A Brief History of Armour
Heights Public School , Peterborough - up to about 1966
Armour Heights School was opened for classes in September, 1953.
Up until then, King George School , three blocks away, had been
the only Public School in the Ashburnham part of Peterborough .
Because of increased building of homes in this area after World
War II (e.g. the Nicholls Park Subdivision) the school population
had increased to the point where King George was overcrowded, so
more accommodation was a necessity.
The cornerstone of the new school was laid in
the early spring of 1953 by G. Wilson Craw, Chairman of the Board
of Education. The building had a Kindergarten room and eight regular
classrooms which housed Grades 1 to 6. Under the Kindergarten was
a basement room used as a general purpose room. The September enrolment
was 333 pupils. Grades 7 and 8 pupils continued to attend King
The first principal was Leonard McNeil, who had
at Queen Mary School . After two years, he left to become an inspector
in another part of the province. Clayton Bullock, vice-principal
of Queen Mary, then became principal and remained as head until
his retirement in June, 1973. At that time, Dennis Winch, principal
of Lakefield Junior School , was transferred to Armour Heights
Because of Board of Education policy, Armour Heights has had
ten different vice-principals. There have been nearly one hundred
regular classroom teachers plus specialists such as itinerant Remedial
Reading Teachers, Speech Therapists, Librarians, teachers of stringed
instruments, and later, brass and percussion, teachers of Oral
French. Nurses, doctors, and, for a time, dentists, have ministered
to the health needs of the pupils on a regular basis.
After three years of operation, the enrolment
of Armour Heights had increased to the point where the school could
accommodate pupils to the end of Grade 5 only, so a six-room addition
was planned. For the first time in planning school buildings, the
Peterborough Board of Education sought suggestions from the teachers.
The Staff of the school submitted a number of proposals all of
which were incorporated in the building to produce more functional
classrooms. In September, 1958, the new classrooms were opened,
thus enabling Armour Heights to serve all the pupils
With the establishment of Trent University in the early 1960's
land from Douro Township was annexed to the city. This land, which
extended north from the city along the river to a point beyond
Nassau , became part of Armour Heights School area. The pupils
from this new part were transported to and from school by bus,--the
first time busing was necessary in this area. This helped to swell
the school population in the 1960's so that it reached 500 pupils,--the
highest number this school has had to date.
To properly serve this larger number, with the changing ideas
in education, a larger general purpose room was needed. In 1968
this room was added, together with a new kitchen area, storage
room and small seminar room. The addition allowed a better physical
education programme and conversion of the room under the Kindergarten
to a school library.
The school playground at first was rather poor, being uneven
with a low wet spot in it. After some years, two retaining walls
were built, levelling, filling and draining were done so that it
was made more suitable for outdoor activities.
In 1966, Armour Heights and King George inaugurated
a co-operative arrangement whereby all Grade 5 and 6 pupils from
both areas went to King George and all Grades 7 and 8 pupils attended
Armour Heights . With this arrangement a rotary style for some
subjects could be established in the four grades named, thus permitting
some specialized teaching to be done and helping to prepare pupils
for Secondary School where this rotary arrangement is universal.
Early in the life of Armour Heights, a Home and
School Association was formed to aid in fostering co-operation
between the two groups whose chief interest in the pupils was their
This organization flourished for many years serving well in promoting
good relations and understanding between parents and teachers.
It used the monthly meeting to present information about the school
curriculum and topics of special interest to those dealing with
the upbringing of children. In a material way, it helped to provide
some useful and needed equipment
A BRIEF HISTORY OF ARMOUR HEIGHTS PUBLIC
SCHOOL -summarized from the earlier
version and updated to 1991
Armour Heights School was opened for classes in September
1953. Up until then, King George School had been the
only public school in the Ashburnham part of Peterborough . Because
of increased building of homes in this area after World War II
the school population had increased to the point where King George
was overcrowded; hence more accommodation was a necessity.
After three years of operation, the enrolment of Armour Heights
had increased to the point where the school could accommodate pupils
to the end of Grade 5 only, so a six-room addition was planned.
September 1958 the new classrooms were opened,
thus enabling Armour Heights to serve all the pupils from its area,
Kindergarten to Grade 8.
During the 1960's the school boundaries changed
and this helped to swell the school population so that it reached
500 pupils. To properly serve this number of students a larger
general purpose room was added in 1968, together
with a new kitchen area, storage room and small seminar room.
Throughout the 1970's and 1980's there
were further changes in boundaries, and during the years from 1989-1991 three
portables were added.
The school presently serves approximately 400 students (the
Kindergarten to Grade 8 students in the Armour Heights School area
and the Grade 7 and 8 students from the King George School area).
The Kindergartens, Grades 1-3 and 7-8 children are in the main
building while most Grade 4's, all the 5's and 6's are in the portables.
Early in the life of Armour Heights a Home and
School Association was formed and this organization, now called
the Armour Heights Community School Association, has flourished
for many years serving well in promoting good relations and understanding
between parents and teachers. It has used the monthly meeting to
present information about the school curriculum and topics of special
interest to those dealing with the upbringing of children. In a
material way, it has helped to provide some useful and needed equipment.