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School History

Petersfield Church of England (Aided) Primary School was officially opened on 22nd June 1962. Until that time, primary school aged children had been educated nearby in small village schools. However, by the 1950s numbers of pupils in many of these schools had fallen below sustainable levels and so the local authority began to Opening Parade explore the possibilities for consolidating the small village schools into one larger school, which could serve the whole area. As all but one of these schools were church-run schools, the Diocese of Ely, as well as the Cambridge Education Committee, were involved in the discussions.

After three years of negotiations, a suitable site for the new school was eventually found on Hurdleditch Road in Orwell. The land was purchased from Mr H.G Peters, of Manor Farm, Orwell. The land had been known locally as 'Greenbridge Meadow', but it is from Mr Peters that the school gets its name - Petersfield.

The construction of the new school building began in 1960. The Archdeacon of Ely led a service of dedication at the site, and Mrs Bambridge of Wimpole Hall planted a commemorative tree, which still grows with vigour outside what is now the head teacher's office.

Working at Desks

The first head teacher of the school was Mr Basil Waterton. A former naval serviceman, Mr Waterton came to the school from a deputy headship in Buckinghamshire, and was to remain at the school for twenty five years. He was succeeded as head teacher in 1986 by Mrs Barbara Radcliff.

Children on Church Steps

The school serves six South Cambridgeshire villages. Initially, the school would serve the villages of Orwell, Wimpole, Whaddon, Arrington and Croydon. A few years later, the school was pleased to welcome the children of Tadlow as well.

Petersfield has a special place in the community and is proud of its long tradition of excellence, innovation and service. We estimate that over 2,500 pupils have passed through our school since it opened in 1962. During our 50th anniversary year in 2012, the school's History Wall project was established to tell the school's story from its earliest beginnings to the modern day. The History Wall was unveiled on 19 May 2012 and celebrates the school's many successes and milestones over the years including:

School on the field
  • the school's official opening in 1962, followed quickly by ...
  • the worst winter since 1740!
  • the formation of our PTA (formally the 'Friends of Petersfield')
  • the opening of the school's first swimming pool (originally outdoor and unheated!)
  • Petersfield's first television
  • watching the first moon landing in the school hall
  • the arrival of Petersfield's first computer
  • our special relationship with the Wimpole Estate
  • sporting successes
  • music and dance performances
  • educational, cultural and environmental awards
  • a national History Association Award for our documentary 'Following Faded Footsteps'
  • the opening of the school's 'Growzone'
  • and much, much more.

We were thrilled with the community response to our History Wall project and since have published a colourful book entitled 'Petersfield: A Celebration of 50 Years of Success in Learning' which contains a wealth of information about the history of our school. If you would like to receive a copy, please contact us.

Latest News

24th Jul - School closes today to pupils, parents and visitors. Good luck year 6! Have an amazing summer and we look forward to welcoming you back to school on Wednesday 4th September. Happy holidays!

24th Jul - Following two and a half very successful transition days for all our pupils and the new reception children, this afternoon, our pupil returned to their 2018-19 classes to celebrate the year.

24th Jul - Thank you for all the gifts and kind words on the last day of term. They mean a lot. We are very proud of all our pupils and staff.

24th July - Well done to our 'Year 7' who presented the pupil ideas for FOPS spending to the committee today. We are very grateful for the tireless work of FOPS to raise much needed funds for the school and we look forward to receiving the requested resources in September.

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