School Timeline

A big thank you to J.I.W. for writing this brief history of the school. A fuller version of the school history, along with more information about the people, pictures and a lot more beside, can be found in the excellent book ‘Diary of a School – Highfield 1849- 2009’ , Compiled by Jo Ladkin and Isobel White.


Brief Overview of School History

1848 December 22 Appointment of a Board of Managers
  December 26  The first head, Mr Winser, is appointed  
1849 January 29 The South Stoneham and Portswood National Schools open for the first time, to be open every day, except Saturday;  
9 – 12, in the morning in the afternoon, 2 – 5 in the summer and 2 – nearly dusk in the winter for children from age 6 yrs of age parish residents
2d/wk one child, 1d/wk additional children
outside parish a higher amount not exceeding 6d/wk 6 weeks holiday a year
Children & staff to attend Divine Services on days when school is open  
1851 January Manager’s give permission for: two pupil teachers to be apprenticed, the boys school room to be lengthened (toward church institute) and the class room enlarged. Discussion to rent a field as an addition to the playground  
1856 February Evening School to be carried out by Master and pupil teachers  
1858 April School extended into boys playground  
1862 October Siblings could be admitted from the age of 5
Request for additional land for school use
  November Fees increased: 2d per child to be lowest charge  
1865 January Number of classes reduced from 6 to 5
  December Reference to Sunday School  
1869 January Change of name to South Stoneham, Highfield & St Denys National School  
1870 September 200 pupils on books – under New Educational Bill school can accommodate 318 children  
1875 March Entry age raised to 7 years unless equal to standard 1 work
Porch to Girls’ entrance considered
1879 July Reconstruction of school toilets. Drains connected to Mains Drainage & water laid on to school premises by advice of Public Officer of Health
1881 September Re infants: Gallery to be constructed in present girls room & additional cloakroom to be provided in girls’ lobby
  October Infants’ class opened to fill vacancies caused by the opening of St Denys Board Schools  
1885 October Reference to the South Stoneham & Highfield National Schools  
1886 January Reference to Kindergarten
  July The school has been enlarged and repaired during the holidays  
1891   March Government introduces free education for all – to 11 years of age
New stove fixed in large classroom for cookery class
1894 August New classroom for infants opened (further extension towards Institute)  
1899   National School leaving age raised to 12  
1901   Inspectors report, number of pupils on books 355 (the school is officially overcrowded!)
1902 May Age for total exemption raised to 14  
1903 June School taken over by County Borough Council under 1902 Act  
1905 January August Reference to babies class
Instructions have been received from LEA to refuse admission to children under 5 yrs of age or from outside borough boundaries
1906 March The School name and number now – Southampton: Highfield C of E School no. 8
1908 April School capacity recalculated: mixed school 222, infant class 57 children
  May Surplus children to be transferred to Portswood County School  
1909   Inspector’s report notes that all doors open inwards and might cause difficulties in case of a panic.
  June 60 – 70 children residing in country area transferred to the new school at Swaythling, leaving 199 in mixed school and 40 in infant room  
1912   Inspectors report – there is no special accommodation for the Teachers and doors still open the wrong way
1913 May Doors re-hung
1919 January Clarification of school leaving age –finish at the end of the term in which become 14.
  March School year changed to run from April 1st.
1921 February School is now known as Southampton: Highfield C of E no. 10
1922 October Boys playground enlarged to approx 5720 sq ft (from Vicarage land)  
1925 August Interior of school re-decorated, roof over-hauled, new door to girls cloakroom, repaired windows and created an overhead window in Infants room, had the lavatory basins repaired and lowered in girls’ playground and ordered basins for the boys.  
1926 March 11 Coke shed caught fire  
1929 May 2 Schoolhouse has become – a teacher’s room, storeroom, lavatory etc, doorway created between the school and the house
  November 18 First direct contribution from the LEA for the school library  
1938 August Electric light installed, Girls’ and infants’ ‘washery’ enlarged and enclosed and a drinking fountain added  
1939 August School evacuated to rural areas of Hampshire
  November 29 School became a report centre  
1940 July 9 School to re-open Monday next for part-time education
  August 26 Fulltime school resumes  
1941 March 3 School bomb damaged – part time schooling until March 13
  March 18 Heat and electric light installed in playground air raid shelter  
1942 August 28 School remained open throughout the holidays – a success  
1943 March Start of Meals at School Scheme (5d each), Institute Hall rented for 10/- wk  
1944 May 15 School damaged by blast effect
  May 25 Fire in the staff room, caused by gas-ring blow back  
1945 January 8 The Institute Reading Room is now a temporary infant classroom
  September 11 All scholars aged over 11 on August 31st transferred to secondary schools. Institute room no longer needed for infants.  
1946 January 5 Staff move desks and equipment to institute which is again to house an infant classroom  
1948 April 12 Infants to be taught in classes of 24, additional staff recruited. The Scout Hut at the rear of the Institute is rented to be used as a class space.
  May 10 One of the Huts on the Common becomes a classroom
  May 13 Due to lack of toilets facilities at the hut on Common no further huts to be taken over, but a hut to be erected at the Institute  
1949 May 2 Another hut has been prepared on the Common.  
1951 November 2 The school is now on the telephone  
1952 April Another hut on the Common has been prepared: (one infant class at the institute, 3 infant classes in the school, 3 juniors on the Common and 2 juniors in the school)  
1954 January Repairs to roof and flooring cause two classes to be moved to the institute  
1955 May Standard 1 were moved to the ‘assembly hut’ on the Common to allow classrooms to be decorated one at a time at the school
  July The school awarded Grant Aided Status  
1968 October 24 Fire in the school office, it is assumed it was started deliberately. An office is created in the Institute.  
1969 March 3 The Headmistress & Secretary return to the main school building
1970 March 25 New premises in Hawthorn Rd opened, Juniors leave Church Lane and the Institute, Infants remain at the Hut so Church Lane can be refurbished
  October 16 The Huts were ‘evacuated’ and the children moved back to Church Lane  
1971 November 22 Serving of hot meals begin – the new music room-cum-scullery is completed. There is no school hall so meals are in the 4 teaching areas.  
1975 April 28 Visitors to see new part-fold doors and the middle dept hall/gym extension  
1980 December 11 Central heating repair in hall requires concrete floor to be renewed – hall out of action until January 26th  
1983 February 7 Work begins on landscaping middle school playground  
1988 April 12 TV stolen from classroom in the Church Centre
  April 22 ‘Cottage’ officially opened (the old headteachers/vergers cottage taken over by First Department to provide extra accommodation and facilities)  
1989 April School admissions and class size reduced from 36 to 35.  
1992 January The First & Middle School becomes a Primary school, four year olds are admitted. The Church want their room in the Institute back, a new reception playground and classrooms are built. SATS testing introduced  
1997 September OFSTED inspections begin