Rodborough School

1901- Present

Rodborough’s new school opened on Rodborough Hill. It replaced a school held at ‘The Old Endowed School’ alongside Rodborough Parish Church, which had been condemned by School inspectors on account of unsuitable sanitary arrangements and insufficient accommodation. It was recalled that the children there used the highway as a playground and were drinking water pumped from a well.

Read press reports about preparations for the new school here

Rodborough’s new school in the early 1900s. Courtesy of Howard Beard.
Rodborough’s new school in the early 1900s. Courtesy of Howard Beard.
Believed to be Rodborough School c 1910, with Rodborough Avenue in background.
An almost complete list of names for the above photo was recorded by the late Dolly Bird who appears in the picture.
This wonderful photo of a Rodborough School classroom is believed to be c 1914. Sadly we have no names.


Captain Forster, headmaster is described in the memoir of Les Young

Rodborough School 1920s. Courtesy of Howard Beard.
Rodborough School 1920s. Courtesy of Howard Beard.

During the First World War, to aid food economy, the school had housed a fruit evaporator, under the supervision of Rodborough’s Food Committee. At this time a show of produce began, that continued as an annual event in the post-war years. The photos show the school building in use for this in the 1920s.


Captain Forster continued as head.

In 1934 he recorded in the school log book “Sept 5th 1934. Wrote to the Managers re deplorable and dangerous state of the school playground”.

Rodborough School 1935, Form 3A
Rodborough School 1935, Form 3B


The school log book for 1940 records;

“July 25th 1940. Anti-aircraft firing took place in the neighbourhood. All children took refuge in the school shelters from 2-2.30pm. A German aircraft was brought down near Oakridge”

This photo from 1941 was sent to us with a request to identify anyone in the picture named White. Can you help?
Rodborough School 1948 names below
Rodborough School 1948 – names as given
Rodborough School from 1948 -1949 . The teacher on the left was Miss Bowring.  Mr Watson, right, took standard 5, the scholarship class and may have been acting head during the transition period to the school becoming a secondary modern.


Rodborough Secondary Modern School ran from the site on Rodborough Hill

– Rodborough Infants School Past events

Our recent displays of old school photos have prompted some discussion about what happened to the primary age children from Rodborough School during the period that it became a secondary school (1949-62).

The school apparently ceased to be a primary school in 1949. The log book records the reopening on 26th April 1951 as a Rodborough Secondary School, though it has been suggested that this may have been phased in from 1949. However because of parental protests, a class of infants remained on site.

The log book records that junior primary children from Rodborough now attended Castle Street and Church Street schools. Edwin Benton recalls;
‘When I left Rodborough school when it closed I went to Church St which was a boys school. Most of the girls went to the girls’ school in Stroud. We all did not go to the Stroud schools. Some of my class went to Kingscourt school some of those on Dudbridge Hill went to Cainscross and I seem to recollect one lad went to Woodchester, so we were dispersed around the local schools.”

Rodborough Secondary Modern School

In 1944 Local Authorities were instructed to provide secondary education without delay for all children over 11 – but not to build new schools unless there was a large new population. Rodborough School was chosen to house the new senior school for Stroud under the same Governors as the existing secondary schools.

Rodborough County Secondary School opened in 1951 with 280 pupils. By 1957, with 427 pupils, schoolrooms at Badbrook (the old British School) and Church Street (the old boys’ Board School) were put to use. There was no assembly hall, no canteen, no playing fields and no changing rooms. The boys used the Common for sports, and borrowed playing fields, but there was no provision for the girls. And by 1957, overcrowding meant many pupils were travelling to the new secondary modern at Stonehouse.

Rodborough Secondary Modern School, Third year 1954

The LEA had found a new and suitable site at Park Farm, Paganhill by 1955 but Ted Wheeler, the landowner, refused to sell because it was his most valuable pasture land. The County Council used compulsory purchase to acquire the land – at agricultural prices – and Archway School was built.

Credit to Marion Hearfield for the above notes compiled in 2017 for Stroud local History Society.

Archway County Secondary School opened in June 1961 with Mr S H Loosley as Headmaster. In September 1961 there were 554 pupils.

Rodborough Secondary Modern School 1951
Rodborough School teachers in 1955. The photo was sent at Christmas from Mr Dee to a pupil. On the back is a table of holiday work.

Back row; X, Mr Powell, Mr Clark, Mr James, Mr Smith, Mr Allen, Mr Carlyon, Mr Dee

Front row: Veronica ?, Wendy Jones, Mrs Hunt (sec), Mr Loosley (head), Mrs Shepherd, Miss  Butler, Miss Cam, X

Thanks to Graham Bond for this photo. Further information suggests that it was probably late 50s / early 60s at a camp in Devon after travelling by train from Stroud Station. Mr Loosley (Headmaster) and Mr Seymour (Art Teacher) are included.


Rodborough Secondary Modern School, May 1961 just before the Secondary School transferred to Archway

Rodborough reopened as a primary school in September 1962.

Rodborough School c1963
Rodborough School c1961. Thanks to Tim Kerry pictured centre.


Rodborough Primary School 6 a Side Cricket Team, undated, Copyright of Gloucestershire Gazette
Rodborough Primary School Netball Team, undated, Copyright of Gloucestershire Gazette
Rodborough Primary School 6 a Side Football Team, probably 1977, Back row from left: Geoffrey Parnell, Leon Clarke, Jason Barker. Front row from left: Jamie Carter, Neil Smith, Stuart Keel, Michael Cole. Copyright of Gloucestershire Gazette


Rodborough School cook retires 1988. Photo copyright of Gloucestershire Gazette.


Cotswold Day Nursery ran from buildings on the school site in the 1990s.

What date was this?
Rodborough Primary School Reception Class 1997. Copyright of Gloucestershire Gazette