Aldbury C of E Primary and Nursery School

School History

Aldbury school has an incredible history, dating back almost 150 years. The school is proud to still retain log books dating back to 1879. 

Regulations for grant-aided schools from 1862 stated that a log book should be kept in which the principal teacher should make a brief daily entry on the progress and other relevant facts which might require to be referred to or may deserve to be recorded. In 1871 this requirement changed to a minimum weekly entry. 

We feel that these log books help the school, local community and wider historians know more about what makes Aldbury so unique and over time we endeavour to share some of the contents. 


It is important to note that the wording, views and descriptions are from the time that they were written and do not reflect the current teaching pedagogy, priorities or practices at the school.

School Buildings

Originally the school was run separately.

For the Infants' School.

In 1879 the dimensions of the school room were listed as:

Length 36ft

Breadth 18ft

Height 14ft


For the Mixed:

Dimensions: 58 x 18 x 14

Class Room 12 x 10 x 14

Head Teachers

1867 - John Lines (School Master (Mixed))

1879 - Alice Mary Filmer (Infants' Mistress)

1881 - Maria Tunbridge (Infants' Mistress)

1884 - Eliza Eleanor Groom (Infants' Mistress)

1884 - Mary Emma Lydster (Infants' Mistress)

1890 - Elizabeth J Skeer (Infants' Mistress)

1894 - Rose Lilian Lewis (Infants' Mistress)

1899 - Lizzie Jane Carter (Head Mistress of the Infants')

1901- Sara Newell (Head Mistress of the Infants')

1906 - Mary Stephenson (Head Mistress of Aldbury Infant School)

1906 - Thomas George Dale (Headmaster Aldbury Church School)

1928 - Madeline Mary Dale

1933 - Norman Shaw

1938 - Grace Kathleen Burleton Harris

1960 - Margaret Constance Kitson

1970 - Mr Williams

1973 - Doreen Davis

1979 - Denise Ruston

1994 - Marion Crookes

1996 - Doreen Meek (nee Corney)

2008 - Jayne Bowles

Margaret Priggs

2012 - Kathy Little

2015 - Natasha Chiswell

2022 - Jacqueline Moore

Log Book 1

1879 - 1907

Page 1Jan 10th 1879I Alice Mary Filmer commenced duties as Infants' Mistress Took charge of Infants in Boys' School The Infants' room being unfinished.
 Jan 17thList of scholars above 5 years of age sent into Local Authority. Average Attendance good. Children learnt a new song called "Come Little Flock".
 Jan 24thChildren above 6 years of age promoted. Average Attendance Poor.
Page 36Oct 31st 1881I Maria Tunbridge commenced duties as Infant Mistress. 66 children present
Page 66July 7thI Eliza Eleanor Groom commenced duties in this school this morning as Infants' Mistress. Number present 70.
Page 68July 21st 1884Rather a poor school today - several children away ill and some at home on account of the weather.
 July 23rdMrs Wood visited the school this afternoon first as children were leaving
 July 25th

School had a holiday yesterday as it was the choir treat and two of the monitors from this school belonged to the choir. 

Average Attendance for the week 64.

Several children still away ill with colds. Gave lessons on "The Dormouse" and "The Walnut Tree" to older children during the week.

 July 28thBetter attendance today. One new child admitted.
 July 31st

Mrs Wood visited the school this afternoon and heard some the first class read. Some of the first still do not know all their letters.

Taught children the words and rime of two new songs. "Little Bird" and "The Living".

Page 73Oct 23rd 1884Much Poorer attendance today - several children stayed away to pick up acorns. One new child admitted on Monday.
Page 106Nov 27th 1885

A very poor school indeed today on account of the Mixed school having a holiday - Number present in the morning 48 and in the afternoon only 36.

Children had lessons during the week on "The Wild Boar" and "The Oak Tree".

Page 127July 9th 1886Ordinary progress throughout the week
Page 229Sept 30th 1889I, Mary E Lydster take charge of the school today. 53 children present. Mrs Wood and the Rev. R. H Ryland have visited the school. Nellie Deacon has commenced work as Mistress.
Page 248May 5th 1890I Elizabeth J Skeer have commenced duties as Infants' Mistress, 49 children present. Mr Crawford visited the school. May Minall readmitted.
Page 324Aug 10th 1894Weekly average 47.5. Average for the quarter 50.9. We break up today for the Harvest Holiday and I resign my office as teacher in the Aldbury Infants' School. E. J. Skeer
 Sept 17thThe School has reopened today and the Managers regret that they have been not yet able to find a suitable successor to Miss Skeer. They are in correspondence with two teachers and hope that one may be appointed. In the meantime Miss N. Deacon a P.T. is carrying on the school with Miss Nelling under the supervision of Ms Lines. I shall visit the school frequently - Three new children have been admitted this morning and their names duly entered in the Admission Register. 54 present. H. J. Wood.
Page 326Oct 23rd 1894Visited the school and found all in good order. The Managers have appointed Miss Lewis of Whitstable College to take charge of the school at Christmas as they found it impossible to get a suitable Head Mistress to enter upon her duties at once. No of children present 59. H. J. Wood
Page 330Dec 31st 1894

I, Rose Lilian Lewis, began duties as Head Mistress of the Infant Dept.

The Attendance was poor, owing to severe weather the prevalance of bad coughs and colds.

Morning attendance 30 out of possible 66.

Afternoon attendance 33 out of possible 66.

Page 386Jan 2nd 1899I,Lizzie Jane Carter commenced work this morning as Head Mistress of the Infants'. 51 children present.
Page 425Jan 6th 1901

I, Sara Newell commenced duties today as Head Mistress of the Infants

Visitor Rev H. J. Wood

Page 487Feb 5th 1906

I Mary Stephenson commenced duties as Head Mistress of Aldbury Infant School. Reg No. 9584

Canon Wood visited the school this morning

Log Book 2

1895 - 1916

Page 1Sept 9th 1895

Re-commence after five weeks holiday 

Harvest not yet finished - 27 absent

Began the new books

Page 321Aug 3rd 1906

Rev. Canon Wood visited.

Average for the week 83.4 p.c 95.8

Average for the qr 82.1 p.c 92.9

My duties as School Master, which appointment I have held since May 4, 1867 cease this day.

 Sept 11th

Entered upon my duties as Headmaster of Aldbury Ch. School this day. Thomas Geo Dale

Miss Kate Keen entered upon her duties as Uncertified Mistress.

Staff:- Thomas Geo: Dale. Trained Certificated Master

Fanny Stratford. Uncertificated Assistant

Kate Keen.                     "            "


Log Book 3

1916 - 1930

Page 1Sept 4th 1916Received new attendance Registers, Summary Register + Log Book from the Educational Supply Association
Page 144Feb 8th 1923

Several children absent today owing to heavy rain.

The attendance officer called.

Miss Fairhead returned to her duties today.

 Feb 9th

The Rev. Cannon Wood visited the school

Average for the week:- 98.7

Percentage:- 93.1%

 Feb 12th

The Rev Cannon Wood visited the school.

Closed registers for the afternoon session at 1.10 pm to enable the children to leave at 3.20 pm to attend the funeral of Mr John Lines who formally head master of this school for over 40 years.

Page 145March 2nd 1923

James Kesley, Pupil Teacher, absent today without permission. I reported him to the Managers

Average for the week:- 97.5

Percentage :- 93.7

 March 5thJames Kesley still absent
 March 6th

James Kesley still absent

Boys gardening this afternoon.

 March 7thJames Kesley returned to School this morning and informed me that he had tried to enlist in the Army but that they had rejected him on account of his youth. Feeling that his presence in school might be harmful to the discipline of the school, I sent him home pending the decision of the County Council.
Page 239Jan 10th 1928School re-opened after the Christmas holidays at 9 am. The staff were all present with the exception of Mr T.G. Dale (headmaster) who is very ill. The work of the school during the week has been carried out by Miss G. M. Read. Assistant Mistress
 Jan 11thThe Attendance Officer visited the school.
 Jan 13th

The Rev. Claud. Wood who is acting as correspondent in the place of the Rev. Canon Wood during his illness visited the school and suggested that as Mr Dale's sickness was so serious, that a Supply teacher should be sent. Gardening and Woodwork were not taken this week.

Average for the week 105.5

Percentage 98.5%

Page 240Jan 16th

Mr Dale being still very ill, I took charge of the school today as Supply HdTeacher.

Madeline Dale 

 Jan 18thMr. Bunn called and was asked if he could possibly make arrangements with a handicraft instructor to take the woodwork class for the boys. He promised to do what he could in the matter. In the meantime the boys are doing ordinary school work.
 Jan 19thThe gardening class was not held today.
 Jan 20th

The Attendance officer visited the school

Average for the week 102.2

Percentage 95.5%

 Jan 20thReceived 2 tons of coal for the School from F Rolfe + Son Tring
 Jan 23rdI was not present in school this morning owing to the death of my husband. Mr T. G. Dale. Headmaster of the School. Miss Read took charge
 Jan 24thThe school was closed today for the funeral of the late Hd. Master
 Jan 25thMiss Read took charge of the school.
 Jan 26th

I resumed duties today. The School Nurse visited the school and examined all the children

Average for the week 101.1

Percentage 93.6%


Log Book 4

1931 - 1943

Page 1Jan 6th 1931

Reopened school at 9am after the Christmas Holidays - a good attendance + all members of staff present.

The Rector took opening prayers

Received 8 blackboards from A Hedges of Tring which have been renovated.

 Jan 7th

The Attendance Officer visited

Boys gardening in the afternoon

Received 1/2 chaldron of coke from W. Lockhart of Tring.


Log Book 5 

1943 - 1968

Page 1Sept 9th 1943

At nine o'clock this morning, the whole school assembled, and the Headmistress took a short service of Hymns and Prayers of Praise and Thanksgiving, for the great news of Italy's surrender and of Russia's victories. The proceedings began with the singing of the National Anthem, and ended with cheers for the King.

In the afternoon, with the approval of Mrs Strand the timetable was suspended, and each teacher arranged a programme of activities suitable for her class.

The two top classes were taken by Mr Harris and Mrs Eustace to Tring Museum.

Kathleen Wright was admitted to school this morning.

 Sept 10th Av att: 68.4 Percentage 93.7 Roll 73 Total Roll 92
Page 2Sept 13thDr Minett and Nurse inspected the school for cleanliness.
Page 116Jan 10th 1949School reopened as a Primary School


Log Book 6

1968 - 1987

Page 2Nov 15th 1968

Weekly staff meeting held during morning playtime. This has become customary every Friday. Matters regarding the children, organisation, new trends in education are discussed. Most of this morning meeting taken up with the planning of the three classes' different approach to the theme of Children of other Lands and discussing how to use the various material for the Christmas Concert.

Visit from Mr Gamlen, National Savings Movement. He was told that the School's savings group closed down since the withdrawal of the Gd savings stamp.

Page 66June 5th 1973The AGM of the Friends of Aldbury School. Some points in the constitution were altered. Parents expressed concerns about the danger to children as they cross the road outside school. I have promised to investigate the possibility of a road crossing patrol.
Page 147July 22nd 1977

A further article appeared in the paper, in answer to last week's criticism. The response from the parents has been absolutely overwhelming and their support has been most reassuring.

The end-of-term service was held at 2:30.

Dale Memorial prize - Stephen Wright

Games Cup - Trevor McNeill

Swimming Cup - Phillip Crannage

Leavers to Tring School - Listed in Log but not included here.

Leavers to Berkhamsted School - Listed in Log but not included here.


Log Book 7

1987 - 2003

Log Book 8

2003 - 2009