Home Page



Botley School History

1930 - 1939


Site of Botley School from the West Way – pre 1938, showing Seacourt Farm to the right.

As part of the school’s 60th anniversary celebrations in 1998 a book was produced called The History of Botley School written by Martin J Harris, Terry Peedell, and Monica White based on a history written by Mr Ernie ‘Snowy’ Smallridge in 1986 and by Class 3V in 1989. This information has been taken from this and updated since its publication in 1998.


Botley was in the County of Berkshire in 1938 and a very different place from Botley of today. There was no A34 and bridge over the West Way, no Seacourt Tower and Retail Park which was previously the Hartwell Ford garage and before that was Seacourt Farm with fields of animals. Just east of the farm was a narrow country lane, bordered with hedgerows, full of wildflowers, leading to Wytham village.


On the other side of West Way, opposite Elms Road, where Elms Parade and West Way Square shopping centre now stands, was the old farmhouse - Elms Farm owned by the Howse family, with a large lawn in front and large fields - commonly called the cow fields. Elms Rise Estate was only built as far as Montagu Road. Beyond that again were fields (no Westminster College either). There was no Dean Court Estate or Deanfield.

Wytham & Botley Council School

Prior to Botley School, young children (juniors) went to the small schools at Cumnor and North Hinksey, whilst older (seniors) children went to St Frideswide's, Oxford Boys' School in Cowley, or to Milham Ford School.


The new Wytham Botley Council School (as it was then called) was built on land owned by Colonel ffennell and opened on 26 April 1938.  


It was also the 15th wedding anniversary of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. The first entry in the school logbook states:

26 Apr 1938

This School was opened for the first time today. Senior children from the following contributory schools attended: North Hinksey, Appleton, Cumnor and Kennington. Also senior children living in Berkshire who attended Oxford school-St Frideswide's Boys and East Oxford Girls and New Hinksey. Many infants and juniors were presented for admission since, for the time being, although this is a Senior school, authority has been given by the Board of Education to admit a limited number of infants and juniors.


Miss Woodward took both Junior Classes 1 and 2 on the first day until Miss Reenan's arrival on 27 April. Miss Woodward recalls the opening as being extremely hectic. They even had to go out and buy extra pencils on that day. The first headmaster, Mr L. George Harber, a strict but fair man, was an ex-major from World War One, often referred to as Major Harber. Since there were few policemen around, he often had to punish children for misdemeanours out of school time, such as stealing apples.


The caretaker was Mr P G Bennett with his wife Mrs C Bennett as assistant. Despite suffering greatly from a leg wound from World War One he stayed loyal and worked for the school until his retirement in March 1958. He was a well-known character at the school. The cook was Miss Annie Enoch who lived in Elms Road with her brother. She died in 1993 aged 101.


The reason that this so called secondary school admitted primary children was that previously they went to a small old school at North Hinksey and as more houses were being built in the Botley area with young families, so the local parents complained, and the younger children were admitted to Botley School.


At one time there were plans made to build a new primary school where the nursery now stands. Initially there were also complaints about the bus service when the school first opened. Mrs Parmenter and other mothers of nearby Farmoor were annoyed that a school bus picking up children in that village dropped off the juniors at Cumnor before taking the seniors to Botley. This meant that the juniors would arrive at Cumnor too early and leave that school far later in the day than was considered necessary. Fortunately the situation was promptly resolved.

The Second World War

In September 1938 the school, in common with others, prepared for a possible outbreak of war. Initial preparations were being made for evacuating children to the area and the school was designated as an Air Raid Precaution Centre. Some 1500 gas masks were fitted and distributed amongst the North Hinksey parish.


On 30 September news was received that,


A peace settlement had been arrived at Munich between 4 great powers: England, Germany, France, and Italy. Throughout the past week, Europe has been clouded with the horrors of war. During the week, the school assembled at various times and had services with special prayers for peace.


However it was only one year later when Mr Harber wrote in the school logbook:


5 Sep 1939

The school was not opened on this date owing to a state of war existing between Great Britain and Germany and between France and Germany. Preparations have been made to receive in Botley and neighbourhood a certain number of school children from the London area-termed evacuees. During week commencing Sept 4th the London evacuees have been attending this School in the mornings 10-11.30 and during the afternoons 2.30 to 4pm. The London teachers attended too. I helped them with the organisation and employment of children.


Miss Woodward, who was to be Deputy Headteacher in later years, remembers that evacuee children came to the Botley area from the East End of London and from Brixton, bringing their teachers with them. This helped increase the total number of pupils by almost a hundred to 337. Although these children were not used to the countryside and had been separated from their families and neighbourhoods, they soon mixed readily with the local children. The school was so overcrowded by the arrival of the evacuees that a split day was arranged, with the local children coming to school in the morning and the evacuees in the afternoon. This was changed round after a week

1940 - 1949

Elms Road Nursery School

A wartime nursery was established by Social Services in 1943 for children whose mothers were engaged in war work. It was one of the first in Berkshire. In 1948 it was taken over by Berkshire Education Department to become a Nursery School for 3-5 year olds under a teacher-trained Head - Miss Bull, known to her friends as 'Johnny'. She was assisted by qualified Nursery Nurses.

Left to right: Mrs Waugh (teacher), Mrs Phipps (teacher), Mr Thomas (chairman of governors), Miss Caudwell (teacher), Mr Harber (headmaster 1938-1955), Miss Winifred Toynbee (governor), Mrs Knight (teacher), Mrs Florence Stevens (teacher). Mr Harber was also chairman of the parish council from 1949 until 1952.

Other wartime measures were taken including having blackout material although the blacking out of the school was not completed until May 1941. At this time a telephone was installed and made possible because the Chief Constable of Oxford used the school as a 'rendezvous station' (fire and police) in case of "Blitz" by the enemy.


The school also suffered more changes in staff because all the men who were young enough had to go to fight in the Army, Navy, or Royal Air Force. Mr Enwright joined His Majesties Forces in September 1940 and was joined the following month by Mr Nurton along with Mr Margetts who joined the Gloucester Aircraft Company. Mr Humphrey joined the Royal Air Force in the November. After the end of the war all were demobbed and resumed their duties at the school in 1945. Two former pupils were not so fortunate and died as a result of serving their country.


Later a simple small plaque was put in the hall above the back side doorway with the inscription:


1939 - 1945

Basil Richard Bateman

Sydney William Willis



Basil was born in Cumnor, the son of Jack and Lil Bateman, in 1926. He joined Botley school on its first day. During the war he was a guardsman for the Coldstream Guards (no. 2667147) and came home on leave to the family in Appleton Road after the end of the war. It was there that he was taken ill, probably from burying the dead in France. He died in a military hospital in Shaftsbury, Dorset on 22 January 1946 and was buried at St. Michael’s Cumnor with his father. He was just 19 years old. His sisters Mary, Iris and Vera also went to Botley School along with many of his cousins.


Sid Willis was born in nearby Wantage although his family moved to Cumnor in the 1930's. After attending Cumnor School, he went to Botley School on its first day and was in Miss Evans' class for the eldest seniors. On leaving school he worked for the Post Office and despite being in a reserved occupation felt it was his duty to join up. He also joined the Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards (no. 2665772) and was in the forces for about 10 months when he was killed on 25 September 1943, also aged 19, fighting on the Italian landings. The postman who brought the telegram to the Willis family to say that he was missing was the husband of Mrs Lee, the Botley School cook. Sid was buried in Italy. His younger sister Pat, who married Peter Heavens (Botley School pupil 1947-1952), was the school's secretary in the 1970's until she left in 1978.


In late summer the oldest seniors would go harvesting sugar beet and potatoes. The farmer might have given them potatoes and apples to take home because these were rationed during the War. Sometimes they went back in the evening to cut the corn. If they were lucky they would be able to take back a couple of rabbits for a meal.


The school also played its part in growing food as part of the Dig for Victory campaign. All the side field next to the bypass (originally planned to be a slip road from the West Way to the bypass roundabout) was turned over to allotments and apple trees been planted there to produce food for the canteen and local community.


Woodwork and cookery lessons were casualties of the war because of rationing.


Some children belonged to the sea and army cadets and had to go to Carfax Tower to do fire watching in case any bombs were dropped. Everyone had to bring their gas mask to school. If you were found without it, you had to return home to fetch it. Many people visited the school to demonstrate air raid practice, gas mask drill or how an aeroplane worked. All these were duly recorded by Mr Harber in his logbook.


The school's arguably most famous visitor, came on February 27th, 1942. He was R A Butler, the Minister for Education who was to design the 1944 Education Reform Act.


As the War went on, children returned to London and the school could resume a more normal, integrated working day, until the last of the evacuees could return home after May 1945, when the war in Europe was over.


On 8 May 1945 Mr Harber recorded:


The school is closed today owing to the end of hostilities between Germany and the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, announced on the wireless that May 8 will be termed V.E. Day.

 Victory in Europe Day and the following day May 9th will be National Holidays.

After the war, with the evacuees gone home, life carried on more or less as normal at the school. Notable school events included a burglary at the school on the night of 17 January 1946 when £21 worth of savings stamps were stolen. The culprit was a previous pupil, having been evacuated during the war from Shoreham, Sussex. The severe snow and frost in the first few months of 1947 created problems at the school. The fuel shortage meant that no power or light could be used between the hours of 9-12 noon and 2-4pm. By 7 March 1947 the road to Appleton was impassable preventing the senior children from that village reaching school and the school itself was down to about a week's supply of fuel.


On 11 March 1949 a youthful and energetic new teacher started at the school – Mr Ernie 'Snowy' Smallridge. Mr Smallridge grew up in Highbury (and therefore was an Arsenal supporter) and after being in the RAF obtained his nickname Snowy from the Australians who usually gave a white blonde-haired person that title. After meeting his wife at Upper Heyford (her family came from Botley) she suggested that he trained to be a teacher.


As Mr Smallridge recalls in his memoirs on starting the school:


I found a busy school bustling with activity. Inside the main

building the corridors seemed full of large senior school

pupils who, at the ringing of a bell changed rooms, or

teachers, for their next lesson.


Later that same year Mr Clifford Bennett also joined the school. Almost 50 years later Mr Smallridge and Mr Bennett have remained firm friends.


During this era the fully equipped science laboratory was still there located just past the two infant classes on the right after entering the school building. Upstairs could be found a large domestic science room with stoves and other necessary equipment.


There were no windows or doors in the corridors surrounding the Quad, so it was very cold in the winter.


Mr Smallridge can also recall a big piece of wood hanging from the ceiling. It said on one side SILENCE and on the other side it said WALK.


With over 600 children in the school and new estates being built in the Botley area, changes had to be made to the school buildings in the late 1940's to cope with the extra number of children.


The Horsa Building (The Annex for BOHSC) was built as well as the canteen by the local building firm Kingerlee Ltd. Previously the dinners had been prepared in the old kitchen and served in the adjoining main hall. Other new buildings included the outside wooden hut by the canteen and a classroom was built on top of the single-storey end near Elms Road. There was also a classroom at the top of the tower.


In those days there was no Sports Day but the four local schools - Botley, Cumnor, Kennington and Dry Sandford would compete against each other. The winners would then compete in the North Berks and Oxford City sports championships.


Unlike the school in recent decades in that era there were no school pets. There was a tuck-shop opposite the headmaster's study and the school also had school prefects.


School trips started to become very popular, and pupils could even have a trip abroad with the school. Other outings included seeing Donald Campbell's "Bluebird" on display at the old City Motors, Botley Road. Pupils also went to Southsea, the Cheddar Gorge, Imperial War Museum, Tower of London, and various museums in Oxford.

1950 - 1959

On 13 January 1950 it was announced that, with the end of clothes rationing, school uniform was to be introduced although no item of clothing would be compulsory.


It was described as follows:

Cap-black for boys; Beret - black for girls

Tie- black, red and silver grey stripes.

Badge-St George Cross with Tudor Rose centre.

Cap and beret and badge will cost approximately:

71-[7 shillings]; tie 4/6 [4 shillings and 6 pence]


The uniform was fully adopted by May 1950 with the badges made by Thomas Factories of Birmingham, caps and ties supplied by Messrs Shepherd & Woodward, Oxford and berets by Messrs Elliston & Cavell's, Oxford.


The school motto was also declared as:


"God First, then Man, serve all you can"

or Whose Service is perfect freedom.

"Cui servire est regnare."


Mr Harber was a very patriotic man and important royal events were clearly recorded in the logbook.


Entries made on 6 and 8 Feb 1952 were no exception:






were written in large writing, clearly bordered, and underlined recognising Mr Harber's strong feelings on the matter. The school Union Jack was flown at half-mast on news of the King's death and then flown at top mast for 6 hours following the proclamation from St James' Palace in London of the ascension of the new monarch.


The Queen's coronation in 1953 was also marked:


The children decorated the school and stage with red, white, and blue in view of the Coronation of the Queen Elizabeth II on June 2. A replica of the stagecoach and horses was made by the seniors and juniors. This was exhibited in Mr Shirley's shop window on Elms Parade. The junior children were assembled, and each was given a coronation beaker

provided by the Berkshire County Council. The coats of arms were explained to them and also the significance of the gift.


The school was closed during the Coronation week and afterwards the children were allowed to see the colour film of "Elizabeth is Queen" at the Oxford cinemas. Classes 3A and 3B under the charge of Mr Liles and Miss Jones were taken to London on 18 June to tour the Coronation route.


George Harber retired on 6 April 1955 after 17 years as the school's headmaster. His replacement was Mr Glyn Davies who later went on to be headmaster of Matthew Arnold School when it opened in 1958. Punishment was still very strict because in those days you could receive the cane for a tiny matter like whispering when you were told to be quiet. The uniform remained the same until Mr Batey changed it in the late 1980's.


The school had houses or teams which were called Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Danes represented by the respective colours of yellow, blue, red, and green (originally there were only 2 teams - Angles and Saxons). They competed against each other for a cup in school sports.


School visits were much more infrequent in those days. They would go as a whole school in summer to places like the Wye Valley or the south coast so there would be about 7 or 8 coaches down Elms Road. The senior children even went abroad. Former pupil, Mr Duester, went with the school on his first trip abroad to Switzerland when he was 14. They went to France on a ship and went through France by coach to get to Switzerland. On 1 November 1956 a number of teachers took some of the children to Abingdon to see Queen Elizabeth II. Most of the children had flags.


Miss King first came in January 1956. She can recall walking into school and her first impression was of the place bursting at the seams. There were 850 people at the school because Matthew Arnold School had not yet been built. The seniors were in the main building.


Downstairs there was a classroom in the front entrance area and another outside the headmaster's study. Two classes were in the hall and one class was on the stage. Miss King tells us that the teachers had to work very hard to make sure that no classes clashed. The junior staff had to stand in the old kitchen to have coffee.


Two classes were in the canteen, two in the changing huts and two in the bike sheds. Miss Woodward taught in the end bike shed and remembers that the water dripped down her neck when it rained. Even the playtimes had to be staggered. The Horsa Building, housed the infant classes while even the quad was used as a fine weather classroom. One classroom was a woodwork room where the boys did woodwork and metalwork. The girls did domestic science in another room.

PG Lane whose large mural can be seen at the top of the stairs from the Forest School door, (opposite the old staff room) was also a teacher and painted this beautiful mural to celebrate the school’s 20th anniversary in 1958. At that time his classroom would have been set up like an art studio. He went on to work with Mr Davies at Matthew Arnold School in 1958 and later became a professional artist.


After a school inspection, it was decided that a new secondary modern school should be built on Cumnor Hill to relieve the overcrowding. The juniors were to stay in Botley School which was to become a primary school. Mr Willoughby was appointed as the new headmaster.


In July 1958 Mr Davies left with the senior children to be head of Matthew Arnold School on Arnold's Way. In September 1958 Mr Willoughby started for the first time as headmaster of Botley Primary School now for 5-11 year old children.


The school hours then were:

Morning – 08:50 to 12:00

Afternoon – 13:30 to 15.45 (Infants 15.30)


The number of pupils was now reduced to 428.


Former pupil, Mrs Shaw, remembers Mr Willoughby as being strict:


I know he struck terror in me when I saw him in the

corridor. I remember him as a large man with not much

hair and a pin-striped suit. He had a fairly stern look and a

powerful voice that everyone obeyed.

1960 - 1969

Mrs Moody knew him as an excellent musician. He took the upper school for singing. Jean Hope says that he was approachable, and you could talk to him. Royal events continued to excite the school. On 6 May 1960 the school was closed for Her Royal Highness Princess Margaret's wedding.


Under Mr Willoughby, pupils worked at their mental arithmetic, spelling, language, multiplication tables and grammar. The Horsa Building was in use as the infant block whilst the old domestic science room and the woodwork room were changed into normal classrooms. Mrs Moody then took the lower juniors for music. She also had a unit for Special Education Needs in the tower. This was later closed by the council because they couldn't afford the extra class.


Children participated in a variety of clubs including football, netball, cricket, gymnastics, choir, country dancing and recorders.


Children sat at desks in rows facing the blackboard at the front where the teacher was. They all did the same work at the same time. The rows were organised according to ability i.e. the boy or girl that is considered to be top of the class sat at the back and second best would sit one place nearer the teacher and bottom of the class would sit by the teacher.


Former teacher, Miss King, also remembers Christmas parties at Botley:


The whole school was seated in the school hall in long rows of tables. The tables were covered in long strips of ceiling paper and the food laid out. The teachers went around with huge aluminium jugs pouring extra drinks - you can imagine it was rather a squash with all the school in the hall. After tea the children went out into the playground for a bit, while the tables were cleaned away - this playtime was fun as at that time of year it was usually a dull day getting a bit dark.


When they came in again there was either a film or entertainer, and one year the children entertained themselves. Anyone who wished to dance, sing, tell jokes etc. was allowed to have a turn. This was all properly arranged beforehand, and it was surprising how much talent was produced.


By April 1961 an increase in the number of infants meant that an extra class was established in the infant hall. By 1 May there were 498 pupils at the school. By September 1963 the sizes of the 4th year classes were 51 and 41 prompting the school to ask the Authority for an additional teacher.


All these pupils and their families were always keen to help charities. After an open evening on 14 December 1961 a collection was made for Famine Relief with a total of £14 being raised.


Although many of the pupils were from a Church of England background a significant number were Roman Catholics. In November 1963 Father Crozier, the Roman Catholic priest arranged that religious instruction to Roman Catholic children would be given 3 times a week during normal assembly time.


Bad weather returned in January 1963. Deep snow and hard frost meant that the school was up to 3 feet in snow in some places. The children were unable to venture outside during break times and in the dinner hour.


On 23 January Mr Willoughby wrote in the Logbook:

Weather worse than ever. Extremely difficult to keep the school buildings at a temperature above 50 degrees and rooms are cold. In some classrooms the temperature is so low that it has been necessary to transfer the children to other rooms and many of the very small children have had to keep their coats on.


The school was certainly warmer after the summer of 1967 when the corridors around the quadrangle were enclosed with glass partitions.


Changes also occurred outside the school when in November 1968 the road in West Way was made a dual carriageway with the children having to carefully cross it by the pedestrian crossing. The headmaster and the police gave the children full instructions in road safety.


Sports Day continued to be held annually. Each year the Champion House Trophy, known as the Victor Ludorum (Latin for 'winner of the game') for boys and girls was given to the team captain. In 1968 the Jutes were victorious over the Angles, Saxons and Danes and a young Clive Walker received the trophy; Clive went on to become a famous footballer.


Mr Willoughby retired as headmaster in July 1969 having served for 11 years at the school. Mr Sharp took over in September as headmaster. He was a quiet and kind man and wore glasses. A year later the school was re-organised with the juniors divided into upper (ages 9-11) and lower (7-9) sections with children staying with the same teacher for 2 years at a time. In this era all the children wore school uniform all the time.

1970 - 1979

Back rows, left to right: Mr Smallridge, Miss Philcox, Mr Bennett,

Mrs Gunter, Mrs Surman, Miss Tilsey-Green, Mrs Duncan.

Next row: Mrs Perry, Miss King, Mrs Peake, Mrs Thompson, Mrs Walford.

Front row: Mrs Moody, Mrs Ming, Mr Cantrill (head), Miss Woodward. (Circa 1975).

One minor crisis Mr Sharp had to deal with was when on 5 July 1971 Mrs Lee, the cook supervisor, reported the disappearance of 56lbs of potatoes! Another more serious one was when financial cuts threatened to reduce the number of full time teachers by one. Mr Sharp protested officially about this. This resulted in some 200 parents attending a meeting chaired by school governor Mr Brogden.


At the end of 1973 Mr Sharp left to be replaced by Mr Michael Cantrell. He was a large easy going man with dark hair with a strong accent. Mr Cantrell left in May 1979, so Miss Philcox was acting head until Mr Martin Cox commenced duties as headmaster in the September.


The school uniform continued the same throughout the 1970's although was often not worn especially in Mr Cantrell's era. The cap and the tie were worn less.

1974 - Botley is Transferred to Oxfordshire
The Boundaries Commission removed the 'leg' from the Berkshire boot on the 1st April 1974 and with it annexed the Berkshire Downs, Wantage, Didcot, Faringdon, Wallingford, Abingdon and the Vale of the White Horse (which provided the county's emblem), and Botley allocating them into Oxfordshire.

Elms Road Nursery School Head - Miss Bull retired in July 1977; ‘Yes, I’ve enjoyed my 30 years with the school. It’s been my life.’

1980 - 1989

In March 1982, due to a national dispute over salary increases, staff started industrial action and withdrew from out-of-school activities resulting in the school being closed at lunchtimes and club activities being stopped. Problems arose again in 1986 with more industrial action.


Staff changes continued. On 6 July 1982 Mr Cox recorded in the logbook:


Mrs Jennings who is to be the new infant teacher in September, spent the day in school. She's very lively!


Helen Jennings is the longest serving teacher at the school although she still has a long way to go to beat Miss Woodward's record. Mr Smallridge retired in 1986 after 37 years at the school and being second only to Miss Woodward for being the longest serving teacher at the school ever. Past pupils and teachers went to a special farewell party held in the school hall for one of the school's most popular teachers. 'Snowy' was presented with a set of golf clubs amongst other presents.


Mr Cox also left in 1986 and after Mr Richard Furniss was acting headteacher (now called headteacher not headmaster) for a term Mr John Batey took charge. When Mr Cox and Mr Batey were headteachers staff had to fill in "black books" weekly recording their work and other matters. In return Mr Batey would also send round his "black book" with useful information in it. Mr Batey was replaced by the present head Mrs Patricia Pritchard in 1993. She had the headteacher's room moved to the west side of the building.


In 1984 the school hours were changed to:


Morning 08:55 to 12:00

Afternoon 13:00 to 15:00


The wooded area to the north-west of the school grounds was set up in Mr Cox's time after 1979. Since then it has been developed to provide a rich habitat for butterflies, insects, and birds as part of the school commitment to rural studies and outdoor learning.


In 1988 red sweatshirts and T-shirts with the Botley emblem were introduced. Red is still worn by pupils today.

1990 - 1999

In 1994, a new pond was dug and children throughout the school use the wild area of their studies.


For much of the 1980's the Horsa block was used as a storeroom for the Oxfordshire Museum until 1994 when it was re-furnished to provide a 'purpose built' teaching area officially opening in October 1994 during the school's 'Book Week.'

1998 – Botley School’s 60th Anniversary

by Mrs Patricia Pritchard, Headteacher


I am delighted to be Headteacher of Botley School at the time of the 60th anniversary of its opening in 1938. Botley School has a tale to tell and has seen many changes throughout its history.


It opened just before the outbreak of World War II and almost immediately became a school buzzing with children as it combined being a neighbourhood school with that of an evacuees' school.


The exterior of the school has changed little since 1938. The only new buildings were the Horsa building, and the canteen erected in the late 1940's to cater for the raising of the school leaving age. These so-called 'temporary' buildings are still very much in use today. The Horsa building is now a beautifully converted Early Years block catering for the youngest children. The original meaning of Horsa was 'Hutted offices for the raising of the school leaving age.' We decided to keep the name Horsa since now it represents 'Hutted offices for the reduction of the school starting age.'


The main school has been extensively re-ordered, upgraded, and adapted in the last four years to meet the needs of the primary school child in the 1990's.


Since starting to plan the celebrations for the 60th anniversary and making it known to the outside world that Botley School was about to celebrate its first sixty years, I have been struck by the number of people who have come forward to talk about their old school with such affection and gratitude. Particularly poignant was a phone call from a former pupil in Sussex who is now blind.


He had heard the children of Botley School singing 'One More Step Along the World I go' on Susan Hill's Desert Island Disc broadcast in 1995. He told me that his eyes were full of tears as he pictured the children sitting in "that big school hall singing away just as we used to in the early 1940's. Those were such happy times," he said.


We are now in the midst of one of the most challenging times in education. There have been so many changes in the 1990's - the introduction of the National Curriculum, schools managing their own budgets, Standard Assessment Tests for 7 and 11 year olds, League Tables, new Education Acts. I feel proud to say that at Botley the child is still at the heart of the educational process. Botley School is a thriving school with a committed and hardworking staff, supportive governors and parents and enthusiastic, well-motivated and happy children. It is a school which strives for excellence, and many will know that Botley School has been awarded a 'Charter Mark' by the Government for its high standards of public service - a fitting and appropriate 60th birthday present.

1998 – The School’s Diamond Jubilee. Some of the pupils who attended the first day of school on the 26th April 1938 were re-united on the school stage.

In 1999, 310 pupils produced a tapestry to mark the millennium. It was put on display across the UK and abroad.

Headteachers covering 1973 – 1999

John Bately, Patricia Pritchard, Michael Cantrell, and Martin Cox


2000 – 2009

In 2007 our new extension was completed providing foundation children with a purpose built Early Years setting in the southern part of the school.

2010 – 2019

2018 Botley School’s 80th Anniversary

Botley School governor and MP Layla Moran, Alison Marsh (headteacher), PTA Secretary Kate Randall accepting the Classlist cheque in 2018.

Botley continues to change with the opening of the new Co-op at West Way Place in 2018.
Pupils were invited to cut the ribbon to unveil the temporary Co-op store whilst West Way Square development is being built.

2020 - Present

March 2020

Botley School becomes a member of The Acer Trust; a multi academy trust working together to create great places to learn and work, based in the Oxfordshire in south central England.

Botley School is proud to be a member of The Acer Trust, having joined the organisation in March 2020.

March 2020 – Botley school with the rest of the country enter a lockdown period due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. The school stays open throughout with a reduced staff to teach children from Key Worker families.

Her majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022 celebrated with the planting of over 450 trees at the school as part of The Queen’s Green Canopy.