School History PDF Print E-mail

The Beginning

p1Unlike most schools, our school has an exciting history, being founded by 2 women, Mrs Dorothy Beckett and Miss Ann Sargeant, in 1735 and endowed with their property. The school was then known as Beckett & Sargeant School and the endowment is now known as the Beckett and Sargeant Educational Foundation.

At that time poor girls did not go to school. Seeing this need, Mrs Beckett and Miss Sargeant wanted the girls to be properly prepared to get a job, mostly for well-to-do families in the area. “The girls were to be taught to read English, instructed in the Christian religion and to be taught knitting and working plain work to fit them for good domestic service”. They were from the parish of All Saints, and to be 8 years old on admission and leave when aged 14.

A building in, it is thought, Kingswell Street was to be used and the school mistress was to live there too. 30 girls were admitted. Over the years numbers varied, the number being raised in 1794 to 36. It was a strict school; if a girl did not attend regularly, she would have to leave. Irregular attendance led to expulsion.

The original building, which had been a stable, then a house and latterly the school, was by 1812 in a bad condition. The building was rebuilt and in 1863 was extended. Further alterations were made in 1910. It is a Listed Building and can be seen in Kingswell Street to this day.

The Middle Period

1996By 1962 there were only 12 girls left and son in November 1962 the old school in Kingswell Street was closed. The Beckett & Sargeant trustees immediately began the long process of re-establishing the school. In 1971 the present site in Boughton Green Road was bought. Throughout this time the trustees, the local education authority and the Ministry of Education met to decide the principles upon which our school was to be established. The school opened its doors to its first pupils, both boys and girls, form the age of 9 to 13 in September 1975 under the name of All Saints Church of England Aided Middle School within the state education system (a 3 tier system – Lower, Middle and Upper schools.)

By September 1998 there were 390 pupils. Beckett & Sargeant continued to assist the school financially with many helpful projects, including in September 1999 providing an ICT base with 20 new machines. Number continued to increase: so it was necessary to have 2 mobile classrooms, both of which were funded by Beckett & Sargeant. Because of increasing numbers, a major permanent extension, comprising a new wing, including a new chapel funded once again by Beckett & Sargeant, was built and completed in July 2002. Pupil numbers continued to increase, reaching at one time over 500, but being 490 in October 2003.

The Present

JubileeCelebrations 1-1-150-100-80The Local Education Authority decided to introduce a 2 tier system from September 2003. This meant that a Primary School would cater for pupils from Year R to Year 6, after which pupils would go to a secondary school. So for a while our school was effectively 2 schools with primary school pupils as above, but also Years 6-8. Furthermore, further alterations had to be made to the building to accommodate younger children. The school is now known as All Saints Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School with a potential pupil number of 420. Its catchment area covers the parishes of Kingsthorpe St. John the Baptist, St. David with St. Mark, Holy Trinity with St. Paul, St.Giles and All Saints.

In February 2002 the Diocesan Board of Education decided to set up the Northampton Church of England Schools Educational Foundation to which all the Church of England school in Northampton send representatives. The idea is to share information about their schools and it undertakes joint events and projects.



Bibliography  - The Beckett & Sargeant School 1735 – 1996 by Neil Soutar and Michael Auden – published by Byline Publishing.