A school started in the village in 1837 when Nicholas Adamson Roch, the son of the main landowner in Cosheston, and the Rector, Reverend Holcombe, decided to start a Sunday School to encourage the local children of the poor to read. Mr Roch held many important public offices but was very interested in the education of the village children.
By 1847, the only day school in the village was a ‘dame school’, run by a lady in her own home. Inspectors reported that the room had two tables, some benches and four chairs. When he visited, this school had been closed for a week due to severe weather! The Sunday school was teaching 40-50 children aged 5-14 to read for a few hours every Sunday, with 5 adults to help, but they didn’t have enough time to teach the children to write.
In 1858 Mr Roch and his father and mother gifted the land to the Parish of Cosheston to build a school and school house. Subscriptions were collected to build the school, plus a government grant – it cost £930 4 s 6d to build. On January 24th 1859, Cosheston and Nash National School was opened. It was designed for 120 scholars with living accommodation for the master.
Mr Roch helped each week by teaching arithmetic and each year for 50 years provided the school with an annual treat – tea and games with presents for the children. He also helped to pay school fees for poorer pupils – at the time children had to pay each week to come to school. Mr Roch gave prizes for good attendance and test results and paid for an extra infant classroom to be built.
After Mr Roch, Colonel and Mrs Phillips then became the school’s patrons.
By 1907 the children were learning Geography, History, Conversation lessons, Poetry, Copy Book work, Recitation, Arithmetic, Singing, Needlework, Physical Exercises, Drawing, Brushwork, Hygiene, Observation Lessons and Nature Study, many of which we still enjoy in school today!