Background and setting
St. Francis School was founded in 1816 as ‘St. Vincent de Paul and St. Patrick’ in the High Street, Stratford providing Catholic education to the community of Stratford. In about 1870 part of the school was transferred to Grove Crescent Road adjoining the new church of St. Vincent – later St. Francis. The other part of the school transferred to Forest lane. Soon afterwards in 1874 the two schools recombined at Grove Crescent Road.
In 1884 St. Patrick’s Infant School was opened on the old site in the High Street. In 1890 St. Vincent’s ( by now St. Francis) re-divided. The girl’s and infants moved into Park Avenue. The boys remained in Grove Crescent Road until 1900 when they too went to Park Avenue.
In 1900 St Patrick’s infant school closed and its pupils were transferred to St. Francis. In 1945 the school was reorganised into separate infant and mixed junior schools. Voluntary Aided status was granted in 1949.
In the early 1970’s the two schools moved to Maryland Park and were amalgamated in 1992 to become St. Francis Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary School.
The film director Alfred Hitchcock who was brought up as a Catholic in Leytonstone attended this school for a short time together with other members of his family as a small boy.