Welcome to the St Francis School Website. I sincerely hope that it manages to convey the special nature of our school to which, at the end of the day, only the children who pass through its doors can testify.
St Francis is a Catholic Voluntary Aided, mixed primary school for 4 -11 year old children. It is situated next to St Francis Parish Church whose catchment area it serves and with whom it shares a special relationship. The school is owned by the Diocese of Portsmouth and maintained by the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead.
I am justly proud of the teaching and support staff who together ensure that all children are challenged appropriately to develop as well rounded individuals. I am delighted too that the school enjoys the support of a very committed and supportive Board of Governors and a very active, hardworking Parent Teacher Association. It is with this strong partnership of school, home and parish that our children continue to flourish.
The nuns of St. Mary's Convent, Ascot had wanted to teach local children and took on the running of the school next to St. Francis' Church when it was first opened in 1892 with thirty - four children.
It was not, however, until after the arrival of Mother Bonaventure in 1899 that the school was declared efficient by Her Majesty's Inspectors. Mother Bonaventure was to remain as Headmistress for some forty years until her retirement in 1939. Mother Peter, from St. Mary's Convent, then became Headmistress.
A London school was evacuated to Ascot in 1939 and shared the school buildings - St. Francis school had the mornings, the evacuated school the afternoons - prior to moving to an Anglican Church hall.
At on the 10th November 1940 the school buildings were destroyed by a stray bomb dropped by a German plane. There were no casualties apart from a pet tortoise asleep under a hedge but the fifty children attending the school had to be accommodated elsewhere. For three weeks they shared the same Anglican Church Hall with the evacuated school and then went to an old building belonging to the Church of England school in Sunninghill. Their stay, which was meant to be temporary, lasted for some thirteen years.
In 1946 an architect was engaged to rebuild the school on the site by St. Francis Church for a hundred pupils. He reported that additional land or a change of location would be necessary. Plans were then shelved when a one form entry school in Bracknell was planned.
Conditions, however, in Sunninghill were shocking and were made more difficult after the 1944 Education Act which stated that children had to remain at school until they were fifteen years old. Father Martin Cawley, Franciscan Guardian from 1952-1957, realised that something had to be done urgently. He bought a reconstructed army hut for £595 and, having sited it by the church in Ascot, opened it in June 1953.The school was back where it had started - an important point as the Bracknell scheme faded out of sight.
By January 1957 the increase in the number of pupils meant that more accommodation was needed and a second-hand prefabricated hut was erected. In 1958 official permission for a new school building was given. The site was cleared in 1962 and the building completed the day before Archbishop King opened it on 4th October St Francis Feast Day.
Mother Peter retired in 1966 bringing to an end the long association of St. Mary's Convent with the Headship of St. Francis School.
Since then there have been three lay Head teachers - Mr. Basil Watts, Mrs. MollySutherland - Dodd and the current head Mrs. Jackie Wilson.
On 4th October 1992, St Francis Day, the school began a week of celebrations to mark its centenary.The oldest former pupil we could locate - at school here in 1904 - joined us for the Infants' Christmas production "The Christmas Farm" which celebrated the fact that St Francis was the first person to have thought of a crib at Christmas.
The school roll has dramatically increased over the last few years and over 1999-2000 the Governing body successfully organised an excellent increase of accommodation and security for present and future pupils and staff.
St Francis’ School was awarded the ‘Healthy Schools’ status in 2005.
A healthy school is one that is successful in helping pupils to do their best and build on their achievements. It is committed to ongoing improvement and development. It promotes physical and emotional health by providing accessible and relevant information and equipping pupils with the skills and attitudes to make informed decisions about their health. A healthy school understands the importance of investing in health to assist in the process of raising levels of pupil achievement and improving standards. It also recognises the need to provide both a physical and social environment that is conducive to learning.
As part of gaining the Healthy Schools status, a new range of School Meals have been prepared freshly each day on the premises, since 2005.
The school also participates in the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme, which is part of the 5 A DAY programme to increase fruit and vegetable consumption.
The school also provides access to free fresh drinking water at all times of day,
Significance of School Meals
The School Meals at St Francis’ are provided through our contractor, Harrison Catering.
All Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead schools use this contractor.
The meals provided are in accordance with the Food Standard Guidelines that were introduced by the government for all Primary Schools from September 2006.
The school prides itself on providing a rounded education that can encourage the many talents of individual children. Your child will experience the highest quality coaching, and will love all the fun of these action packed courses.