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Kingston Bagpuize Primary (Controlled) School

Village School 1965

Graham Platt

It was in 1736 that John Blandy the elder founded by will the Blandy educational charities. This was augmented by the will of John Blandy the Younger. In 1894 the present school was built. Large, spacious windows give evidence of an enlightened architect, who designed a building with two main classrooms and cloakrooms.

Since those days the village has gradually grown, so that what once held 40 to 50 pupils, now has to cope with 80 children of 5 - 11 years old. Now, a rapidly expanding village has made it necessary to plan for increasing numbers.

The present term (Autumn 1965) opened with 80 children, two infant classes, and two junior classes. A double Terrapin building houses two classes of infants with cloakrooms and extra lavatories. This is a temporary measure, unfortunately taking up valuable playground space, but it is designed to give teaching space prior to the building of a new school which is on the County’s major building programme for 1966/7.

The teaching staff consists of Mrs H, M Young, Mrs M Mingard, Miss P.J. Whall and myself as teaching Head, Mrs J. Weaving is the school secretary, while Mrs Hewett looks after the school cleaning.

The curriculum is based upon a modern approach, while still keeping in the best of earlier well-proven methods. Number work leads towards modern Mathematics. Learning to read and write leads to an enjoyment of literature and the joy of original free writing with experimental stimuli. An introduction to science and French has been added to the normal curriculum.

The eleven year olds move, for Secondary education, to Matthew Arnold Secondary Modern School, Cumnor, or in Abingdon, to John Mason High School. Abingdon (Roysse’s)School, St. Helens and St Katherines’ School or Our Lady’s Convent.

Although the life of the old building (as a school) is drawing to its close, it is hoped that the delightful village atmosphere which has developed over seventy-one years will be transferred to the new school and that as the village grows, all that was good of the past might live with the best of the new.

Source: Graham Platt, retired School Head, talking to the History Society.