For generations of boys The Shade School was where they completed their education. The school, with the school house on the left, was built in 1875 and extended in 1906 when it was called the Soham Boys and Infants County School and there were 257 on the roll. A few won scholarships to The Grammar School, but most left there to start work at the age of thirteen or fourteen.
The first headteacher was Mr Joseph Farrow, who was succeeded in 1906 by Mr George Frederick Fenton, who had been an assistant teacher there from 1894-1900. Mr Fenton, who played an active role in Soham's musical life, was succeeded in January 1926 by Mr P W 'Pop' Lovering, who eventually retired when the Village College opened in 1958 and the school was renamed Soham County Junior Mixed School with 70 boys and 52 girls on the roll. Despite the name changes, it would always be 'The Shade' and when, in 1991, the year after the Clay Street school closed, it too closed and pupils transferred to the new Weatheralls School, it was the end of an era.