Calder Vale C of E Primary School

Grow, Achieve, Explore



Thank you for visiting our school website. I hope that you will find the information on this site useful.

Calder Vale C of E Primary is a Church of England school. We benefit from being situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty in the Forest of Bowland. We are able to utilise this for our curriculum with a fabulous outdoor woodland area for play and learning, a very large field for sports, an organic garden and our own chickens. Most children are drawn from the village itself and the surrounding hamlets and farms and increasingly from outside the immediate catchment and the Catterall area.

We enjoy a close relationship with the local community and our church of St John’s, as well as the Methodist chapel and the Catholic community within the village. Our children are enthusiastic and enjoy learning – they are well-motivated, caring and friendly which reflects our strong Christian values. The school sets high standards and we aim to be a school where everyone feels proud to belong, which parents are pleased to support and where everyone feels valued and fulfilled.

We are able to offer a wide ranging, stimulating curriculum with a free breakfast club starting from 7.45am. Our curriculum has a focus on high academic standards combined with developing strong, caring and happy children who are confident and able to go out into the world.

If you are thinking of visiting us, I would be delighted to show you around – please get in touch using one of the contacts provided.

To all our existing parents – we look forward to seeing you at our forthcoming events and thank you for your continued support.


Calder Vale St. John’s Church of England School is an Aided Primary School provided by Church of England Trustees to serve principally persons resident in Calder Vale, Oakenclough, Barnacre and parts of Claughton-on-Brock. It provides for children between the ages of 4 and 11 and is maintained by the Lancashire County Council. Admissions are controlled by the Governors.

St. John’s School was built, along with the adjoining Church in 1863. It is situated on a hill above the village of Calder Vale, surrounded by hills and moorland, which border the Forest of Bowland. From the village, the School can be reached via a footpath (one third of a mile). This path is flanked by the River Calder on one side and a fenced-off mill pond on the other. The footpath continues through Church Wood where in late springtime the masses of bluebells are beautiful. The alternative route for transport is through the hamlet of Oakenclough. Regarding the distance of the school from the village, over the years the question has been asked, “Why did they build the School and Church up there and not in Calder Vale?” The possible answer appears to be that a site large enough to accommodate an Anglican School, Church and Churchyard was not available in the village. The problem was eventually solved by the Garnett family of Quernmore Park near Lancaster. Mr. Garnett also owned Bleasdale Tower and the land which is now the School and Church. Before 1863 the School was held in the hall now known as Calder Vale village hall. Even to this day many of the senior residents in the village refer to the cottages adjoining the village hall as school cottages.

A wooden building, the infants’ classroom, was demolished in 1967 to provide a site for the new extension. This was dedicated on 23rd September 1967 by the Bishop of Blackburn, the Right Rev. C. R. Claxton. Another classroom attached to the original school building was converted into the school kitchen.

Calder Vale St. John’s CE Primary School painted by local artist Chas JacobsĀ