In 1834 Miss Cookson started a small school in a room in her home. She felt strongly that poorer girls should have the same opportunities for learning as those whose parents could afford to send them to one of the many schools in and around Minster Yard.
In the late 1840's she decided to build a school for them on a piece of land between Langworthgate and Greetwellgate, left to her by her late father. The school, designed by W H Nicholson and built by William Kirk, was completed in 1851 and officially opened on 1st January 1852, following a service at St Peter in Eastgate Church.
At the same time as Miss Cookson's school was opened, there was in existence St Peter in Eastgate Infants School on the site of the Parish Hall (next to the Bull and Chain public house) in Langworthgate.
Miss Cookson died in 1877 and the present school buildings were erected as a memorial to her. The Infant School moved to the new buildings, with its own Headmistress, so there were two separate schools on the same site.
Eventually the two schools combined to become a Junior Girls and Infants School. In 1970 it became a First School, and some years later, an Infants School again.
There are two buildings. One has the Reception Class (ages 4 & 5 years) and the Year 1 children (ages 5 & 6 years) with a shared activity room. The other building has the Main Entrance, Offices, Reception area, Library, Hall, Year 2 Classroom (ages 6 - 7 years) and Group room. Each class has direct access to its own outdoor classroom area to allow sheltered play during wet days or to provide shade on sunny days.