Coalbrookdale & Ironbridge School in the Past

Coalbrookdale in the Industrial Revolution

Our school has roots that stretch back more than two hundred years, to a time when the Gorge was at the centre of the industrial revolution. During these two centuries, four schools developed that would eventually merge to become Coalbrookdale & Ironbridge C.E. (Aided) School. Coalbrookdale Boys School was formed in 1816, Coalbrookdale Church School and Ironbridge Parochial Infant School both opened in 1831 and Ironbridge Parochial School came into being in 1859.

Our imposing Edwardian school building opened on 11th September 1911 as The Coalbrookdale High School. Mr Maurice Jones was the first headteacher to 46 boys and 24 girls, who were taught in separate schools. The schools remained single sex until their merger in 1932 and were fee paying until 1944 when scholarship exams were introduced. Pupils came from far afield with many travelling by train.

Coalbrookdale Staff and Pupils in the past

By 1961 over 400 pupils attended – almost three times the number of pupils the school was built for – and so in 1965 the school was amalgamated with Madeley Modern School and completed a move to the present Abraham Darby Academy site in 1968.

Three years later the building was re-opened as Coalbrookdale & Ironbridge C of E Primary School, formed from the merger of the earlier schools. The ‘new Church aided’ Primary School had 99 pupils and was officially opened on 19th May 1972 by The Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Hereford. The first headteacher was Mrs G K Vow. Numbers steadily increased and extra class rooms were added for a sixth class in 1987 and a seventh in 1995.

Victorian Reenactment at Coalbrookdale School

Many patterns of history continue to run through the school – with parents from miles around still choosing to send their children here. Our reputation has flourished as a school where high standards are achieved in a friendly caring atmosphere. In this respect little has changed since the doors of this building first opened 100 years ago.

What does it mean to be a Church School now?

As a Church school we try to create a distinctive ethos which is truly welcoming, reassuring and caring. Implementing this vision creates the foundation from which our children will become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens of the future.

We foster strong links with local churches, we meet daily for collective worship and prayers are said before lunch and at the end of the school day. We also participate in school and church services for Christian festivals.

If parents wish they can withdraw their children from collective worship and religious education.

The English system of education was built in partnership with the Christian churches, from the start of mass education. The state has taken responsibility for education but our school buildings are still owned by the church through the Hereford Diocesan Board of Education.