A picture in the Cape Archives shows the children gathering outside the School Room. Although the Cape
Archives entitles the picture as being the school at the Congregational Church, Belmont Road, it is quite
obviously at St Paul's and many of the gravestones in the picture still exist. The picture was taken
around 1872 when the schoolmaster was a Mr Cowper (is he the bearded gentleman in the picture, I wonder?).
In 1865 the Parish Vestry Minutes (as the St Paul's Parish Council was known in those days) inform us that
there were "25 coloured children, 18 emancipated slaves' children, 6 negroes, 8 Malays and 45 white children"
in the upper school.
After World War II the numbers at the School had increased to between 150 and 180 pupils. Miss Currey reported
that this led to over-crowding and the Education Department decided to limit the numbers to 150 by making
the cut off at Std 4 (Grade 6).
The facilities at the school, however, were not up to the Education Department's requirements and some
land belonging to the City Council alongside St Andrew's, Newlands, was offered to the parish to combine the
two schools (those of St Andrew's and St Paul's). Plans for this continued to be delayed until on 13
December 1951 the school at St Paul's shut its doors for the last time.
According to the Parish Council Minutes, the majority of the pupils were transferred to "the Hindu School
in Main Street". Quite which school this was and whether it was "Main Road" or "Main Street, Newlands"
is at present not known.
In 1993 the Parish decided that its outreach should include re-starting a school which, like the original,
should be open to all. The parish office and the stage of the Parish Hall were converted into three
classrooms with toilet and play facilities. A Montesorri Pre-school called The Children's Place
was opened under the direction of Mrs Bridget Doyle.
In 2003 she sold the school to Mrs Wendy Mathers. The Church realised that
it had no input in the running of The Children's Place and therefore asked for a market-related
rent for the facilities being used. The Children's Place decided to move on to other premises
and the facilities began to be converted back into a parish office, storage room and meeting room in 2007.