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Barham Church of England Primary School


A general view of the School from Valley Road

 

 

This tree restricted present view is taken from near the location from where the c1925 photo (below) was shot.   The entrance path has now changed although the original gate is still in situ.

 

This picture is believed to have been taken c1925
 

The school attracts most children of the village but also enjoys children coming into the village from a wide area for their early education.

The school was built in 1858 by local subscription at a cost of £580 - "...for the education of the children of the labouring, manufacturing and other poorer classes" of the parishes of Barham and Kingston.

Land for the new school was donated by Sir Henry Oxenden and it was to replace the original dame school which existed on land now occupied by Bell Cottage, which was the village telephone exchange.

The school, on opening, had three rooms and catered for 57 "boys" and 97 "girls and infants" aged between 3 and 13 who sat at iron legged desks in crowded and fairly dark conditions.

They were taught by Mr. John Carter (who was paid £75 per annum) and Miss Charlotte Carter (who was paid £35).

In early years children would be absent on bad weather days or when farming demanded their work at home - which at that time was considered more important.

Lessons in early years was heavily controlled by the church and consisted of learning by rote or written exercises which demanded little imagination from the young minds.

On 1st May 1912 the school log book records - "The scholars and teachers have sent £1-6s-0d to the Lord Mayor of London for the Mansion House Titanic Relief Fund".

On 17th June 1913 the log book records - "School closed for Garden Fête in the Rectory Grounds – opened by Lord Kitchener".

By 1926 the number of children being taught had risen to 160 and today it is around 280 who are now accommodated in the old part of the school plus additional rooms, including a school hall, which blend in well with the older section, itself internally modernised.   In the grounds there is now a Pre-School and a small swimming pool which is well used.

The history section of the website contains notes from a review of the school's early "Log Books".