St. Mary's CEVA Primary School

Melvyn Hunter

St. Mary's CEVA (Church of England Voluntary Aided) Primary School is on Fuller Street, Kettering.

The school was founded in 1899 after the Trust Deed of that year was formulated between Peterborough Diocese and other local stake-holders. 

The first building was a two-storey brick building. This served the school well for 70 years, but its position on the sloping ground proved untenable, and cracks began to appear in the south and west sides of the building. It was decided that repair was not an option, and the building was demolished.

The current building was opened in 1977. The only remaining part of the original building is the dedication stone bearing the name of the school: this is now in the wall on the east side of the playground. The school is on the same location as its predecessor, with floors on 'half' levels, the school hall, offices and staff room being on a level halfway between the lower infant (key-stage 1) area and the upper junior (key-stage 2) area. More recently, the building has been extended to the north beyond the school hall to provide a community area.

We are a Church of England Primary School that embraces all that the Church of England stands for. Our link church is the church of St. Mary the Virgin, also to be found along Fuller Street, and with its origins only a couple of years earlier than those of the school. Our ethos statement is based around the word FAITH with each letter coming from another word that leads to faith:






All these things require the individual to work to achieve them and, within the church school environment, all contribute towards a strengthening of faith.

Our school has close links with the local community, with the William Knibb Centre and with Kettering Borough. A recently completed project has involved the refurbishment of the play area to the west of the school.

Our school has recently been linked to Kamukuywa ACK Primary School in western Kenya. Children raised funds in July 2010 that have been given to the school to help with the provision of ECD - early childhood development. The school has a population of around 1,600 with class sizes ranging from about 100 down to around 60.

Unfortunately, information and artefacts from the era before 1975 are slim. The school holds a copy of the original trust document and there are a small number of poor quality pictures of the old building during demolition. The school is keen to build an archive of information and artefacts from this period. If you went to the school and would like to share your memories, and related artefacts, please leave a comment. 

Photo:Kamukuwya ACK Primary School

Kamukuwya ACK Primary School

Melvyn Hunter

This page was added by Melvyn Hunter on 29/04/2013.
Comments about this page

I was at St Mary's in the late fifties. I can still remember Miss Petherbridge, Mrs Griggs, Miss Foley, Miss Bailey, Mrs Price, Mr Jewell and Mr Finlay.

I remember the boiler room with all the coal and the caretaker Percy; who we called 'Percy the bad chick' after Percy on our reading cards. 

Everyday in the infants we listened to the radio programme lists.

The boys and girls had separate play grounds.

The toilets were outside.

Every year we had dancing round the maypole and the crowning of the May queen.

Every Tuesday we walked to church.

I have endless memories of happy days.

By Rosie Morgan
On 05/02/2016

I attended the school from 1959 for about 3 years  - the only thing I remember was the quiet time when we had a sleep in the school hall and the daily bottle of milk.   Funny I did do not remember any sort of lessons although I suppose there was some.


By Francis Clarke
On 13/10/2016

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MLA Department for Education and Skills DCMS Learn with museums Kettering Borough Council