St Mary Immaculate Catholic Primary School

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St Mary Immaculate Catholic Primary School
Type Voluntary aided
Religion Roman Catholic
Headteacher Mr. Robert Gargan
Chair of Governors Julia FitzSimons
Location Warwick
CV34 5BG
Coordinates: 52°17′15″N 1°35′10″W / 52.287605°N 1.586111°W / 52.287605; -1.586111
Local authority Warwickshire County Council
Students 110 (2011)
Gender Mixed
Ages 4–11
Houses 4
Colours Blue and yellow         

St. Mary Immaculate Catholic Primary is a Catholic school in Warwick, England for children aged 4–11.[1][2] It has an on-site pre-school for children from age 2 years 9 months. The school was rated as "Good" by Ofsted in January 2015.

Ofsted Inspection – January 2015[edit]

During its January 2015 Ofsted inspection, the school attained a "GOOD" rating in all areas:

  • Leadership and Management
  • Behaviour and Safety of Pupils
  • Quality of Teaching
  • Achievement of Pupils
  • Early Years Provision

The school was praised for its excellent levels of attainment, very good behaviour, rigorous teaching and nurturing and caring environment. The full inspection report can be viewed on the Ofsted website.[3]


The Beginning[edit]

On 8 May 1905 St Mary Immaculate Catholic School, West Street opened its doors for the first time under the headship of Miss Cecilia McDonnell. It was a large room with a partition across the middle.[4]

World War II[edit]

In 1938 the school was becoming overcrowded. An inspector visited and noticed that children were finding it hard to concentrate, possibly due to the lack of space; 74 occupied a classroom built for 60 children.

It was around this time that the children began to use the swimming baths at St. Nicholas’ Park

The School’s air raid shelters were built on the grounds of nearby Warwick Castle which could be accessed through a door in the school wall. There were two; one for infants (5–7) and juniors (8–11) and another for seniors (11–14). Both were equipped with two chemical toilets and three hurricane lamps.

Luckily, the shelters were only ever used for practice.

The 1960s: An overcrowded school[edit]

By the time Mr. Tony Melton arrived in 1963, there were 120 pupils. When he left in 1967, the number had swollen to 200. He remembered his time at St. Mary Immaculate as the happiest of his career.

The infant teacher had 63 children in her class and one of Mr. Melton’s first actions as headmaster was to appoint another teacher for that group. By 1967 the school had six classes; three in the main building, one in a black and white building up the hill from the school, one in a portable building beside the presbytery and another in a portable building in the playground. Each class had around 35–40 pupils.

In 1969, the local MP raised the problem of overcrowding in parliament. The results led to the building of a new school.

Priory pools[edit]

Work began on a new building in Priory pools[5] in 1971. In April 1972 the juniors moved into the new school, with the infants joining them in the February of the following year. The newer, larger grounds allowed for a swimming pool to be built. This was finished in 1974.

Easter flood[edit]

On Maundy Thursday, 9 April 1998 it began to rain. One month’s rain fell in just twelve hours. All rivers were put on red alert. The following day, the river Leam burst its banks. The school was badly damaged and the pupils attended other schools whilst repairs were carried out.

Centenary Celebrations[edit]

In 2005, under the headship of Robert Gargan, St Mary Immaculate Catholic Primary School celebrated its Centenary. There were concerts, a Celebration Mass and the publication of the history of the school. A conservation garden was built on the site of the former swimming pool which had fallen into disuse.

Further reading[edit]

  • A Brief History of St Mary Immaculate School (2006), Edited by Helen Wild Includes text from previous history with further contributions.


  1. ^ Barber, Ruth (20 November 2009). Catholic Warwick: The Last 500 Years (1 ed.). ISBN 1-871269-27-X. 
  2. ^ "Schools". Parish Website. Retrieved 13 March 2010. [dead link]
  3. ^ "January 2015 Ofsted Inspection Report" (PDF). Ofsted. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  4. ^ "A brief history of St. Mary Immaculate School" (PDF). Parish Website. Retrieved 13 March 2010. 
  5. ^ Stott, Robin (21 April 2009). "Priory Pools Photograph". Retrieved 5 February 2010.  External link in |publisher= (help)

External links[edit]