Primary schools in Banbury

Dashwood Banbury School

Dashwood Banbury Academy (former Dashwood Primary)is a long-established school formerly situated on Dashwood Road, Banbury. In September 2008 it moved to new premises in Merton Street in the Grimsbury district of Banbury. But this was accompanied by a disastrous Ofsted report which put the school into "special measures". The solution was a Federation with Banbury School (a secondary school) and Vicki McLean was seconded from Banbury School to run Dashwood School with Louise McGinty. Between them they got Dashwood School out of "special measures" within nine months and Ms McLean was confirmed as headteacher to carry the school forward. By the end of 2010 pupil numbers were rising with 190 boys and girls from 14 different nationalities. The school is achieving its targets with above-average numbers of pupils reaching Level 5 in English and Maths. After consultation with parents and pupils, the school introduced a uniform with green blazers and green and gold ties. In September 2011 Ofsted inspectors concluded the school was now good with many outstanding features, including "exemplary" pupil behaviour. In 2012 the school converted to Academy status.

Grange School

The Grange school is a large, non-denominational primary school located on Avocet Way, in the Cherwell Heights ward. It neighbours St John's Roman Catholic Primary School, with which it shares a main field, but also has its own land at the back of the campus. It has 297 pupils in the 4 – 11 age range. The Headmistress is Mrs Michelle Dibben.

According to a 2004 Ofsted inspection of the school, entry level is well above the national average, as are the attainment levels in year 6 pupils.

The school has won a number of awards:

Hanwell Fields Community School

Hanwell Fields Community School is situated on Rotary Way in the Hanwell Fields estate. It was built because the estate is not yet fully complete, it over 200 pupils.

Hardwick school

Hardwick school is a primary school which is situated on Ferriston, was opened in 1977 and serves the growing community of Hardwick. It has 247 pupils in the 4 – 11 age range.[1] It has a large sloped playing field which lies adjacent to Ironstones park.

Harriers Banbury Academy

Harriers is a primary school situated in the Easington ward of Banbury (formerly Harriers Ground Primary). It has 295 pupils in the 4 – 11 age range. It operates on a big site near the town centre with a playground and large field that is used at break and lunchtimes and for sporting events by pupils. In Spring 2012, after the Governors identified a number of problems, Ms Vicki McLean was transferred from Dashwood Banbury Academy to take charge at Harriers. Later in the year a snap Ofsted Inspection found that: "Pupils thoroughly enjoy school and learning. They feel safe, behave well and have positive attitudes". In February 2013 the school left Oxfordshire County Council control to become an Academy, working alongside the local secondary school Banbury Academy and the Aspirations Academy Trust.

Hill View School

Hill View is a primary school situated on Hill View Crescent in the Ruscote ward. It has 489 pupils in the 4 – 11 age range.

In 1999 the school appeared on ITV's Diggit Christmas show. The show featured the school's Christmas production, which was called 'Jack the Musical'.

Orchard Fields Community School

Orchard Fields Community School and the relevant parts of Princess Diana park before it was built

Orchard Fields Community School is a large primary school situated in Edmunds Road. The school was formerly two separate schools, Neithrop County Infants and Neithrop County Juniors. The latter was closed down in 2002 after it was judged by Ofsted to be failing.[2]

Orchard Fields has 331 pupils in the 3–11 age range. The school also has a day care center, where children up to the age of 11 can go. The Headmistress used to be Maggie Twydell.

In September 2007 the school moved to a newly built site on Princess Diana park.[3]

In 2003, the disused buildings of the former junior school were badly damaged in an arson attack.[4]

St John's Priory School

St John's Priory School is a relatively small independent primary school, situated on St John's Road, in the Calthorpe ward. St John's Priory is set in the original Grade II listed Priory close to Banbury Cross and retains its historic charm. The Priory dates from around mid 19th century with earlier origins, probably incorporating the medieval remains of the 13th century hospital of St John the Baptist. The school’s origins can be traced back to June 1847 when a girls’ convent school was founded by Geneviève Dupuis. During her lifetime Geneviève Dupuis founded the Sisters Charity of St Paul the Apostle and opened 88 convents where the Sisters ministered in the fields of education, health and child care as well as parish work. Since 1990 St John’s Priory School has been in private ownership and is now a non denominational day Preparatory school for boys and girls aged 3 – 11. In April 2011, the Priory was taken into new and local ownership. Giorgio Mystkowski and Karl Durham, two local businessmen with long standing family connections to the area, acquired St John’s Priory School. Karl also has the added dimension of having two children currently at the school. The Headmistress is Mrs Tracey Wilson.

St John's Roman Catholic Primary School

St John's Roman Catholic Primary School is a primary school on Avocet Way in the Cherwell Heights ward. It is a primary school with 280 pupils from the ages of 3–11. It shares a big field with the Grange School, but also has land of its own all around the site.[5]

St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Primary School

St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Primary School
St Joseph's RC school, Banbury in 2010

St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Primary School is a Catholic primary school situated on Fiennes Road in the Neithrop ward. It has 164 pupils in the 3–11 age range.[6]

St Leonard's Church of England Primary School

St Leonard's Church of England Primary School is on Overthorpe Road (access from Causeway) in the historic hamlet of Grimsbury. It is one of the town's larger primary schools with 419 pupils[7] in the age range of 3 – 11. The current premises were opened in 1995, since when there have been substantial extensions as the population of the school has grown.

St Mary's CE (C.) Primary School

St Mary's CE (C.) Primary School is an average sized primary school. It is located close to the town centre and therefore has a smaller than average catchment area, although it has 233 pupils in the 3–11 age range. The main school building is Victorian although much altered by addition of a hall and additional classrooms in the early twentieth century. The school had a new building for the key stage 1 children which was open in late 2003 to replace a 50-year-old block. The former Maytree nursery is now the school's foundation stage unit. It also has a large field and a small nature reserve with a wild life pond. The school is situated on the Southam Road with vehicle access via Bluecoat Close.

The school was formerly the Bluecoat school and was founded in 1705 for boys and girls, above the old jail in the market place. The original building now houses Buckell and Ballard's Estate Agency. In 1817 the school was incorporated with the newly established national schools for boys and girls. In 1835, the national school at Banbury educated about 120 boys and 75 girls, besides occasional scholars on Sundays.[8][9] The Bluecoat Charity still exists, the trustees meeting regularly at the school to make grants for school uniforms and other educational purposes.

The Headmaster is Ms Katherine Crawford. For many years Mr Wass was "The Fine Lady" in the Banbury Hobby Horse Festival.[10] Some pupils have developed a strong interest in traditional dance and drama through attending folk dance club and in 2008 the school won the West Midlands Folk Federation Outstanding Achievement/Contribution Award for promoting folk music and dance.[11]

The work of the staff and pupils in developing a creative curriculum has been recognised by its inclusion as a case study in the 2008 publication by the Department for Children, Schools and Families titled "Shakespeare for all ages and stages".[12]

William Morris School

William Morris School is a primary school on Bretch Hill Road in the Bretch Hill ward. It has 198 pupils in the 3–11 age range. The Headmistress is Mrs Sally Newman.[13]

See also


Coordinates: 52°04′N 1°20′W / 52.06°N 1.34°W / 52.06; -1.34

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