward into the age of technology when we became the proud possessors of a BBC Acorn Micro Computer. All staff are keen to make use of the computer and the various components are arranged on a trolley which makes the whole unit very mobile.”
During the 1990s, life continued as normal at St Andrew’s until one winter’s night in 1992. At 4am on Friday 24th January, emergency services were called to Townfield Lane because the school was on fire. Forty firemen spent more than two hours fighting the blaze, however little of the building could be saved. Unfortunately over 80% of the school was destroyed and most of what remained had to be demolished for safety reasons. The investigation that followed found that the blaze had been caused deliberately and a thirteen year old boy was charged with arson.
In the months that followed the fire, the children of St Andrew’s were taken by bus to the teachers’ centre in Acre Lane so their lessons could continue. During this time many children and parents feared that this could be the end for St Andrew’s. The fire had caused over 1 million pounds worth of damage and parents worried that their children would simply be given places in alternative local primary schools.
In July 1992, the Department for Education confirmed that the school would be re-built and work began immediately in re-furbishing the infant department. The Key Stage 1 classes returned to the Townfield Lane site in September 1992. However, as the whole Junior department had to be completely re-built, the Key Stage 2 classes spent another year at Acre Lane. In September 1993, a whole eighteen months after the fire, the Junior children returned to their brand new school.
It was also during this time that the highly regarded headteacher Mr Rodman took the decision to retire. He had been in charge at St Andrew’s for an incredible 22 years and we remember his legacy every year when we present the Rodman Shield for Effort. He was succeeded by Mrs Liddy who led the school until 1998.
In Spring 2000, a new reception classroom was added to the building and on 16th March there was a special assembly led by the Bishop of Stockport to dedicate the new structure.
In 2006 Mr Williams, the headteacher at that time, left the school and Mrs Woods was appointed as his successor. Most of our current teaching staff also joined St Andrew’s during the ‘noughties’.
In July 2018, we said goodbye to Mrs Woods, who retired after twelve wonderful years here. Mrs Lamkin has now joined the school as Headteacher.
As we approach our 300th birthday, we are now a well-established school with a long and proud history. Despite the many changes we have seen, much remains the same – our strong links with St Andrew’s Church, our emphasis on the ‘4 Cs’ (Care, Courtesy, Consideration and Christianity), and our vision that the children at St Andrew’s are ‘Learning for life in a caring Christian community’, so that they are equipped to achieve to the best of their ability in every area of life.