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from the August 2006 Parish Magazine

St Mary's C of E Infant School

As this is our last article for the magazine as "St. Mary's Infant School" I thought it would be appropriate to share comments from Year 2 children of their memories of their time in this school.

"I'll miss the school. Thank you teachers for helping me with everything I have done". . . "I will miss all my friends I have made"
"The woodland trail is my favourite. We get to build houses with sticks and leaves" "We are really lucky to have our woods"
"The swimming pool is really fun. I love it and we do dolphin and butterfly."
"I like going swimming, it's one of my favourite things."
"My favourite time in St. Mary's is singing in the choir at Dorking Halls."
"My first day at St. Mary's I was very nervous but now I have made many friends". . . "We have learnt a lot over the last 3 years."
"I love this school so much we go in the hall for Assembly in the morning."
"I love the pretty flowers in the field". . . "I like finding things in the school pond." "This school is a very happy school to me". . . "It's the most wonderful and joyful place, nothing to worry about, we are all safe."
"I think all the teachers are great". . . "The children are happy and kind."
"I like St. Mary's because it is a lovely school". . . "I am all comfy and warm here." "Our Head Teacher is very glamorous and loving."

After five years of serving this school as Headteacher I, too, move on to a new and exciting chapter in my life. So I would like to thank all those who have supported and encouraged me during my time here at St. Mary's and to wish Leatherhead Trinity School a promising and successful future under the guidance of Alison Walsh, the new Head Teacher. Wishing you all the very best. Yours sincerely
Christine Cottrell-Smith

St. Mary's Church of England Infant School was a co-educational County Voluntary Controlled School within the Diocese of Guildford specialising in Key Stage One of the National Curriculum and Foundation Stage.  There were about 120 children on roll aged four to seven.
In the 1830s a National School was established in Highlands Road. There was a Church of England School in Poplar Road for 102 years until it moved to new buildings on the present Fortyfoot Road site in February 1986. The school's name changed to St. Mary's and it was officially opened on July 23rd 1986. The old Poplar Road school was converted to maisonettes.
Its final logo, which was originally designed by Lucy Quinnell, combined symbols representing Surrey, Leatherhead, the church and childhood happiness.

from the August 2006 Parish Magazine

All Saints Infant School

With great sadness, tinged with hope for the future, I write the very last entry in the Parish Magazine on behalf of All Saints C of E Infant and Nursery School. As a school community we fought hard for this merger, which we felt would unite Leatherhead and enhance the life opportunities for all.

The past few months have been hard, as work has begun to remodel our whole site in preparation for the opening of the new Children's Centre in September. Change is always challenging and this course hasn't always run smoothly; however, as the dust begins to settle, we can see new shoots as we move forward together with St Mary's and The Woodville, to become Leatherhead Trinity School.

Looking back on the last 129 years, All Saints can boast some considerable successes, the most important being that it has always worked tirelessly to meet the distinctive needs of the community that is North Leatherhead and has given countless children and their families a sound start in life. This school has specialised in nurturing confidence, in identifying and supporting individual and group need and in recognising the importance of a whole child and life-long approach to learning.

I have had the privilege of working with a truly professional, compassionate and skilled staff and I have been backed by the most dedicated and informed governing body. Together we have made a difference. This has always been a school that works as a team and it has been rare for me to single out any one for any reason. However, Sara Brown has been the Chair of Governors here for 15 years now. She has been a quiet inspiration, a thoughtful and clear sighted campaigner and she deserves to be recognised as having made an outstanding contribution to All Saints School, to the All Saints Family Project and to the children and families of North Leatherhead.

I know that all the staff, governors, parents and children would like to join with me in recognising her work. Schools are always about the children, the children and the children. The fact that no one here has ever forgotten that, no matter how long the committee meeting or how wrapped in red tape the paperwork, is further testament to our success. I have never been prouder than I am now to have been the Headteacher here.
Jane Gorecka

All Saints Church of England School (Nursery & Infants) was a co-educational County Voluntary Controlled School within the Diocese of Guildford specialising in Key Stage One of the National Curriculum. There were about 120 children on roll aged four to seven. The first All Saints School was set up by the then Vicar, the Rev FE Utterton. The School later moved to what is now the local community centre. In 1976 the School was relocated to new buildings in Aperdele Road.
The All Saints Nursery, which was founded in 1993 from charitable sources, came under Surrey County Council Control in September 1998 and provided free Early Years education for about 30 children aged between 3 and 4 for five sessions each week. Children attend either morning, or afternoon sessions. The All Saints Family Project Playlink, had its base at the School.
Its logo combined the A and S of the school's dedication and the Swan symbol of Leatherhead.

2005: A New Primary School in Leatherhead - from the old All Saints website
Jane Gorecka, Headteacher

In March 2005 the Surrey School Organisation Committee approved a decision to close St Mary’s Infant School, All Saints Infant School, and The Woodville Junior School, and to create a single new all through primary school and children’s centre in Leatherhead.

The new school will be Voluntary Controlled (VC), and will operate in partnership with the Local Education Authority, the Anglican diocese of Guildford, and the Methodist and United Reformed Churches.

We believe that this project offers an exciting opportunity to build on the high standards of education currently available in Leatherhead, whilst improving facilities for local families.

When will the new school open? The three existing schools will close on 31 August 2006, and the new primary school will open on 01 September 2006.

Building work needs to take place to create a new primary school and children’s centre for the 21st century. The new school will initially open on the three existing school sites, and pupils will be educated in existing buildings until the new accommodation is complete. Everyone involved in this project will work together to minimise disruption for pupils during this time. The children’s safety and well-being is our top priority.

Who will lead and manage the new school? Will the existing teachers work at the new school?

A temporary governing body has already been appointed to manage this important development phase. The temporary governing body will work closely with the existing governing bodies of the three schools.

The temporary governing body will appoint the Headteacher for the new school. By law, this role must be advertised nationally. The Headteacher Designate will work with the temporary governing body to decide the detailed staffing arrangements for the new school.

What advantages will the new all-through primary school offer our children? An all-through primary will minimise change for children up to age 11; children will no longer need to transfer to different schools on different sites at age 7. Children will be able to stay with their friends and peers throughout the first stages of their education.

An all-through school will also help staff to develop an in-depth knowledge of every child’s individual needs and abilities from the start of statutory education, and a thorough insight into children’s learning and progress throughout the children’s stay at the school. Key Stage 1 & 2 staff will be able to plan together, ensuring that they build on children’s prior learning.

There will be a greater age range of children in the school and more staff. The school will be able to offer more clubs and out-of-school activities and therefore meet a wider range of interests. There will be more opportunities for younger and older children to work together and act as mentors and buddies to each other, which will support their personal and social development.

What facilities will be available at the new school? The school will be brand new, built with today’s educational needs in mind. Plans for the new school building are still at a very early stage. The temporary governing body will have an important role in helping to decide how the new school will look. As the project develops more information will be available, which we will share with parents.

What facilities will be available at the new children’s centre? The new children’s centre, on the All Saints site, will be a “one stop shop” for child support services for children up to the age of five. It will include early years education at the Foundation Stage, childcare places for children from six week to five years, mother & toddler groups, benefits advice, and health visitors.

Who can I contact for more information? The school views the proposals in a very positive light and would be very happy to discuss any aspects of the planned merger with prospective parents.

Church Schools and Primary Education Review

The County Council Education Department is undertaking a Review of Primary Education in Leatherhead at the moment. A Consultation paper has been issued to all parents of children at St Mary's Infant School, All Saints Infant and Nursery Schools, and The Woodville School.

For a number of years there have been difficulties concerning the delivery of primary education in Leatherhead. This is not because of the quality of education at the individual schools concerned. Each school is an improving and an achieving school. The dedication and professionalism of the Staff is not in question. However, as the Consultation paper points out:

The two options outlined by the Consultation paper are:

Option A

In Option A, all three schools would close and be replaced by one single new primary school for Leatherhead.

There would be a brand new, purpose-built building constructed on a different part of the existing Woodville School site, possibly with a new entrance route.

One head teacher and one governing body would lead the new school.

The new building would offer Reception places for 30 pupils at age 5 and then 60 places from Year 1 to Year 6.

A new Children's Centre in Aperdele Road would offer the Foundation Stage curriculum for up to 30 children aged 3 to 5 years old, together with other childcare facilities as described below.

Substantial improvements would be made to the existing All Saints building.

Education for children at Key Stage 1 at St Mary's would cease.

Option B

Option B leaves the same educational provision on the same sites as at present but makes organisational changes to the existing position.

All Saints and The Woodville would merge under the management of a single head teacher and governing body, in the first instance on two sites.

The new school would continue to offer the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 at Aperdele Road, but the number of places would be reduced from 40 to 30, to release some spaces for other uses.


Whichever option is finally adopted, the school on the present Woodville site would be a Church School with a likely Anglican-Methodist Foundation. This will ensure the Churches' continuing involvement in primary education and reflects the good working relationship between Churches locally. The options have been discussed by the Church Council.

Each option presents a different way forward and has its own implications. This is not a clear cut decision and there are good arguments to be made for either option. Consultation meetings are being held for the parents of each school involved and there will be a public consultation towards the end of February at a date not determined at the time of going to press. I will make it known through the Church Notices.

Further details can be obtained from:
Nicholas Smith, Room 150, County Hall, Penrhyn Road, Kingston-upon-Thames KT1 2DJ.

Both the Church Schools, St Mary's and All Saints, have served the local community well over perhaps 100 years. This is an important moment for them both. The Schools were founded by the Church locally. Church members continue to be involved in the life of these schools and have their futures very much to heart. Please attend the public meeting and take an informed interest in future development, and please pray that the best interests of the children will be served by whatever outcome is adopted. Please also hold in your prayers the head teachers, staff and governors of each school. This may prove to be a considerable time of upheaval and uncertainty for staff in particular and they deserve our support.

Canon David Eaton

Leatherhead Trinity School

page last updated 3 Sep 2007