The Parish of Ponteland

Richard Coates School

In 1719 Richard Coates, a Newcastle shipbuilder, bequeathed a sum of money to set up a school in Ponteland for 12 boys and 12 girls to provide them with an education which otherwise would not be available to them. Richard Coates is buried in St Mary's church, and the first school was in the building that is now the estate agents by the roundabout across the road. Then a school was built immediately outside the church - which educated generations of Ponteland children until the 1950s.

Then a new Middle School was open on Thornhill Road, and the school has grown considerably since then with over 450 pupils aged from 9-13 years in 4 year groups. The school is proud of this tradition which makes them one of the oldest in the north east of England.

The school is a Church of England Middle School, and the links with St Mary's are very close. The children come to church on a regular basis, and the Vicar goes into school to take assembly about once a week. For several years our Palm Sunday procession with Jazz the donkey started at the school, see photo below.

The school's motto is "Let your light shine" - taken from Matthew's Gospel. It encapsulates the aim of the school - to provide opportunities and encouragement for everyone to make full use of the gifts and talents they have each been given, enabling all to achieve their full potential within a caring school with a Christian foundation.

The school has recently had a SIAMS inspection and were judged to be 'Outstanding', the full report can be read here.

More information about the school at

A Consultation has started into the future provision of schools in Ponteland, and the role of our Richard Coates CEVAM School (our church school). Details are here. Please hold our schools, the staff, governors, pupils and families in your prayers at this time of change.

The c1875 Coates School and Church before the clock was lowered and the tower strengthened with the buttress.

Photograph supplied by Ponteland Local History Society


The church also has good links with the other Ponteland schools, Ponteland Private Nursery and the Children's Centre.

Ponteland Private Nursery

Ponteland Sure Start Children's Centre

Ponteland First School

Darras Hall First School

Ponteland Community Middle School

Ponteland High School


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