Our Village - By Fulford Women's Institute

CHAPTER 4

The School

The first School in our village, as previously stated was held in the North Aisles of the first Church in the years 1600-1650. Thomas Shallcross appears to have interested himself in the education of the children, by providing the accommodation. This School was apparently not very well attended, as the parents did not take too kindly to the idea of “too much learning” for their offspring. Also the laws of the land at that time did not make education compulsory.

Some villagers report that a School was held in a very old building at “Long Lane End”, this building is still standing and certainly has many features to suggest it once having been a school.

In 1820 the first National School was built and it came under the supervision and patronage of the Church. The Vicar and churchwardens had much control over the management of the School, and all its activities were supervised by them. The grants were paid to the Church only if the reports on the School’s progress were good and there were several occasions when the amount of grant was reduced, (page 33 missing)

8. THE CHURCH INSTITUTE – THE OLD SCHOOL

of their own. Later the entire building deteriorated to such an extent that it was condemned by the H. M. Inspectors and a new Council School was built in 1928. This building is a joy compared to the old one, which is still used for village activities and is the meeting Place for our W.I., although we use the new School for our big events.

The attendance of children at School has increased considerably, and parents appear to be wanting the best education for their children. The new School, or as it is called, “Fulford County Primary School” is a charming building with plenty of light and air. It can accommodate one hundred and thirty children, but there are at the present time sixty-one on the books. They come from Fulford, Saverley Green and Stallington and some walk almost two miles to School, but are very seldom late.

9. THE NEW SCHOOL

The School stands high and is in a very conspicuous position and commands a splendid view of the village. Plenty of sunshine brightens up the rooms, for there are many large windows. The furniture too, is up-to-date.

A modern kitchen has been added to the building and it has all the modern fittings. One very essential commodity is lacking. There is no water supply. The Caretaker is paid one shilling per School day (not holidays) for carting one churn of drinking water from the “Town Well” to the School. Thus the children are assured of a supply of pure water. All washing of hands etc., is done with the aid of rainwater which is stored in tanks in the playground. The heating apparatus is fed from these tanks.

There is a splendid School Meals Service and an excellent hot mid-day meal is provided at 5d per head. The Teachers with the help of one woman worker, see that the children eat a good dinner. Every child (with the exception of one boy who lives near the School) partakes of this dinner. The improvement in the physique and health of these children is very marked. Each child is provided with one-third of a pint of milk each morning, free of charge. No wonder the children are healthy and happy and love coming to School. On July 5th 1948 the children of STD IV (Standard 4) had a competition to see how many wild flowers could be gathered locally on one day. Two girls each brought the same number which was 121. It seems incredible that so many wild flowers could be found at one time. We wonder if this could be a record?

There is a garden around the School building and the children take great pride in it. Part of it is a flower garden, having a small artificial pond in the centre. At this time there are Water Lilies in flower. Roses can be seen climbing merrily and forming a Rose-bower at the rear of the pond (see illustration 9).

The children love to rear frogs from Frogspawn they obtain from the near-by pits. Great excitement is shown as the tadpole develops. Then comes the climax on the day the frogs are allowed to go free in the garden. Always the children decide to put them near the pond to see if they decide to try the water first.

We would like to say here, that the children are now planning to make a model of their village, their interest having been aroused by this book.

There is a branch of the Stafford Public Library at the School. A mixed collection of books is kept on the premises and new consignments are delivered every three months, to that every reader’s taste shall be catered for. The Library is appreciated by the villagers and any books in special demand are promptly delivered from Stafford. The same cannot be said for the demands for children’s’ books, which do not seem too, plentiful. This seems rather a pity, as it is of great importance that children of any age should read as much as possible. It is a very healthy sign, this desire to read books and should be encouraged accordingly.

The welfare of the School is in the hands of the “School Managers” a group of six eminent members of the village community. The Vicar is the Correspondent and is in close touch with the Teachers, children and Education Authority. One School manager represents the Rural Council and two others the Parish Council.

It is to be remembered as a happy event, that one day in 1934 we, our local W.I., presented the School with a piano. It was our effort for the village for that year.

Since then an electric wireless set has been installed in the School and the children enjoy the Schools Programmes immensely, to keeping pace with the times.

Fulford County Primary School is a very happy place to day and speaks well for the progress of education through the years. May the children profit by their knowledge gained and grown into first class citizens of the future?



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