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History of Park Street

Park Street Church of England School was established in 1831. There are few details of the very early history of the school, except that it was affiliated to the National Society in 1835 and that there were 30 girls and 40 boys attending at the time.

Park Street was very much a farming community as the school grew through the nineteenth century. In the school log books there are frequent occasions when attendance was poor because children had gone haymaking, gleaning, acorn picking or blackberry picking. A holiday was given each June for the Park Street Fair.

The curriculum consisted of the Catechism, Prayers, the Bible, Reading, Writing and arithmetic as well as activities such as straw plaiting and sewing for boys and girls.

As the premises at the junction of Watling Street and Branch Road [now the Old School House] became increasingly inadequate for the growing numbers of children a new site was selected at the north-western end of Branch Road. On 6th January 1900 the new school building was opened by the Bishop of St Albans.

Over the following years the school continued to grow and in 1922 children from Colney Street School were transferred to Park Street School. A feature of school life in these years was gardening, with plots for the children, the cultivation and sale of potatoes and in 1923 a Park Street School exhibit at the County Agricultural Show.

During the first months of the Second World War the school numbers were swelled by evacuee children form London. There are many mentions in the log books of air raid warnings and an air raid shelter was constructed in the field behind the school.

In October 1944 eleven year olds began to transfer to new secondary schools in St Albans. As the numbers of primary-aged children grew, 1954 saw the opening of the new classroom blocks (the present infant rooms) followed in 1959 by the opening of the present junior classrooms.

In the 1970s the school had an unusual additional classroom, the fuselage of a Handley Page Jetstream! This was featured on Blue Peter.

In 1953, for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, a pupil planted a tree in the school grounds. The same ex-pupil then returned 50 years later to plant a tree for the Coronation of King Charles III in 2023.
A current Park Street pupil wrote to Buckingham Palace to share this news, alongside the original newspaper clipping and the school were sent the below thank you card in return.