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Pickworth with Walcot School


Old shool photo  

Most of the below has been obtained from Head Teachers’ log books.

The Education act of 1870 aimed to offer elementary education to all British children.

Each village would have found it expensive to fund their own school. Solution? Form a school board for  both villages at a site virtually equidistant.

1878. School for both villages opened with one master and 18 pupils. (The number of children of elementary education eligibility was far in excess of this number).

Measuring 40 feet by 20 feet, the single room classroom was heated by a solid fuel stove which, for much of its life, was inefficient, needed a fireguard and smoked very badly. lavatories were earth closets and the play area was originally of earth. As there was no electricity until 1956, lighting was by gas.  Also installed in 1956 were flush toilets in the outbuildings.

The first head teacher (or ‘master’, as he was described) died  after seventeen years service. Throughout the school’s 93 year history, a total of 18 permanent head teachers served with an average 5 years of service each.

The pupils of the school came from a rural farming environment with a wide variety of attainment levels. The annual inspection by  His/Her Majesty’s Inspectors reveal a broad range of opinions from (in 1926) ‘the children are industrious and well-disposed’ to ‘there is a considerable weakness in spelling and arithmetic’ . However, by the 1950s, most years there were successes in the 11-plus examination with the subsequent passing of pupils into local grammar schools.

Local events that are noted in the school log books in the early days are usually related to the farming economy. Hence, there is reference to absenteeism due to ‘gleaning’ which was the practice of gathering seed from the ground that had dropped during harvesting. May garlanding is referred to as a means of earning a few pennies by the wearing of strips of wild flowers worn around the neck.  Later on in the history of the school  day trips and visits to particular sight and places such as London or Wicksteed Park are recorded.  Absences due to matters of national importance are recorded, such as accessions to the throne, war endings and so forth.


For further information please read either of the following:

Pickworth: A South Lincolnshire Village - ISBN 978-0-9562022-0-8   
The Birth, Life and Death Of A village School - ISBN 978-0-9562022-1-5



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