The school sits in the heart of the town’s old mining district, on the site of the Russian Colliery. The whole area was full of clay pits, sand pits and many, many coal mines. The larger ones included Darlaston Pits on the south side of Pinfold Street, Mill Colliery where today’s Woods Bank housing estate stands, Herbert’s Park Colliery on the site of George Rose Park, and Lodge Hole Colliery at Kings Hill. There were also small pits in Moxley Road, Victory Avenue and Dangerfield Lane.

Some of the many coalmines in the area.

By the late 19th century most of the mineral working had ended except for a few small gin pits and the clay pits around Moxley.

At this time Darlaston had become industrialised with large factories dominating much of the landscape.

Because of the unstable nature of the land in most of the old mining district, it had been ignored by 19th century developers and had become a wasteland full of derelict pits and old spoil heaps, such as the ones at Herbert’s Park, and where Victory Avenue stands today. This example became known as the “Black Bonk” (Black Bank).

The town’s population continued to rapidly grow throughout the 19th century, which resulted in a shortage of suitable housing. Part of the area was redeveloped in the 1860s and 1870s when houses were built along Catherine’s Cross, Factory Street, Park Street, Mill Street, Foundry Street, and Moxley Road. By the 1920s much of the Victorian housing was overcrowded, with two or more families occupying a house with a maximum of two bedrooms. The population still continued to increase and and something had to be done. The solution came in the form of council houses, which were built in large numbers. The first ones appeared in Partridge Avenue and others soon followed in Wiley Avenue, Berry Avenue, Stanbury Avenue, Heathfield Lane West and Herbert’s Park Road.

Most of the local population worked in the town’s many factories, and by the 1930s there was a need for up-to-date, high quality primary schooling for their children. Until the mid 1930s the area had been served by two primary schools, Old Church School, and Dorsett Road Council School, which became the predecessor to Pinfold Street Primary School, and only had a relatively short life.

Dorset Road School was a revolutionary building, the first of its kind, which became known as the "Staffordshire Type" of school. Traditional Victorian schools were often overcrowded and poorly ventilated, leading to an unhealthy environment. Illnesses such as coughs and colds would quickly spread, resulting in poor attendances. The "Staffordshire Type" of school was well ventilated and quickly overcame the problem.

A class at Dorsett Road School in 1920.

There were fewer coughs and colds and no classroom smells, so everyone felt fresher at the end of the day. The new type of school was designed by Dr. Reid, the County Medical Officer, and the architects, who collaborated to produce a healthier environment for the children. They had clearly come up with the right solution because many such schools were built throughout the country. Darlaston still has one school of this type, Salisbury Street JMI.

Dorsett Road School opened in February 1907 and had accommodation for 1,140 pupils, by far the largest school in the town, twice as big as any other. In the early 1940s the school closed and the empty buildings were purchased by Longmore's who demolished them to make way for an extension to their factory. All that remains of the school today is the garden wall in Dorsett Road Terrace, which divides the newly built Woods Bank estate from the end house in the Terrace.

In September 1936 a large number of the school's pupils were moved to a newly built primary school, nearby in Pinfold Street Extension. This marked the opening of Pinfold Street Junior School.

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