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Wiltshire Community History

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Winterslow C. of E. Aided Primary School

Winterslow C. of E. Aided Primary School Date Photo Taken 2008
Uploaded 23/12/2008 17:07:01
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Map Latitude 51.09387383894213 : Longitude -1.6620469093322754
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Original Media Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre

In 1833, during the Rectorship of Matthew Marsh, a small school was erected on land in Middle Winterslow given by Henry Richard, Lord Holland. The National Society for promoting the Education of the Poor and the Principles of the Established church throughout England and Wales provided £40 towards the cost of the building, St. John's College contributed £20, and further funds were received from voluntary contributions. The school was to accommodate 50 infants. A board still hanging on a wall in the modern primary school records the names of the subscribers to the early school.

In 1856, during the Rectorship of Edward Luard who was responsible for the rebuilding of the church, a new school building was erected; again the land was donated by Lord Holland. Mr. F.T. Egerton of Roche Court provided the funds for the school building, and the master's house was paid for by subscriptions from Lord Holland, the Rector, the public and St. John's College. The builder was Robert Robinson of Broughton.

The opening of the school, by the Bishop of Sarum, was reported in the Salisbury Journal. The deeds state that the school was for "the education of children and adults or children only of the labouring manufacturing and other poorer classes" according to the principles of the National Society. By 1858 the school was known as Winterslow National School.

In 1859 the school was inspected for the first time. The inspector noted the "excellent" school-room and teacher's residence and indicated that there were some 140 children on roll. Of these children some would have walked from other parishes where schools did not exist. The inspector also noted that a dame school was operating in a cottage, where 20 children were taught.

In the 1860s an evening school and a Sunday school (at which attendance was compulsory unless parents objected on religious grounds) were also in operation on the new school premises.

In 1916, 2,361 free school meals were served in the Parish Hall. These were prepared by the Headmaster's wife, Mrs. Witt, and paid for by Mr. Clough of Middleton Manor.

In May 1940 the Headteacher was informed that the school would be required to take in some 40 - 80 children evacuated from Portsmouth. The staff proceeded to explore premises in Winterslow which could possibly be used as classrooms. At the end of June 1940 the school staff, together with the two male teachers who would accompany the evacuees, met to finalise arrangements for the intake - in the event 45 children. Very crowded conditions were the inevitable result. Now there would be five classes, one of which would use the Parish Hall in Middle Winterslow. By July 1944 only a small number of evacuated children remained in the school.

After the War, in 1946, the school kitchen was built, although the Parish Hall continued to be used as the school dining room.

When the status of Winterslow National School, as a Church school, had to be determined in accordance with the requirements of the Education Act, 1944, the decision was made that it should remain a Church aided school rather than pass to the control of the local education authority. The school name then changed from Winterslow National School to Winterslow Church of England (Aided) School. The emblem of the new school was the crest of Lord Ilchester, in reminiscence of the Holland family association with Winterslow and with Pitton and Farley.

The number of children on roll steadily increased until by June 1953 there were 153 children on roll. In January 1954 the senior children from Pitton and Farley Church of England Schools were incorporated into the school. A further teacher was employed and the Oddfellows' Hall was rented as a fourth classroom to accommodate the increased pupil numbers.

In 1955 school numbers were 175. Building alterations were carried out to include a dining hall/classroom in the school.

When King George VI died on 6th February 1952 the school flagpole was erected and the Union Jack was flown at half-mast. The flag was raised for the proclamation of Queen Elizabeth II, and lowered to half-mast again until after the King's funeral.

The school joined in the village celebrations to mark the Coronation and performed a historical pageant which had been written by the Headteacher. On 12th June 1952 there was a school outing to London which combined an educational visit to Kew Gardens with the opportunity to see the Coronation decorations.

The end of July 1962 saw the transfer of senior pupils, and a number of items of equipment and books, to secondary modern schools in Salisbury. In September of that year the school reopened as a Junior Mixed and Infants School.

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