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Newington Green Primary School home page

School History

Newington Green Primary School has a fascinating history, as has the area of Newington Green itself.


Newington Green has been an influential area in our national history.   In The Village that Changed the World. A History of Newington Green, London N16, Alex Allardyce describes the evolution of the area and its famous intellectual and dissenting residents who shaped our history.  You can find out more about the history of the area in the booklet at the bottom of this page.


Schooling and education has been central to the development of the local area. There has been a school on this site since 1784, when Mary Wollstonecraft, the famous feminist, set up school for girls on this site, with her sister Eliza.


In 1884 The Matthias Road Boys School opened.  We have the Headmasters daily log book dating from this time, in which he records all the interesting daily events that happen in school.  The Headmaster records a visit from school inspectors in 1885 when he writes that inspectors say “animal physiology is taught to a high standard”.


In 2010 we discovered many items from the school archive that had previously thought to have been lost.  We have registers dating back to 1939, and a roll of service record of staff and pupils who served with Her Majesty’s Forces in Great War 1914 to 1918.


We are very fortunate to also have photographs and albums from about 1950 onwards.  One of the most surprising photographs shows a teacher smoking while teaching a class circa about 1970!


Our archive is on display in the school’s reception area.  We regularly receive visits and additional photographs and memories via post and email. If you were a past pupil, or member of staff we would love to hear from you!