Smithy Street first opened its doors under the name of ‘Smithy School’ in 1899.
Over the years it taught children of many different cultural backgrounds, including Irish, Chinese, Jewish and most recently Bangladeshi. Due to a falling role and declining birth rate in the local area, the school closed its doors in the early 1970’s
For the next 20 years or so, the school was used as an adult education centre. Classes included hairdressing, car mechanics, tap dancing, wood work and art.
In the late 1980’s there was a sharp rise in the population of Tower Hamlets, with an increasing number of Bangladeshi children needing a place in Primary School. It was therefore decided that Smithy School would open its door again to primary aged children.
On the 5th of September 1991, the school re-launched under the name ‘Smithy Street’ Primary School. Ms Barbara O’Carroll, as acting Head Teacher and Ms Diane Dorr, as acting Deputy Head, opened the school, with just 65 children and 3 newly qualified teachers. Initially, there were just 4 classes, a Year 1 class, a Year 2 class, a Year 3 class and a mixed Year 4, 5 and 6 class. Eventually a Nursery and Reception class were added. The school roll was growing continually, and soon the school was up to its 1 form entry capacity, with a healthy waiting list.
In the year 2000, it was decided that Smithy Street Primary School should become a 1.5 form school. After almost twenty years of service to the school Barbara O'Carroll retired as head teacher and Edith Philipsen was appointed. As the school roll continued to rise steadily, we became a 2 form entry school. To allow for the increased population a new wing was added to the school building in 2011, creating a new administration block, access lift to all floors, nursery classroom and an extended schools room to allow community access. Smithy Street currently has a capacity of around 450 pupils, with waiting lists in all year groups.