On 8th May 1862, The Ursuline sisters came from Belgium to found a school. They settled in “Old House” in Upton Lane in the village of Upton. By 28th May they had begun a school in Sun Row (now Green Street) for the Catholic children of the area. This was the beginning of what we now call St. Antony’s Catholic Primary School. So the school is over 150 years old!
By January 1889 the boys had moved from the convent to the care of the Franciscans with Mr Cockburn as the Headteacher. The log book for January 18th 1889 says “Some of the boys in the upper standards are a little troublesome, but on the whole the boys are very docile and obedient.” The school has evolved over those years.
The infants and girls stayed with the Ursuline’s until 1903; in January 1904 they moved into the newly built St. Antony’s School. By August 1943 the boys and girls had been mixed. Following the 1944 Education Act the school ceased to cater for children older than eleven.
In the mid 1960s the school moved to its present site in Upton Avenue. We have a number of our present staff who were educated in the school; they all have their own stories to tell about the past.
After many years of badgering the Education Department St. Antony’s Nursery unit was opened in 1992 across the road from the school. It is a beautiful building and was very much a show nursery when it opened.
The school came full circle in September 1999 when the Infant and Junior schools were amalgamated to form the present St. Antony’s Catholic Primary school.
In August 2004 a major building project was started to incorporate the Nursery within the main building. This project also included building four new classrooms, a bigger Library and improved facilities for staff. The former Nursery building re-opened as a Satellite Children’s Centre known as Kids’ World.
The school has continued to change and grow over the last years but there has always been a strong desire to give the children the very best education.