St Barnabas’ Primary School, Oxford was founded as a Church School in 1854 by St Barnabas Parish and is now financed by the Oxfordshire County Council in partnership with the Diocese of Oxford, which is part of the Church of England.

The school moved to its present site in 1977. It was designed as a modern open-plan building, consisting of four teaching areas and a purpose-built nursery unit grouped around a central atrium-playground. Four new classrooms were added in 2002 together with new offices and a computer room to enable the school to become a full primary school in September 2003. There are two hard-surfaced playgrounds and a playing field. The hall and dining area were specifically designed for community use as well as school use.

St Barnabas’ School serves the community of Jericho and the area immediately to the north of the city centre. The school has a lively and involved PTA and good links with the parish church of St Barnabas and the community. We welcome children of all nationalities and religions. We regard the range of languages and the knowledge of other cultures within the school as a positive asset in our approach to a multi-cultural education.


The Tudor Rose Emblem for St Barnabas

The emblem for St Barnabas’, among other things, is a shield shape with three rows of roses on it; the first row is of three silver Tudor roses on a red field, the second row two red roses on a silver field and the third is a single silver rose on a red field.  In past times, clerks would celebrate St Barnabas’ day by making garlands of roses to wear and in Germany houses were decorated with ‘Barnaby’ garlands.  This is likely to be linked to the time of year for St Barnabas’ day, 11th June.

When I was a pupil at St Barnabas’, we always went to church on St Barnabas’ day and we always wore red roses.  My Gran would make sure that there was a rose or two in her garden and I would visit here before going to school to have my buttonhole pinned on me.  After church we had the rest of the day off.

St Barnabas isn’t officially an apostle, he wasn’t one of the original 12, but his association with St Paul has meant that he has been given this status.  As he travelled with Paul to spread the word and establish the early church, his statutes show him carrying a large book and a staff.  When St Barnabas parish was created out of the parish of St Thomas (down by the station), St Paul’s was already in existence, so the new church was dedicated to St Barnabas’ in recognition of the partnership of Barnabas’ and Paul.

Mary Whitlock