History of our School
Our school was opened in January 1911. Children attended until they were 14 years old. In 1933 the Infant Department was moved to the Grove Methodist Church on Stanhope Drive, where it remained until June 1960 when it transferred to the annexe of the school. The pupils then remained at Featherbank until they were eleven. In 1972 the juniors (7-11 years) were allocated places at the newly built Newlaithes Junior School. At this time the school became a pure Infant School (4-7 years).
Featherbank School was opened in 1911 to replace the Grove Day School, New Street. Entries in the school log book for that day note that all did not go smoothly as insufficient numbers of desks had been delivered to the school.
The first Headmaster was John William Rathmell who was a lay preacher in the Armley area of Leeds for over 50 years. His daughter was, later, a student teacher at the school. There is a picture of John William Rathmell in Horsforth Museum.
Children attended the school from the age of 5 until 14. However, scholarships could be obtained at the age of 11 to go to either Woodhouse Grove, Aireborough Grammar or the Leeds High Schools.
John William Rathmell was succeeded as Headmaster by Wilfred Walker, who by accounts of the time was a strict disciplinarian.
A copy of a memo sent to the school by the West Riding Education Department in December 1929 shows that road accidents are not a new phenomenon, although details of what actually happened are unavailable.
The memo reads "In connection with the recent fatal accident which occurred to a Scholar in attendance at the above named School, my Committee, at their recent Meeting requested that you make the necessary arrangements for your Staffs to take duty in seeing the Scholars safely across the main road until such time as other arrangements can be made.
Please let me know when this has been done."
The memo copied below shows us that in the thirties the school year was divided up into four terms rather than the three we have today.
It is to be hoped that another memo was sent out to clarify this one as apart from the end of the First Term, which is "The third Friday in October", the start and end of the other terms are less clearly defined e.g. Second Term commences "The first school day after the end of the First Term" and ends on "The last school day before the Christmas Holidays."
During the 1940's the tall building at the back of the shool was used by children from other secondary schools in Horsforth, the boys engaged in woodwork downstairs and the girls cookery upstairs.
Also in the 1940's the school playground was used by the A.T.C. for evening drill practice.
During the 1950's the school stopped being a through school and catered for children between the ages of 4 - 11. In 1972 the school became a pure Infant School.
Featherbank, circa 1970