History of English Martyrs
Dee Road before the school was built
Sister Anselm first became involved with families in the Tilehurst area in 1957. For some time it had been felt that there was a need for a primary school in the English Martyrs Parish. It was decided to make Catholic education available to a limited number of children and assess the interest shown in the venture. The original English Martyrs opened in St. Joseph's church in 1957 with a group of children who paid a nominal fee. Sr. Anselm, with the help of an untrained assistant, took on the total burden of running the school. Classes were held in a curtained off area at the back of the church.
English Martyrs School opened on the 16th of January 1962. The school started with 75 pupils and three teachers; all transferred from a school that had been established at St. Joseph's Church, Tilehurst five years before. Sister Anselm became the first Headteacher and threw herself into this new challenge with enthusiasm far beyond the call of duty.
On 30th April 1962, 150 new pupils ranging in age from five to eleven were admitted to the school. The school very quickly expanded and even though the Church provided two new Terrapin buildings it was still overcrowded. In 1968 the new Moorlands County Primary School in Church End Lane, generously made two classrooms available to us. These classrooms were used by English Martyrs for a further two years.