The foundation stone for St Mary's School was laid on 19th September 1874 and it opened almost two years later in 1876. There were initially 63 pupils with four classes receiving morning lessons in religious instruction, reading, writing, dictation, copy books, arithmetic and counting. Afternoon lessons included tables, mental arithmetic, notation and numeration, reading, writing, dictation, copy books, arithmetic and counting! As a special treat, on Friday afternoons, all four classes had a quarter of an hour's singing!
A report in 1879 from the Education Department said,
"It is fair to state that this school....has during the last two months been almost inaccessible from snow and bad weather. It is a matter for wonder how many children got there at all."
In 1890, the numbers on roll reacher 99.
In 1903 Mrs Wigglesworth, the caretaker, used to brew tea or cocoa for pupils who lived too far away from school to go home for dinner.
For this they paid 1d.
In 1910, Mr Hodgkins, the Headmaster, introduced gardening into the school curriculum. A school garden was made and many prizes were won at local shows.
In 1923 the infant classroom was enlarged.A time capsule containing old coins and newspapers were placed inside a cavity in the wall.
This was discovered in 1963 when workmen were enlarging the school.They also discovered a Foundation Commeroration Plaque, now displayed in the school entrance.
In 1930, older children attending the school, aged 11-14 years,were transferred to Barrowford Secondary School. According to records, parents disagreed vociferously!
Electric light was installed in the school for the first time in 1936. That same year the school received an excellent report.