Village School

St Michael's Cof E Primary School can be found at the junction of The Causeway and St Michael's Way. The headteacher is Judy Spiller, and the school can be contacted on 01235 831298. It has 160 pupils and a (mostly part-time) staff of twenty-one.

More information can be obtained from their website

History

Separate schools were set up in Steventon in the first half of the 19th century for boys and girls of the village. The school for boys was held in a large barn behind No. 79 the Causeway, the girls being educated in a purpose-built building in Vicarage Road, still easily recognisable by its small belfry.

The two joined together when the present school was opened in 1864, when pupils each paid 2d a week (about the price of a pint of beer). This was just a few years before the Education Act of 1870, which established compulsory schooling and a national system of state education.

By the late 1870s there were about 140 pupils, a large number for a not particularly big village, with a headmaster, an assistant teacher and a pupil teacher. The most notable early headmaster was Walter Roberts who held the post from 1877 to 1919 and established the school as one of the best in Berkshire, regularly commended by inspectors as "excellent".

It was reorganised as a primary school in 1950, and continues to flourish. Education in the present day is very different from the 1870s, following the National Curriculum which involves detailed planning of each lesson. Children who need extra help to make progress are often taught in small groups by teaching assistants or supported in class by an adult helper. Education outside the classroom is seen as very important, and each class goes out on trips to local museums, places of interest or to carry out environmental work. Physical exercise also plays an important part in the curriculum - there are various school clubs and teams who play against local schools as well as taking PE lessons.

 

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