top of page


This page covers the history of village schools past & present, if you have any information that we could use please contact us.

The Village Schools

At the turn of the 19th century Stanley boasted of four schools which for its population was very good. Because of its sparsely populated widespread units it had virtually a school in each district. There was Bottomboat School, which was in use until 1980, St Swithin’s Ferry Lane now demolished and was situated opposite Ferry Lane Methodist Church, and St Albans Lee Moor, now converted into a bungalow. Besides these three infant schools there was Saint Peters School situated at the top of Lake Lock Road (School Hill) which besides having an infant department was the school all children in the village went to when they reached the age of seven. This provided the junior and senior education of the village children until they left at the age of thirteen.

The three primary schools only had one classroom which accommodated three classes, the ‘babies’ three to four year olds, class two the five year olds, and the top class the six year olds. Its hard to imagine how it was possible to teach three different groups of children with varying ages in one room all day. Discipline was easier to maintain in those days and misbehaviour was quickly and effectively delt with. When a boy first started school at three he was still wearing petticoats and it was a great step forward and rise in status when he came wearing his first suit. Most of the children stayed at school for dinner time not for a hot meal, as provided, but to eat the sandwiches brought from home and drink the milk or water in your bottle depending on what your family could afford.

At the age of seven the children from the four corners of the village made their pilgrimage to Saint Peters School to complete their education. There to greet them for many years was the Headmaster known as “Gaffer” Taylor, who was both revered and feared by the children. If you were late you were caned, if you stayed away for any reason other than sickness you were caned and any breach of school discipline was delt with in a similar way. In this comparatively small school boys and girls were separated into different schools with Mrs Taylor in charge of the infants in the room which became the cloakroom. Mr and Mrs Taylor lived on the premises in what was called the School House which adjoined the school and became the school kitchen, headmasters study and stockroom. Education finished, the children of Stanley left to start work, with many of the boys taking up mining or farming and many girls going into service or finding employment in the mills of Wakefield. Some boys were able to get apprenticeships, joinery, clerical work and some of the girls were able to go into millinery or dressmaking, but choice was very limited unlike today.

In 1909 Grove School was opened to be followed later by Stanley Secondary School and so the pattern of education began gradually to emerge which existed until September 1972. The children of Saint Swithuns School were absorbed by Stanley Grove and the children of Saint Albans coming to the infant department of Saint Peters School. Two men among many good men and woman, who made a great contribution to the education of children in Stanley were Mr Harry Ward, Headmaster of Saint Peters School for thirty six years from 1936 - 1972 and Mr Bill Westerman, Headmaster of Stanley Grove for thirty two years 1932 - 1964.

The year 1972 will also be remembered as the year they took from the village the educating of senior children. A progressive and developing Secondary School as Stanley Modern was, was transferred to Outwood Secondary School to become Outwood Grange Comprehensive School. During the early years three double decker buses went around the village picking the children up to take then to the new large school complex on Potovens Lane. Its first headmaster Mr John Snowden along with many of the old staff from Stanley Secondary Modern helped with the change over of situation and status of the school, which boasted many extra facilities and the chance for its pupils to pursue many additional subjects. The opportunities these children had when leaving school contrasted with the lack of choice of the children who left school in Stanley seventy years previous.

The two Primary (Infant and Junior) Schools flourished with Mr B Ward, headmaster of Saint Peters School and Mr Gant, Headmaster of Stanley Grove, as did Bottomboat Infants School where Mrs J Beaumont was the Headmistress. Some children cross the border to Lofthouse Gate School. The bait that led parents to send their children to this school was the fact they admitted children at four as oppose to five at the Stanley Schools. When the Lake lock Nursery opened in the old Saint Peters premises this rebalanced the situation, keeping more of the Stanley children in the village.

A further school was opened in the early 1970s, West Hall School, which catered for the child who’s academic progress was at a slower rate. A well appointed school with a most friendly headmaster and staff who forged a link to the village, despite the fact very few children at the school were from Stanley.

There have certainly been great changes in education in Stanley over the past hundred years which are on the whole for the good, the continued development of the education system within the present school buildings will no doubt continue for many years to come.

Stanley Saint Peters Boys School, later mixed junior school

Built for 182 pupils in 1844 and then extended in 1897, the class room sizes were as follows;

Room 1 = 27ft x 22 ft = 603 square ft

Room 2 = 21ft x 22ft = 469 square ft

Room 3 = 16ft x 21ft = 345 square ft

Room 4 = 20ft x 16ft = 320 square ft

The end of year report for 1898 is as follows;

Average attendance 192

Highest attendance 220

The overcrowded state of the room makes the work difficult, considering this difficulty the school is doing well.


Mr Taylor – Certified teacher of 1 class

Mr Thompson – assistant

Mr Stead

Mr Thistlethwaite

Mr Burnley – 4 year


  This postcard was to commemorate Mr Taylor's 42 years as Headmaster at the school

The following year on the inspectors visit it was noted that work appeared satisfactory, but the dusty premises needed attention, the vicar promised to see to the matter. In July 1900 attendance is noted as being at a very low point, the highest of 165 and the lowest of 118. In January 1901 there were 3 cases of scarlet fever. In 1935 Mr ward became the headmaster of the school, he then became headmaster of the mixed junior and infants school when the two were merged in the 1950s, he continued at the school until it closed in 1972, when the junior and infants moved into the old Secondary Modern building. Michael Kaye who went to the junior and infants school in the 1960s remembers this school as follows, "all I can remember about Mr Ward is, we called him 'Gaffa', I can remember a Mrs Moxon, she was our teacher, when they built a extra 'shed'/classroom' on the grass at the side of the school near the arched door. At the back of the school, there was and still is a path, we called it the 'bully', I can remember playing in the infants playground and there was a big climbing frame, which was near the entrance to the infants school. Also whilst playing, you could see, just about the top of a semaphore railway signal and you could hear the trains and see the smoke coming up through the cutting, whilst they were heading towards Outwood" Mr Ward had been Headmaster at the school for 37 years, his last entry in the school log is as follows;


After the presentation of a testimonial cheque to the retiring headmaster the school closed for the mid summer holidays, my appointment as headmaster of this school (37 years) ends on the 31 of August.

After the school closed in 1972 it was used as the local nursery for many years. Mrs Piegot was the headmistress and Mrs Clamp was one of the teachers during the period before it closed in the 1990s. The building was empty for several years before becoming the Church Centre in 2001.


Saint Peters School photos

Prior to 1972

Stanley Saint Peters Girls School & later Infants School

Built in 1856 & enlarged in 1884, the dimensions of the school were as follows;

Room 1 was 28ft x 14ft = 395 square ft

Room 2 was 18ft x 17ft = 306 square ft

Room 3 was 19ft x 17ft = 327 square ft

Room 4 was 32ft x 16ft = 512 square ft

Corridor was 21ft x 7ft = 164 square ft

Cloak room was 27ft x 7ft = square ft

Total Area of 1916 ft

Total area of glass in windows 230 square ft

Total area of glass in Partition 67 ft

Saint Peters Girls School log book extracts 1880 - 1900

20th October 1880 - Florence Booth commenced as Headmistress

30th November 1880 - Two girls will have their SCHOOL PENCE paid, one for 13 weeks the other for 8 weeks.

1881 report - Grammar is only just passable owing to the ignorance of Parsing and Analysis in the 4th, 5th, and 6th standards. My lords will look for decidedly better results in the girls school next year.

Staff - Florence Booth, Cert. Mistress, Kate Abson - P T of 2 year, Ada Abson PT of 1 year.

18th November 1881 - Ringworms common.

20th January 1882 - teachers had to light the fires.

22nd January 1882 - Holiday this afternoon - Mrs Taylor, wife of the school master, being interred.

27th October 1882 - received instructions from Rev Burrell to send all transfers back to St Swithins.

1882 report - No grant for grammar because so weak.

7th December - Only 18 children present - rough roads and weather.

Florence Booth, Headmistress, sends in her resignation, Miss Ritchie is to be future mistress of school according to Rev Burrell.

1883 report - school now has 4 staff.

Foundation stone of new classroom laid March 13th 1884 by Chas Charles worth, classroom opened on June 20th, average attendance 147.

9th September 1884 - Punishment method out for - one figure wrong in the answer of a sum, “witch” instead of “which”, “then” for “them” and smaller letters instead of capitals.

79 punished for trespassing in plantation adjoining the playground, little girl punished for insubordination.

8th October 1884 - Weekly lists of poor attendees to the school warden.

1884 report - Extra items added for grant eg singing.

1885 - Concert to raise money for prizes for good conduct, regular attendance and general improvement in school work, amount given to girls 16/4d.

30th March 1885 - number on books 202, average attendance 130.

1885 report - The issue of a certificate to Miss Ritchie is deferred for better results. List of grant and passes in Reading 138, Writing 99, Arithmetic 95, out of an attendance of 140 in attendance on day. Death of a child the day after it was sent home ill - coroners inquest. Vicar in charge during week owing to staff shortage.

4th January 1886 - Marg. Eggleshaws new Head.

15th February 1886 - An attendance board fixed up in the school - attendance a major concern in school.

1886 report - With consent of managers grammar dropped for this year.

14th March 1887 - Visit of Vicar acc. By new mistress for Lee Moor, Miss Sharpe.

21th June 1887 - Jubilee Feast - school closed today.

1887 report - Improved.

20th March 1888 - death of Vicar Rev Burrell.

16th July 1888 - New Vicar first mentioned.

13th November 1888 - Second stove to be put in a room, no school this pm owing to thunderstorm.

1888 - Good report.

Poetry report 1889 - Fairly good, 1890 report - Good (5 staff).

18th December 1890 - Prize distribution by Vicar.

1891 report - Good, average attendance 137 out of 186.

8th December 1891 - Began teaching Geography and History combined as a new class subject.

30th September - Number on books 234, average attendance 177.

1892 report - Very good.

Vicar called and gave permissions for ordering new set of recorders.

1893 - Case of small pox, children living in The Barracks, Bottomboat, should not attend at present, allowed to return June 19th.

15th September 1893 - Coal gathering.

1883 report - Good.

22nd January 1894 - Temporary Headmistress, Tessie Norton.

8th March 1894 - Received a good signed parcel of apparatus.

28th September - Number on books 249, 4 girls dismissed for open defiance.

Varied occupations for 1894/95 - Rug making, story lessons, embroidery. Object lessons for different standards - Recitations, domestic economy.

November 1894 - P T suspended this week owing to want of apparatus. Number on books 290.

29th March 1895 - Jessie Norton resigned, M Sugden appointed new head 1st July.

1895 report - Staff of 6, 3 qualified, 3 unqualified.

3rd September 1895 - Dreadful dull weather all week and lessons have had to be stopped several times.

Summons for irregularity (3 parents).

1896 - Gift of a Christmas Card - first mention.

5th February - Bad snow storm.

18th June - Weeks holiday to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of Queen Victoria’s reign.

1897 report - “Warning” (not heating) needs consideration, building must be enlarged or numbers reduced.

1898 - Vicar spoke about the theft of buttons, which has been going on for some time.

15th August 1898 - Girls working in fields.

10th October 1898 - 282 present.

Cards & oranges at Christmas.

1899 report - Many improvements, new head teachers desk, 6 staff & 1 candidate.

10 girls sent for labour exam for certificate - 5 passed, 5 failed - able to leave.

In 1902 the staff were as follows;

M. Sugden Head Mistress

S. Steele

E. Newford

M. Butterfield

B. Thompson

N. Hartley

K. Sheppard

G. Wilkinson

Another entry in the school log from February 1902 describes how the heating apparatus was out of order so no fire could be lit the school was closed for the day. Average attendance during this time was 196. In 1905 the school was described as having poor facilities with a small playground.

In 1927 the staff were as follows

M. Walker - Class 1

M. Wood - Class 2

A. Milner - Class 3

M. Foster - Class 4

D. Blacket

H. Leek

The School later became a controlled mixed infant’s school and during this period the school had a total of 145 pupils. On 31 August 1956 the school closed and became part of the mixed junior and infants school. The last two entries in the school log were done by the headmistress L. Beech and are as follows;


I was presented with a tea trolley and tea pot today from the children, parents and teachers of the junior and infants departments.


School closes for the mid summer holiday, reopening Tuesday 4 September. I terminate my duties at the school on August 31 after 8 happy years in the school. Mr Ward will take over the school which will be amalgamated with the junior department.

L. Beech

The building was used up to 1972 when the school relocated to the site of Stanley Secondary Modern. The school building then became the local youth centre and still remains so today.


The School building in 2010

Today in use as a Youth Centre

Stanley Saint Peters C.E School H M Inspectors report

February 1956

This Church of England school which became controlled on the 3 of April 1952, is situated about two miles to the north of Wakefield (There is a junior school, built in 1844, on the same site). There are 67 children on roll in the infants school, and three teachers, including the Headmistress. the school was last reported on in 1944. The school was built in 1856 (at a cost of £134), and a one classroom wing was added in 1884. There are four classroom; the one long wide corridor is used as a cloakroom along its whole length, with eight wash basins at the end. This is also used for washing up after school dinner, which is transported from Newton Hill.

An average of 34 children stay for the meal, which is eaten in three classrooms. Two of the classrooms are inter-connecting and for prayers and assembly they together serve as the school hall. Since the school was given controlled status a number of physical improvements have been made. Electricity was installed in December 1953, new wash basins were fitted and the lavatories were modernised in January 1954, general painting, both inside and out was carried out early in 1954 and the playground was resurfaced in March 1955. In addition new hot water geysers were installed in the latter part of 1955.

The playground space is not very large. There is a very low wall surrounding it, and there are no school gates. The Authority might be invited to consider whether or not a safety barrier at the edge of the pavement might not considerably lessen the danger of children running straight out of the playground across the road. Until May 1955, one of the four classrooms was used by the junior school, but on completion of a West Riding hut on 6 May 1955, the room reverted to use as an infants room. There have been several staff changes in recent years; the Headmistress herself has been here since 1948.

A year ago both the assistant teachers on the staff were on “supply”. Since September, 1954, however, two teachers have been appointed as full time members of staff, one of them coming straight from college. The teachers work well together. Until 1953 there was about 100 children on roll by the end of each summer term, but this had dropped to 92 by the end of summer 1955. It is expected that by the summer of 1956 the present total of 67 will have risen to 88. It is not proposed to report in detail at this stage on the work of the school. Commendable efforts are now being made to create a stimulating environment in which the children learn substantially by their own efforts and through their varied experiences in the school and classroom. It is too early to determine the success of this comparatively recent development.

Harry Ward

Appointed headmaster of Saint Peters Junior School in 1935 aged 27, and later headmaster of the amalgamated Junior and Infants, many local people remember Mr Ward as "The Gaffa". He was well respected by all of his pupils and had the ability to bring out the best in them. He was a keen sportsman, having played for Wakefield Rugby Union Club and for his County. He introduced Rugby League to the school in 1950 and helped produce players such as Malcolm Sampson (try scorer for Wakefield Trinity at Wembley), Mick Haigh (still playing rugby union for the Rodillians in his 50s), Melvyn Durham (his son played Rugby League for Bramley and Wakefield Trinity), and Ian Harris (still well known at Stanley Rangers).

He was also a distinguished musician, winning several prizes in the Pontefract Music Festivals with his fine singing voice and cello playing skills. Pupils were encouraged to take part in the musicals he organised together with local colleges. As we can see from the photos below, his pupils always did well in the competitions. After a long and sucessful career Harry retired in 1972, he left the school in a much better position that he found it.

His retirement coincided with the school moving into the old secondary modern building. My dad was taught by Mr Ward in the late 1930s, because Harry always lived in Stanley me and my dad bumped into him in Wakefield bus station in the mid 1980s. It was if he was still his head teacher, referring to him as Mr Ward. And after all those years he still shared a long running joke with my dad about being the class dunce (he had spent a lot of time stood in the corner wearing the dunce hat in his school years). Harry did not like the word dunce he preferred the term slow learner, ever the perfect gentleman. They must have spoken for 20 minutes about all manner of things from the good old days before ending with a handshake. Sadly Harry died in 1994 aged 86.

Saint Peters School memories by Grenville Horner

The school orchestra

The school orchestra photograph below was taken by/for The Wakefield Express, so I can only assume that we'd been successful at The Pontefract Music Festival, although I can't remember for which event.


 Saint Peters School Orchestra 1962

I am sitting next to Mr Ward, the headmaster, and was the leader of the school orchestra. The lady on the left of the picture holding the violin is Miss New, who came to the school to teach violin, as well as running another schools orchestra on Saturday mornings at Newton Hill School, which I used to attend. She used to drive an old Hillman Minx, as she taught in different schools around the area, and it was usually full to the brim with instruments, music stands and music. The school orchestra used to perform many concerts at the school, as well as at St Peters Church. I also played in a trio and a quartet with my sister Julie who played the cello, as well as performing as a solo violinist. The musical highlight of the year was the Pontefract Music Festival, where I remember winning several medals, either as a soloist or with the trio.  

Other school memories

Friday mornings were usually to be dreaded, as Mr. Baugh the vicar came to take assembly and teach the catechism, which we were supposed to learn off by heart. I remember him as a very foreboding character, quite rotund, always wearing a large trilby, and using a walking stick, which he used to wave around in the air when teaching us.

Great school trips...and very exciting, as hardly anyone had cars then.

We always travelled by 'Wards Coaches' of Robin Hood, to places such as the Blue John Caverns, and various stately homes around Yorkshire and Derbyshire, with our sandwiches packed tightly into tupperware containers.

Opposite the school was Mr Abson's shop, which sold sweets and general household products. I remember it as being very dark inside and absolutely crammed to the roof with

all sorts of domestic household items, from coal scuttles to fly paper. You always knew when the shop was open, as many items were displayed outside the shop on the pavement. Graham Abson, his son, eventually became the church organist.

Various fund raising events for the church used to take place at the school over the course of a year. There were whist drives, beetle drives, harvest festival, and of course concerts. 

My favourite was the annual bazaar, which took place on a Saturday, around the beginning of Autumn. People would buy tickets during the year, like a savings club, which they could then spend at the bazaar. We would set up the stalls on the Friday evening, and I would help on the household goods stall, with my dad Henry Horner and Jack Barber. The goods used to come from Holdsworths in Wakefield. Gleaming pots and pans, kettles, crockery, and all sorts of household things. This event was always very well attended, and probably the greatest fund raiser of the year.

If you have any old school photos we could use please contact us

Stanley Grove

The school opened on February 12 1909, 140 pupils had enrolled for the new school of which 136 turned up on the first day. The head teacher back then was Headley Vickers Wilkinson, the qualified assistants were Edwin Stead and Alice Rodgers and the un-qualified assistants were James Jones and Margaret Elsie Pickard. The old bike sheds still remain in the playground, but the old Second World War air raid shelter that stood at the back of the school was demolished in the 1980s when two new classrooms were built.

The main part of the Stanley Grove is typical Edwardian style, a main hall with classrooms leading off. This houses the junior classes. The infants are housed in two newly built classrooms which form an extension onto the main part of the building. The school is set in its own extensive grounds which include a large playing field. The main school building has been recently refurbished. This includes improvements to the administration areas, classrooms and the establishment of a new computer suite and library. Each classroom has been equipped with an interactive whiteboard. A newly developed 'outside learning area' offers opportunities for the children to enjoy the surroundings.

Lee Moor C of E Infants

The school was built in 1876 to accommodate 55 pupils; the school was one classroom with four windows, a cloakroom and small playground. It was built from local stone with a high pitched roof; the class room was 30ft x 16ft x 24ft high. In 1923 the school underwent improvements when it became a council run school and had two teachers, Alice Whitelock and Elsie Colleck (supplementary teacher) Below are several extracts from the schools log book;

March 15 1932

School closes today from 15.3.32 to 24.3.32 for the chicken pox epidemic

May 24 1932

Special lessons are being given today on Empire Day; all children are wearing a daisy

June 3rd 1932

3 children off school with dioreah, sanitary inspector visits the school - next entry says two of the children died

June 28

School closes for 3 weeks for epidemic of whooping cough, reopens July 18

The school closed in 1936, below are the last 3 entries in the school log book;


Forms distributed to the children telling them which schools they can attend after the holidays


The furniture has been cleaned and labelled, the stock book checked by the divisional clerk (Mr Beaumont)


School closes today, my duties as head teacher terminate, also Mrs Holbrook’s duties as assistant teacher.

Signed Alice Whitelock


 The old school house today

Saint Albans School Bottomboat

The school opened January 3 1876, for the first month the school was unable to follow the timetable because of a lack of apparatus. The school room was 30ft x 15ft x 24ft high and the class room was 20ft x 15.3ft x 15.3ft and was built to accommodate 83 children. Average attendance was 67 in the winter and 75 in the summer, the schools summer holidays were from July 21 to August 15 (1891). Back in those days the school closed regularly due to outbreaks of illnesses such as scarlet fever and whooping cough and would remain closed for three weeks at a time in some recorded instances. The school log book shows that in winter months the school opened at 1pm and closed at 3.30pm. An Inspectors report from 1892 is as follows;


Marion Dawson - Mistress

Eliza Mellor

Emily Griffiths

Henry G Price

Attendance at the infant school (average) boys 25.2 girls 35.4

School claimed a total of £45. 0. 1 for the year

The school continues to improve and so doing the circumstances in which work is carried out reflects much credit to Miss Dawson, but the younger children can not be satisfactorily managed and taught in an over crowded school room in which there is no skilled assistance. The school accommodation is at present insufficient for the average attendance.

In 1893 a new mistress took over the school, Elizabeth Ann Jeffery, other staff at the time was Emily Douglas, Emily Griffiths and Edith Knee (candidate on probation). The following year the school report was as follows;

A very fair state of efficiency. Attendance (average); boys 40.3 girls 40.5

In January 1911 the school suffered a bad measles outbreak and was closed for a month, in this year the school had an average attendance of 72.7. In the 1920s the Headmaster was a Mr Tate, The toilets were dry and were housed in a very old stone building, and straight across from the school was a tuck shop owned by a man called Mr Tate. The school closed in 1979 after over 100 years. The building was empty for many years before it was converted into a house, keeping the original large front window (which was later made smaller) and smaller side window, the building has also been extended and is now a desirable house.


School house in 1970s


The old school house today


  Bottomboat school group photo 1921, Ernest Lockwood is the one second from the left on the front row he was born in 1916 in Stanley. Photo courtesy of Steve Salt

The Closure of Bottomboat School

At the time of closure Bottomboat Church of England School had just over 20 pupils. The closure sparked allegations by many (including a local councillor candidate) that money was spent on new furniture and equipment for the school in 1979 to distort the actual running costs giving the appearance that the school was too costly to keep open. This was denied by Wakefield Council who said the closure was decided after a review of small schools on economic grounds. The school was ordered to in July 1980 and the pupils to be transferred to either Saint Peters of Stanley Grove schools.


Bottomboat School, note this photo is of the entire school

Photo dated December 1971

Mrs J Beaumont Head Mistress is on the right

Tracey Asquith is the small girl at the front, to her left is Elizabeth Bourke

Middle row, second from left is Elizabeth Wilkinson

Lofthouse Gate School Canal Lane

Built in 1878 for 80 pupils, this school is now a junior and infants.Today the school, which is a County Primary Day School, provides for the education of boys and girls between the ages of five and eleven years. In addition, Nursery education is provided, usually from the age of three.During the school year there will be 360 children of statutory school age on roll in the main school, together with 66 half time pupils in the Nursery. On reaching the age of 11+ the majority of children usually transfer to Outwood Grange High School.


Lofthouse Gate Primary School, May 1967 Rounders Team

Back row, left to right, David Rushforth, Peter Harrison, Howard Brickwood, Kevin Palfreman

Front row, left to right, John Briggs, Stephen Cooper, Paul Good, Glyn Violet, David Burkingshaw

Saint Swithens Ferry Lane 

Built in 1878 this infants school is always spoke of with fond memories, like most other schools in the area it had a Sunday school. sadly the building was demolished after the war. Built of brick the the classroom roof was open to the ridge and was heated by a open fire place. The playground was described as a surface of loose clinker in a report from 1905. The Headmistress in 1904 was Mrs Butterfield. An old document from the Yorkshire Family Historian Magazine told through the eyes of a former pupil describes the school as follows. "I attended the little church school on Ferry Lane St. Swithens, which was a short walk from the shop, I remember my first day. I would have been three years old so it would have been 1904; one of the older girls Mabel Hemmingway took me. The first lesson I had was with the aid of a sand tray in which I had to write the letter a in the sand with my finger. After that it was slates and pencils, we all had a bit of rag to wipe them clean with. We learn how to count, recite the alphabet and sing little songs. I recall being given a needle, knitting wool and a piece of thick felt. Then we had to curl the pieces of coloured tissue to make paper flowers and sew on the felt. We also had circles of crepe paper, which we folded up as small as possible and when opened they made coloured balls to hang up. The basic teaching was the three R’s and discipline was rigid. There was no talking in class and definitely no answering back in class. The teacher’s word was law".


Kingsland School

(Formerly West Hall)

The last school to be built in Stanley. The area of Stanley was known as king’s land in the Domesday Book, hence the name of the school and its logo. The school building is on the old West Hall School site that was built in the 1970s, but it has been extensively refurbished in order to meet the needs of pupils who have severe and profound and multiple learning difficulties. Kingsland School opened in September 2002 as a result of the amalgamation of three special schools in Wakefield under special school reorganisation. It is the only primary day community special school for pupils with severe and profound and multiple learning difficulties in Wakefield and has up to 80 places for pupils whose ages range between 2 and 11. The school is in a single storey building and there are ten classrooms, including a large early years classroom for pupils under five years and an autism resource for pupils who exhibit more complex autism. In addition to the classrooms the school has a hall, which also serves as a gym and dining area, a sensory room, a soft play room, a food technology room, a library, therapy rooms, hydrotherapy pool and disabled changing facilities. Most of the specialist areas have ceiling tracking for hoists. Pupils travel across the whole of the Wakefield district to attend Kingsland School and transport to school for pupils is organised by Wakefield Education Authority.


Kingsland School

Taken from Bottomboat

Stanley Lane Ends

County school, then Secondary School and later Junior and Infants

Built in 1914 for 400 pupils, the schools the school was built as a Secondary Modern before becoming the junior and infants’ school. Michael Kaye a former pupil remembers his time at the school as follows "Mr Wilson was the headmaster at the Secondary Modern, Mr Archer was the science teacher, Michael Hutchinson was the 'allsorts' teacher he also played rugby. Mr Elliott was a teacher, then there was Mr Thompson, PE teacher, he spoke with a lisp and pronounced slipper, swipper, one day whilst in PE, Alan Bellwood was talking like Mr Thompson off to a tee, I will give you some swipper boy, (In English, I'll give you some slipper boy), we were all laughing, then suddenly, Mr Thompson was there behind Alan Bellwood, yes Alan got some swipper !!!!. Mr Elliott’s classroom was at the front left of the school, Mr Profit was our other Sports teacher, (The Rugby field was built on at Rooks Nest Road , on the corner with Baker Lane ) the football field is still there. Mr Davenport was our Art teacher and Mrs Salisbury was the girls PE teacher. 

I seem to recall the rock garden being in the top left hand part of the school. In the photograph of the rock garden, the houses in the background are Long Causeway". Mr Bevil Ward succeeded Harry Ward as Saint Peters junior and infants Headmaster in 1972 after being his Deputy previously at the old Saint Peters up the road. Saint Peters moved into the Lane Ends Secondary Modern building the same year. Outwood Grange then became the school for those aged 11 and over. I have my own memories of this Mr Ward, he continued with the same principles Harry had set, encouraging youngsters in sports, teaching music and maintaining a strong link with the church. The old huts at the back of the school were boarded up for many years, they were not needed after the Secondary Modern closed, and they were briefly used by first years at Outwood Grange in 1981 when the school was damaged by fire. Saint Peters teachers and pupil numbers in 1981 were as follows;


Class 7 – Mr Oldroyd (deputy head)

Class 6 – Mrs Whatmuff

Class 5 – Mr Cade

Class 4 – Mrs Roys (temporary)

Class 3 – Mr Perkins

Class 2 – Mr Jarwick (temporary)

Mrs Miller – part time


Class 3 – Mrs Fox

Miss Pearson

Mrs Walker

Reception – Mrs Crossley

Total pupil numbers = 294

Another character of my time at the school was Mr Oldroyd. A former weightlifter he was a strict teacher, never afraid to throw the board rubber if he thought somebody was not paying attention; He was the deputy at the school for many years until he retired in 1991. Mr Ward retired in 1998 after 26 years as head teacher. Below is Mr Ward’s last entry in the school log book;


My final day at Saint Peters, 26 years after starting as deputy head. It brings to an end a 30 year association with the school and 32 years as a head teacher in a leading career spanning over 42 years.

The school then had a Headmistress, Hilary Dalgleash and between 1998 and 2000 the school underwent major refurbishment and now provides excellent accommodation, with each classroom having its own wet area for practical activities, there are two computer suites, both with Internet access, interactive Whiteboards, projectors and printers. There is also a craft room for DT and Art, a library classroom and a second library area, two halls, a reception area and central courtyard. Last year a new Headmaster took over at the school, Lee Wilson, faced with the challenges of the modern era we wish him well.

Secondary Modern photos

Saint Peters School photos

1972 onwards

Memories of St. Peter’s School

By Sheila Roy, former teacher at the School

Pets galore

In the days when I first started work at St Peter’s ,the quad was home to a number of animals, including Tommy the Tortoise and at least two rabbits. One of these was a giant of a creature (called Thumper if I remember rightly.) It used to come and bite your ankles if you got too close! The children in Mrs. Whatmuff’s class had the responsibility for looking after them , and there was many an afternoon when the rabbits refused to co-operate and had to be gently persuaded out of the rose bushes with a brush! Tommy was a real character too and regularly escaped into the corridor, once making it as far as the Infant entrance! He could get up a fair turn of speed if he put his mind to it. Sadly, health and safety rules meant that the handling of animals was no longer considered hygienic, but the pets went to good homes. We all rather regretted this, as there was much to be learnt from having this responsibility.

Bursting bulrushes​

Another episode that I remember very vividly, was when some bulrushes burst open in the classroom. A pupil had brought some in from Stanley Marsh nature reserve for the nature table and they were in a warm classroom, with the inevitable result that they silently burst open and released loads and loads of tiny seeds which floated around. Mr. Percy, the caretaker at the time, was not terribly amused, as he had the job of getting rid of them all!

Easter hat parades

Another tradition that everyone enjoyed was the infants’ Easter Bonnet parade. A few days before the Easter holidays, parents were invited to join in the concert of Spring songs, and then the infant children paraded all round school in their decorated hats. All the junior children used to line the corridors and watch the parade. There were some magnificent creations. All the children then received an egg from the Easter Bunny!

Citizens of Tomorrow