A private school existed in 1818 at the Berkley Old Rectory for both Sunday and day school pupils, all at the Rector’s expense.
In about 1860, the Lord of the Manor, Sir Charles Mordaunt of Berkley House, had a building erected which was registered in 1864 as a public elementary school. This was enlarged in 1874 for 120 children, the attendance being 68 children.
Until 1952, the school was Voluntary Aided. After that date the Church handed over total responsibility for the maintenance of the building to Somerset County Council and the school became Voluntary Controlled, (V.C.)
In September 2003 Berkley C of E First School became Voluntary Aided again. The move to VA status will give the governing body more options for funding.
The enlarged buildings of 1874 remained much as they were until 1964 when the girls and later the boys toilet blocks were added. Oil fired central heating replaced the old coke stoves in the main building, and high ceilings enclosed with lower panels to improve insulation.
Four temporary classrooms (Elliot huts) have been added to cater for an expanding roll. One was added in 1969, the second in 1984 and the third in 1991. Two of them have now been replaced by new Elliot huts in 2003 and 2006. A new Elliot hut was installed in 2013.
Two of the Elliot huts serve the reception/infant age range, (4-7 years), and the third and fourth provide accommodation for a Year 3 and Year 4. The hall of the old building has the library and resource area and facilities for group teaching . This is used to serve hot school meals to all the children. A few bring packed lunches which they also eat in the hall. The small room in the main building, which used to serve as the infant classroom, is now a multi-purpose room serving, amongst other things, as Head Teachers office and School Business Manager’s Office. There is also a small kitchen area where small groups can cook or class cooking can be taken. staff also use this as a staff room during break times.
There is a small Den that is used as a Learning support area for 1:1 support or small group work. There are also other small areas that can also be used for this purpose.
The school is surrounded by a hard surfaced playground and children are given access to the grass playing field when conditions are suitable. The school and playing field is situated in a lovely rural location. An outside classroom sits in the field to provide additional teaching space and provides a nature classroom.
The children have an outside play trail and also vegetable plots which the gardening club plant every year.