The following extract was taken from the ‘Press & Journal’ in the 1970’s. It gives a brief history of Strichen School.
‘This is an essay about Strichen School in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
In the 17th century, the parish minister complained that the laird had not paid for the upkeep of Strichen School since 1640.
We know that there has been a school in Strichen for at least 337 years from the above statement. In 1688 the first proper school master was appointed. Also in that year the first real school was built at the cost of 7 pounds and 7 shillings plus two sacks of oatmeal.
In the 18th century the teacher’s salary was 15 pounds and 6 shillings and 8 pence per year and for the fire the pupils had to bring peat. Fees were one shilling per quarter. Mr Finnie was the teacher, and he stayed for 42 years. The church gave a bible to a pupil called John Woodman whose descendants endowed the local library, opened in the 1920’s.
Andrew Anderson was a pupil from 1856 - 1857. His father was a pupil and Sir Alexander Anderson, the provost of Aberdeen was a pupil before him. This family was also involved with the library.
In the 19th century there were three schools. The Parish School, Nicol’s School, (set up by money left by James Nicol to found a school for poor children) , Bell Steven’s School for girls and young children, and all these schools became joined to gether. John Gordon was the teacher of the Parish School for 60 years. When he died he left money to the school, and this money was used to set up the ‘Gordon Bursaries’ which were used to send pupils to the university. Twenty one of these graduated from Aberdeen University.
From 1943 - 1950 15 pupils went to the university from Strichen. In 1950 the school was demoted to a three year school with a large percentage of its pupils going to Fraserburgh. At present there are 51 pupils in the secondary and approximately 160 in the primary. Those who remain in the secondary department have the chance to gain the following ‘O’ grade passes - home economics, A.P. & H, arithmetic, technical drawing, metal work, woodwork, art, history and English.
Opportunities and Achievements
In recent years members of the school have gone to the Highland Show in Edinburgh, and with British Rail capital tour to London. In 1969 James Gray won first prize in a national handwriting competition and was awarded a cruise to the Greek Islands. Alexander Thompson won a wrist watch as first prize in the ‘British Trades Alphabet’ competition with his model of Captain Cook’s ship Endeavour.
The school also came second, third and fourth, and won the Martyn Trophy. In all, this school has won five times. Recently primary children raised £75 for the disabled and a jumble sale in aid of the Aberdeen and North east fund for the blind raised £65. In 1977 primary 7 won the Grampian Heritage Trophy for a project submitted by the class, and Evan Smith (also in primary 7) won the cycling competition for the best cyclist of the Grampian area.
I think we should be very proud of our school for all the lovely things that have been won by the pupils, and for the opportunities it gives us.’
We are very grateful for the person who took this article into school for us to see. As a point of interest we ‘found’ some of the trophies mentioned in the back of a cupboard. They were very tarnished and we thought that they would not be able to be displayed. However, due to the hard work of one of our members of staff they are now all cleaned up and sitting proudly in the entrance foyer of the school. We hope that we might be able to find out a little more about them in due course.
If you have any other information about the history of the school or have any great stories that you would like to share with everyone please get in touch with us at school or email us at email@example.com .
We would be delighted to receive any old photos that we could use on the website or for a display in school. These could be scanned if necessary so they can be returned to you.