In 1934 application had been made for permission to build a Catholic school beside the Church but it was not until after the war and the 1944 Education Act that this could be done indeed St Brigid's was the first new school to be opened in the Archdiocese after the war. The men of the parish were mobilised to do the painting and grounds of the school. On July 8th 1950 Archbishop Masterson laid the foundation stone of the parish school. On July 21st 1951 the school was blessed and formally opened. All the potential pupils attended, the girls wearing white dresses and veils. The first term started on September 9th. From St Brigid's the children went to the new Catholic secondary schools Archbishop Masterson Boys or Archbishop Masterson Girls, or to the older established St Paul's Girls or St Philip's Boys Grammar schools and later to St Thomas Aquinas Boys Grammar School.
The close alliance between our Church and our Catholic School is one of the most enriching elements of our parish life. Three of the five heads of the school were religious sisters. The first head-teacher was Sister Malachy Joseph was succeeded by Sister Clare in 1960. Sister Marjorie took up the post when Sister Clare retired in 1978 and Mr Simon Dix followed Sister Marjorie in 2002. Mrs Rebecca Nash was appointed as head teacher in December 2009 and took up her post in April 2010.
The Parent Teachers' Association since the beginning has played an important part in supporting the parish as well as the school, and the school Masses and family Masses are profoundly edifying.
From 1955 onwards there was further housing development in the area and the baby boom provided unprecedented numbers of children for the new school. Classes were being held in the dining room, on the stage of the hall, and in the entrance hall. Some were even being taught in an old military building at Hill Top Park. Class sizes exceeded the official maximum of 44 children. School numbers reached 720 in 1959.
Children had to be bussed daily to Woodgate Valley where there was an annexe and to Bartley Green. Classes were held in the Nazareth House Convent at Longbridge. It was clearly necessary to provide another new primary school. This was called St Columba' s and was accessible for Rednal West Heath and Northfield families who lived west of Tessall Lane.
From 1973 the numbers of children and teachers dropped rapidly; so much so that by the eighties in many parts of the country it was difficult to keep Catholic schools going. However despite ever-greater government pressures, St Brigid's and St. Columba's have both continued to flourish as Catholic schools, growing in faith and the formation of young children.
The pre school group started in the early 1980’s and was so well run that it was one of the very few in Birmingham allowed to make the transition to fully established Nursery school status.
Unfortunately not the ones with chocolate chips.
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