Weald School – its history and place in the community

Founded by the Sevenoaks School Board, the school as we see it today is the result of much development of the site.

An infant school existed here before 1892 when it was joined by the senior school which occupied the main building, mainly used as an assembly and indoor games hall now but which housed the separate “Boys” and “Girls” classrooms as witnessed by the incised tablets above the doors at either end of the building. If you look closely, you can still see where the iron segregation fence ran down from the Long Barn Road pavement railings, across the playground to the middle buttress of the hall. Also, until recently, the demarcation theme was carried on with a folding / sliding, windowed wooden screen across the hall. The infant and senior schools themselves even remained separate entities until 1932 when the head, Mr. John Percy, amalgamated the two establishments.

At this time, Weald School sought to serve the local community by educating its children in many and varied subjects but always with a strong emphasis on harnessing the practical aptitude of its pupils, whilst nurturing and developing them in the “three Rs” of the school certificate progression through its “standards”.

Most children came from farming families which brought its own challenges to the school in terms of attendance. From a roll of 150 there are regular references in old Log Books  to numbers being reduced to less than 100, caused not only by the numerous epidemics of mumps and measles which plagued the children but also the need for children to be away to help with harvesting, hop picking and haymaking, even child-minding whilst mothers were out at work.

Mr. Percy,  took the responsibility of preparing his young charges for a full and successful life very seriously. His enthusiasm for singing, horticulture and animal husbandry brought many successes through countywide competitions. He would no doubt approve of our weekly “Green Gang” after school working party and the positive international link we have with Kanthenga School in Malawi, where eco-friendly initiatives are actively embraced.

Society and expectations today may have moved on a little from our Victorian roots: however, the underlying ethos of the school is as strong as ever; caring for each other and the environment whilst preparing every child to take their own independent place in society. Celebrating success was important at Weald in the past and continues today as witnessed by the whole school in our weekly “Celebration Assembly”, where kindness, helpfulness and happiness are focussed on.

Strong yet caring leadership of both the children and staff who teach them is taking Weald Community Primary School from strength to strength; a warm welcome and bright future awaits all new pupils.

Ashley Jones

Neighbour and Friend of the School