Cheney School's earliest roots stretch all the way to around 1797, when four Sunday Schools were started in Gloucester Green. One of these gradually grew, and went on to move into a purpose built site on New Inn Hall Street in 1901, becoming Oxford Central Girls School. Eventually, in 1959 it moved to the Cheney Lane site and became Cheney Girls Grammar School. However, this is only half the story! In 1934 John Henry Brookes created a junior day department of the Arts and Technical College, based in Church Street near st Ebbe's. This later become Cheney Technical School and moved to Cheney Lane in 1954. The two schools eventually merged in 1972 to become Cheney Comprehensive School.
As part of a project this year exploring the school's history, every Year Nine History student received a workshop exploring the history of the two schools, which incorporated a range of original material, such as old magazines, site plans, prospectuses, O level examination papers, letters between the school and the pupils, and a range of photographs too. The groups were also taken on a tour of the site, where they discovered that the Library and Canteen were the old assembly halls of the Technical and Grammar School respectively.
We collected feedback from the students on the parts of the school's history which they found most interesting, and have used this feedback to help us design the display boards above, which will be put up on the Canteen Stage very soon. There will be an event announced shortly to formally unveil the boards, and we will also be installing cabinets to display some of the items connected to the history of the school which have been kindly donated to us.
There are many inspirational students, headteachers and other members of the school community along the way and interesting stories behind both schools. You can watch a short slideshow video here made by the Rumble Museum to document the key events on the school's timeline. It's called "A Tale of Two Schools".