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Davyhulme Primary School, Davyhulme
Half Term See you all on Tuesday 11th June
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School History

Davyhulme Primary School is an attractive school in a leafy suburb, south west of Manchester. The Junior school was built in 1939-40 (opening on 1st May 1940 ) and was later bordered by gardens, fruit trees and a spacious field. Its’ official title was Davyhulme County Primary Junior and Infant School which then reverted to Davyhulme Junior School when the Infant school was built and opened in 1951. Both schools came together as one once again on 1st September 2008.

Mr Edgar Shaw was the first Head. Past pupils and others will no doubt remember ‘The Nursery’, ‘The Woodwork Room’, green PE tunics, school blazers and hats, ‘Pop Shaw’ and his flower gardens with the most beautiful dahlias, that were sold to raise funds. The orchard still bears fruit but Mr Shaw’s flower garden went many years ago! There were pantomimes too – and yes, we still have some of those costumes!

Mr Shaw retired to the Lake District in the 1960s and Mr Duncan Nickson took over the headship. He was a superb mathematician, artist and woodcarver but sadly died in 1981, whilst he was still Head. You may remember trips to Paris, Chester Zoo, Chatsworth House and the Blue John Mines, together with sponsored canal walks and the huge summer fair. Mr. Harold Fifer took charge as acting Headteacher for 6 months while a replacement could be found. 

Miss Hazel Dodgson was appointed in 1982 and remained the head until she retired in 1995. A smater school uniform was introduced and perhaps pupils of that era will remember sewing and weaving lessons, charity events – particularly for Save the Children, and of course the start of the Y6 Shows and Summer Fairs. Inter-house and individual tournaments were introduced, some children met the Queen and the school celebrated its 50th Anniversary. After thirteen years as Head, Miss Dodgson retired in 1995.

Mrs Liz Hankinson was Head for a brief time from 1995 until 1998. The school logo became two owls and the uniform became navy blue. She led the school through its first successful Ofsted in 1996 and in 1998 was seconded as a Trafford adviser, leaving the deputy, Mr Paul Jones, as acting head – in charge of yet another Ofsted and the re-roofing programme! He saw the school through another successful Ofsted and a most ‘interesting’ period of building, floods and portacabins!

Mr Mr McDowell was appointed headteacher of the junior school and took up his post 1st May 2000. He has led the school through many changes , including a number of staff appointments , retirements and the transition from ‘old school to new school’ in all its’ connotations. Following another successful Ofsted inspection for the junior school ( ‘Good with many outstanding aspects’ , Nov 2005 ) Mr McDowell was asked to become Executive Head of the Infant school in April 2007. In September 2008 both schools became one and in May 2010 Ofsted inspected and judged Davyhulme Primary School to be “Outstanding”. 1st May 2010 marked Mr McDowell’s first ten years as headteacher and was 70 years exactly to the day the school first opened amid the dark clouds of the Battle of Britain and World War Two. 

In June 2013 the school was inspected by Ofsted three years after the previous one - no one knows the reason why to this day ! The school was found to be " Outstanding " in all areas even though ' the bar ' had been raised since the last one. There are several schools in the surrounding area that have not been inspected once since 2007 while our school has been inspected twice and both times found to be " Outstanding " so one can only wonder how this system is transparent and open.

Regardless of Ofsted and the whole inspection culture the staff and I have always made great strides to educate the ' whole child ' within a ' broad and balanced ' curriculum. We have always believed in this approach and always will. Today , Thursday 4th April 2019 , our School Council and members of our Eco group went to Davyhulme Park to help plant some oak trees and bury a ' Time ' capsule to be opened 30 years from now ...I included a letter to the  ' future ' headteacher of Davyhulme Primary School can only wonder how our school will look like in 2049 ? 

Updated by Mr P McDowell
(April 2019)

The country was hit by the Covid19 pandemic and so Davyhulme Primary School closed it's gates to all pupils in March 2020 , only accepting vulnerable pupils and those pupils of ' Keyworkers ' until further instruction from the UK government. Since then Davyhulme Primary School has been through many ' false dawns ' when we should have returned to normal but have not ...we are learning to live with a virus but pupils and their families are still having to isolate for 10 days at a time when they have a positive diagnosis.

Update by Mr P McDowell

( November 2021 )  



Head Teachers

Mr. E. Shaw- 1940-1964

Mr. D. Nickson- 1964-1981

Miss. I. H. Dodgson- 1982-1995

Mrs. L. Hankinson- 1995-1998

Mr. P. Jones (acting)- 1998- 2000

Mr. P. McDowell- 2000- Present Day


Mr. Shaw's Last Day

17th July 1964

School closed today for the Summer Holiday. It did not do so in the normal way, however. I was boss and captain of my own ship no longer, for the reins were taken right out of my hands by children, staff, officials and friends at 3.00 pm precisely. On this last afternoon, I was bidding goodbye as Headmaster of the Davyhulme County Junior School and in my final hour I had failed- there was no gainsaying the determination of seemingly everybody to refuse me a quiet withdrawal. After undue eulogies the Headmaster replied. Then, on behalf of children present and past, staff- present and past and parents- present and past, a Grundig Tape Recorder was presented to the Headmaster, who, in his turn, presented to the school a silver Rose Bowl on plinth. The children then presented a bouquet to Mrs. Shaw.

Following the dismissal of the children, the staff and friends partook together the final cup of refreshment and made the sad adieux.

So ended Mr. Shaw’s teaching service before the children, a service which began 48 years ago as a student-teacher at King Edward County School, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.

Mr. Edgar Shaw

Headmaster 1st May 1940 - 17th July 1964

The First Staff at DPS
Mr. Nickson's Staff
Fancy Dress Parade
Fairness? What do you mean?
School Trip to Paris
A Science Study
Our Famous School Shows