History of the School

The school was built in 1974 as an infant’s school. It had just 9 children on roll.

Intially the school catered for children aged 5-7 years. Some of the children then transferred to the nearest Catholic school which was Sacred Heart in Paignton. Other children transferred to Eden Park Junior School in Brixham.

Here is a picture of the children taken on the first day that the school was opened.

The first staff were Mrs. Therese Glazebrook, the Headteacher and Mrs. Joy Preston, the Secretary and Infant helper. Mrs Becky Willoughby was a part-time teacher who came in Friday mornings so that the Headteacher could have administration time. The caretaker was called Mr. Head.

The school had one main hall and leading off the hall were two classrooms, two cloakrooms for pupils and a Chapel. The kitchen also led off the main hall. The kitchen was not suitable for cooking the mid-day meals, but it did have a hot plate to keep the food warm. The school meals came from the kitchen at Paignton Secondary School in Borough Road (Now Paignton Community College). After Higher Brixham was opened the meals were cooked on their premises and Margaret Clitherow received their meals from there.

Mrs. Preston, one of the first members of staff, has described what she remembers the school being like in the early days.

The school had one main hall and leading off the hall were two classrooms, two cloakrooms for pupils and a Chapel. The kitchen also led off the main hall. The kitchen was not suitable for cooking the mid-day meals, but it did have a hot plate to keep the food warm. The school meals came from the kitchen at Paignton Secondary School in Borough Road (Now Paignton Community College). After Higher Brixham was opened the meals were cooked on their premises and Margaret Clitherow received their meals from there.

The school also had a main entrance hall which had three fixed tables and benches. These were used for the dining area. At Christmas time the school joined Higher Brixham Primary for their Christmas lunch as both schools were small in number at the time.

The staff had an office which the Headteacher and Secretary shared amd a small staff room. There were also two toilets, a small caretakers room and a stockroom.

Father Robertson was the Parish Priest who visited every week. The morning assemblies and services on Holy days were held in the school Chapel.

The grounds outside the school were not landscaped but there was a decent path which ran all around the school. The children had one playground.

A new extension was added in 1995 which enlarged one of the classrooms and added a hall and gymnasium complete with a mobile stage and professional stage lighting. Another permanent classroom was added in 1996. We have a large playing field and playground suitable for football and other team sports.

This is a picture of the Hall being built in September 1994

We are a voluntary aided school, which means that we are only partly funded by the Catholic Diocese in which we are located (Plymouth). Most of our money comes from the Department for Employment and Education and the Local Authority.

Approximately half our children are practising Catholics, and half are from other Christian denominations.

This is a picture of the new classroom, with a target board painted on the wall.

In July 2000 a new classroom was opened by the Bishop of Plymouth. The new room became Class 3 and was for Year 3 and Year 4 pupils.

Who was Margaret Clitherow?

St Margaret

The school was named after Margaret Clitherow. The school name was mis-spelt by the authorities when the school opened in 1974, and was called Margaret Clitheroe R.C. Infant School. To change it would have meant a lot of legal work, so it was decided to leave the name, with the hope that one day the school would become a full primary and the name could then be changed. This of course happened when the school became a full primary.

Margaret Clitherow was the young wife of a butcher. In 1586 she was alleged to have hidden Jesuit priests in her house in the centre of York. The authorities decided that she should be put to death, and on 17 March 1586 she was executed. In 1970 she was canonised as Saint Margaret of York by Pope Paul VI. Her house was converted into a chapel in her memory, and a mass is now held there every Saturday.