School History

The original part of the school dates back to June 1957 when it opened as the infant department of Lerwick Central School.  In August 1966, on the retirement of Mr G W Blance from the post of Headmaster of Lerwick Central School, the school was divided into two sections namely:-

Lerwick Central Secondary School – Headmaster Mr John Graham

Lerwick Primary School – Headmaster Mr James Irvine

The population of Lerwick rose steadily during the 1970s and so it was necessary to extend the school and the 3 storey extension was officially opened on 7 May 1975.  By this time the school roll was 780 of whom 670 were accommodated in the school.  (The others were educated at the Old Infant School located in King Harald Street.)


By 1977 the roll of the school had risen to 840 and a second primary school was built at Sound to accommodate children from the new housing developments on the south side of Lerwick.  With the opening of Sound School it was necessary to change the name of Lerwick Primary School.

The school log book formally records the change when Mr Millham took over as headteacher on Mr J Irvine’s retirement.  “On this day, Friday 1 July, 1977, the school henceforth to be known as Bell’s Brae Primary School was handed over to Mr E Leslie Millham.”

During the late 1980s the school roll decreased freeing up accommodation and provided the opportunity to establish a nursery in the school.  Two nursery classes opened in August 1990 providing nursery education for up to 80 pre-school children from Lerwick and the surrounding area.  At this time the only schools which had nursery classes were Brae and Sound.

In 1994 the school was extended further to provide additional accommodation for the Additional Support Needs Department.

August 1966 – 1 July 1977 Mr James Irvine
1 July 1977 – 1 March 1990 Mr Les Millham
18 June 1990 – October 1992 Mrs Margaret Robertson
January 1993 – May 1994 Mrs Beryl Smith
November 1994 – 26 October 2008 Mrs Margaret Rorie
27 October 2008 – Mrs Jennifer Wadley

Further information about education in Shetland can be found in John J Graham’s book “A vehement thirst after knowledge” and in James W Irvine’s book “Lerwick – the birth and growth of an island town”.

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