School History and Emblem
1872 saw the opening of the first village school in Chobham, situated on the land between the present school building and the Bagshot Road. It was a Primary School, owned and controlled by the church, where infant and junior children were taught together. Despite being a new building, the conditions were not ideal. According to the Log Books dating from that period, it was cold and damp with the stove in the main school room making little difference to the temperature; whilst also causing a great deal of discomfort from its continual smoking.
In 1910 Surrey built a new school for the infants, with the junior children continuing their education in the original church-controlled school building. This 'new school' is still in use today and is now home to our Reception classroom, Music Room and Children's Centre. Older members of the village may remember when the village dentist used to run his surgery from the upstairs rooms!
For the next 65 years the infant and junior schools continued to be run independently of each other, with different head teachers and in different buildings. Then in 1975, in line with Surrey policy, the schools were reorganised into First and Middle Schools. However, in 1986 there was some doubt about the viability of the then St. Lawrence Middle School due to a fall in roll. Possible closure was discussed, but having lost the Secondary School some years previously, there was a strong local feeling that the middle school children should stay in the village to be educated.
The solution sought, was an amalgamation of the two schools which was implemented in January 1987, and this saw the opening of the 'Chobham St Lawrence C of E (Voluntary Aided) First and Middle School'. This brought together the two periods of the school's history, resulting in the educating of all children in one Diocesan Church School, funded by the county.
Since then the school has continued to grow and develop, embracing change and modernisation, with the addition of several new buildings alongside large refurbishment projects. In more recent years we have seen another name change, as in 2006 the school was renamed the 'St. Lawrence C of E (A) Primary School', reinforcing our links with the local church. We now stand on a large, well resourced site, working as a modern one-form entry village primary school, educating all children from ages 4-11.
Our school emblem, the bee, has much significance both to the school and the village, with its origins laying in local history.
In 1215 Thomas of Chobham appealed to Pope Honorius III that a churchyard at St. Lawrence Church might be consecrated for burials. Previously villagers were obliged to carry their deceased seven miles to the Benedictine Abbey at Chertsey, where upon arrival the abbot along with his monks, would perform the burial service.
The Pope delegated the Bishop of Winchester to hear the appeal. Concessions were made by both sides and Chobham village agreed to pay 20 shillings a year and 6lbs of beeswax in consideration of the loss to Chertsey from the burial fees. In 1230 this payment was reduced to 10 shillings and 6 lbs of wax.
It has been suggested that the two sites on Chobham Common marked 'Bee Garden' on the 1872 Ordnance Map, are possibly where the beehives once stood. It is from these hives that the wax may have been supplied for the Abbey tribute. However there is no documentation to support this claim other than word of mouth.
The bee emblem can be seen today on our stained glass window in the Hall, on our letterhead and all school paperwork, on our school uniform and in the stained glass window in Mrs Chenery's office.