Early Days
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Early Days

When the school opened in 1849, it had places for 116 children. The teachers were Thomas and Elizabeth Guise. The proportion of the glebe, conveyed by the Rev Edmund Mortlock, for the site of the school and school house, was too small, in that there was no room to build a classroom to satisfy the Education Act of 1879. Further land was released, enabling the school to be enlarged, in 1877 and 1897. This also provided a playground for the children and a garden for the school house.

The cost of the conveyance and a fence to enclose the playground were met by the school committee. The Rectors right of way, from Brookside to the Rectory Paddock (now the new Rectory), was maintained. A new classroom was added in 1877, when Rev W J Josling was Rector. This new classroom was further enlarged and refurbished in 1897. Thus the school building comprised of two large classrooms, an entrance hall/cloakroom and a utility room, which led to the teachers house.

Although there was supposed to be over 100 children attending school, many played truant. The Rev Josling had a habit of putting 6d in an orange box every time the attendance reached 100. It possibly did not happen very often, as the average attendance in 1896 was 59. It was the custom of many years to ring a bell to signal the start of the school day. The Bell-tower sat astride the ridge of the main classroom. This was removed in about 1930, as it was unsafe.

Heating was provided by two coke-burning stoves surrounded by a metal fence guard, the coke being stored in a large heap to the rear of the teachers' outhouses. The playground was divided into two by a wooden fence. The top playground being the larger of the two had, in the top left hand corner, the boys and girls toilets (dry toilets, no running water), school gardens for which prizes were given and a large tarmac area on which games were played. The two large horse chestnut trees in the top playground gave much pleasure to all. Fashions have changed and it must be a relief to the present day teacher that boys do not now wear corduroy suits. Is there ever such a peculiar and 'Searching' smell as that of a new 'Pair of Corduroys'?

Part of the school grounds were surrounded by a cast iron fence with a large and small gate at the front entrance and a small gate in the top playground, which the Rector might use to enter. A large black notice board stood near the front gates and on good days children were lined up outside the main school door to enter in good order. On March 1st 1990 the school was taken over they the Country and became a controlled school.

Since the school was closed in 1960, it has changed hands a number of times. Some alterations have been carried out, notably the removal of some of the diamond leaded windows. All traces of the playground have been removed, so has the smaller of the two main gates and the air raid shelter from the teachers house garden.

2000 John Gunson, Village Recorder

 

A Forest Heath District Council (Suffolk) Project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the Millennium Festival 2000 Designed by ArtAtac