What is ‘CXXV’?

North Primary School and Nursery in Colchester is proud to have been awarded National Lottery support from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the project CXXV: North School’s 125th Anniversary. Thanks to National Lottery players, this ambitious eighteen-month project aims to research and retell the 125 years history of North Primary School.

Our project will begin by researching the school’s history. Working with Historian Claire Driver, the teachers and pupils will explore the school’s archive at Essex Record Office, looking at the wonderful documents which include maps, architectural plans, photographs, log books and admission registers, to identify the school’s rich history and culture through the ages.

Through a series of community events and open days, we will be inviting a wide range of people, including current and former staff, pupils and families, to help us identify the social history of the school and its place in the local community. People will be invited to share their memories, donate objects, photographs and memorabilia. We will be developing an archive for the school, bringing together all the research, objects and oral history recordings that are donated. 

The archive will be brought to life by commissioning the artists Nicola Burrell and Lisa Temple Cox to make permanent artworks that creatively interpret the school’s heritage. Ron Suffield will create an animated timeline of the school’s history which will be accessed through the school’s website.

The archive and research will be made available and shared with the public through an exhibition, talks, learning resource, website and publication.

North Primary School was the first state board school in Colchester, opening on 12th November 1894, and is now a grade II listed building. The school has an extraordinary community ethos, which we believe began with the first Headmaster John Harper and has continued through to today, making it a focal point for the local community.

We are extremely grateful to our funders National Lottery Heritage Fund and project supporters at Essex Record Office, Colchester Museums, Colchester Recalled, Lexden History Group and Sir Bob Russell, High Steward of Colchester, who will be helping us for the duration of the project.