Mar 15 2011

Welldon Park School 1910-1985 Celebration (Part V)

Part five in our ongoing series on Welldon Park School…


By 1914 numbers had risen to 240 and they remained fairly static throughout the War. Events of War seemed to have had little effect on the life of the School. The curriculum was maintained as before and consisted of reading, writing, arithmetic, handwork, drawing, gardening for the boys, games and rhythmical exercises of which there were regular displays. Scripture exams occurred regularly and children were often taken for Nature walks along the nearby country lanes. Pupils from Welldon Park frequently won awards at the Harrow Flower Show for their collections of pressed wild flowers; grasses and bunches of garden flowers. Modern Montessori teaching methods were used, the School was well equipped and work was of a high standard.

In addition to the half holiday for Empire Day celebrations were also held in school which consisted of exhibitions of War relics, Empire souvenirs, songs, drawings and dancing round the maypole. One former pupil remembers collecting lambs wool from the hedgerows so that she could represent Australia in the celebrations; another remembers taking coal to represent Wales.

The School Log also records the annual Harvest Festivals. The following extract describes that of 1917:

‘The children this week had a Harvest Festival and exhibition of fruit and vegetable. The produce consisted of 3.5cwt of stuff without the narrows of which there were 39 in number, two of them weighing over 16 lbs. The other things were: 4 sugar beet, 15.75 lbs beans. 28.75 lbs apples, 14.25 lbs pears, 23.75 lbs carrots, 22 lbs turnips, 15.5 lbs onions, 101 lbs potatoes, 5.5 lbs parsnips, 66.5 lbs beetroot, 33 cabbages, 2.25 lbs tomatoes, 1 head celery, a little rhubarb, parsley, mint, flowers and radishes.

The produce was sent to the Cottage Hospital and The Butts V.A.D. Hospital for wounded soldiers. In later years the Harvest produce was sold and the proceeds used to support a number of charities including Harrow Cottage Hospital, the Church Army Homes, Reading Colliery Disaster Fund, the Children’s Home for the Blind and the Middlesex Convalescent Home.

Starting in 1912, Open Days for parents to look round the School and see the children’s work were held regularly and were well attended. Later, Parents evenings were held to discuss such important issues as “Is Education Worthwhile?”

On 23 November 1917 School dinners were started at a charge of 2.5 old pence per head.

The end of the Great War was celebrated in School by the granting of a half holiday for the signing of the Armistice on 11 November 1918.


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