West Ham Church School opened in 1723 as the first parish charity school in West Ham and also the first school to open in what is now the Newham area. It was held in the porch of the neighbouring All Saints church to teach the poor children of Plaistow and Stratford to read and it was attended by 10 boys.  Girls were first admitted two years later in 1725.

By 1731 the school had secured its own building east of the church yard and by 1752 a second school building was added to the north of the original building called the ‘School of Industry’.  In 1769, the ‘School of Industry’ started to be used by the owners of Sarah Bonnell’s girls’ school, so both Sarah Bonnell’s and West Ham Church School shared the same site.

The school’s shield comes from Sir John Henry Pelly, the first baronet of Upton, who was the school’s treasurer.  In 1861, when a new boy’s block was built, the building was first known as the Pelly Memorial.

In 1871 the West Ham Church School roll was then 330 in the boy’s school, 130 in the girl’s department and 190 infants.

By 1876 Sarah Bonnell’s School (also known at the time as West Ham High School for girls) had moved to West Ham Lane.  It was mainly for fee paying girls, but free places were reserved for West Ham Church School girls.

In 1934 West Ham Church School became a mixed infant and junior school.

In 1964, West Ham Church School was completely rebuilt after being damaged in the war.  The pictures below are of the old building before it was destroyed.  They were found on display in the local library.


School Term Report of a pupil from 1933. With kind thanks to Fred Holman's daughter, Deirdre.