The School Buildings

Part 3 – Extracts from the School Log Books – The School Buildings

In 1877 a red brick building was erected on the eastern side of the main village street between St. Aidan’s Church and the Marquis of Granby. This building was called Framwellgate Moor Board School and consisted of three classrooms, one for boys, one for girls and a room opening off the girls’ for infants. There was also a Board Room and adjoining the southern end a house for the Master. The deficiencies of the early building became apparent after only three years when it was recommended that a window be placed in the wall of the girls’ room into the infants’ room so that the Mistress could see both groups of children at the same time. The heating was inadequate for the size of the two main classrooms, the ink froze in January 1881, but another source of heat was not made available until 1885 when a fireplace was installed in the girls’ room and the original stove moved to the coldest part of the room. Eventually the whole school had central heating by means of hot water pipes installed in August 1892. Originally the classrooms had galleries, which were a series of step-seats where the children sat to practise their work on slates while the teacher taught the other children sitting at long desks. The galleries were finally taken away and replaced by desks. Later still the boys’ and girls’ rooms were partitioned to give greater privacy for individual classes.

The School at Brasside was opened in 1886. Here the girls and infants were taught in the same room until a separate room for the infants was built in 1891. They did not have water laid on until 1907, and were still using earth closets in 1926. The Brasside School closed in 1935 and the remaining children were moved to Framwellgate Moor.

The one school building continued to be used by all the children of school age in the district until the Juniors moved into their present building in 1957. Later, in 1961, the Infants moved into their present building, to be followed by the Seniors who moved into the first part of their building in 1965. Since then the Seniors’ building has been extended. Phase II was completed in 1972 and Phase III in 1976. So from one small school building, built in 1877, have grown the modern buildings housing Infants, Juniors and a Comprehensive School all on one campus.

It is pleasant to know that the original building at Framwellgate Moor is now used as a Community Centre serving people of all ages and with different interests in the locality. Pupils who attended the schools in the old building may even now be using that building for social activities as young adults or senior citizens.

9 Jan. 1880

Inspectors Report from 1897. The Infants… are too far removed from the main rooms to be under the proper supervision of the Headmistress. This difficulty would be partially obviated if a window were inserted in the Girls’ classroom. (G)

18 Feb. 1881

Visited on Monday morning by the Rev. Penin who inquired after the means of heating the room which he considered were not sufficient for the size. (G)

26 Aug. 1881

The rain comes pouring in from one skylight so that the desks underneath have had to be removed. (G)

29 March 1882

This afternoon the glass was blown out of the passage door by the force of the wind and the opening of the front door. (G)

6 April 1883

H.M. Inspectors Report. The gallery should be removed from the classroom and desks put in its place. (G)

15 June 1883

I asked the Board at their last meeting to make two of the windows open from the bottom so as to get in a current of fresh air; the present system of windows being useless and unworkable consequently in hot weather the room is almost suffocating. (G)

6 July 1883

I asked the Board to have my ceiling cleaned as the dirt dropping down is almost unbearable. (G)

2 Aug. 1883

School nicely cleaned i.e. the walls and ceiling but if the windows and blinds were done it would improve appearance. (G)

5 Feb. 1884

H.M. Inspectors Report. The main schoolroom in all departments are not sufficiently warmed. (G)

20 Nov. 1884

The blackboard has been mended frequently but continually gives way and causes great annoyance as it is completely useless for writing purposes when in a broken condition. (G)

9 Jan. 1885

In the afternoon half the children were taken to the Infant School to allow the workmen finish the fixing of the grate in the main schoolroom. The stove has been removed to what was the coldest part of the room and an open grate has been put in its place. Everything is now working in order and the school is now quite warm and comfortable. (G)

3 Aug. 1885

The schoolrooms have been thoroughly cleaned and the gallery has been removed from the classroom but no desks have as yet been furnished. (G)

5 Feb. 1886

A new set of desks has been supplied for the classroom. (G)

9 April 1886

Much inconvenience has been experienced owing to the fire smoking to such an extent that the fire had to be extinguished… therefore the schoolroom was very cold. (G)

26 March 1892

Three new desks 5ft. 6ins. long have been procured and another 10ft. 6ins. has been ordered. (G)

22 Aug. 1892

The school was closed for five weeks owing to the workmen not being finished. A new set of pipes have been fixed for the heating of the school, the old stoves have been removed and the fireplace boarded up, this makes more desk room which was very much needed. (G)

19 Jan. 1894

The doors in the classrooms have been altered to slide thus making more room. (G)

30 Nov. 1895

Owing to the weather being so dull the school has been closed soon after 3.30 p.m. each afternoon and for the next few weeks the pupil teachers will receive their morning lessons from 8.30 a.m. to 9.15 a.m. as the mornings are so dark and there are no lights in the school. (G)

10 Dec 1897

H.M. Inspectors Report: It would be an advantage to the school if the main room were divided by a partition like that in the boys school. The Girls school is at present insufficient for the average attendance. The attendance should be reduced or the accommodation increased. (G)

24 Aug. 1900

A new folding partition has been fixed during the holidays across the schoolroom which will be a great advantage to all classes. (G)

11 Jan. 1901

A new skylight has been fixed in the classroom during the holiday. (G)

23 Jan. 1903

The boiler belonging to the cookery stove was cracked during the holiday and was taken out on Monday. (G)

16 Oct. 1905

Reopened school which has been whitewashed and painted during the holiday. (G)

3 Nov. 1905

H.M. Inspectors Report: The premises have been habitually overcrowded throughout the year. The cloakroom accommodation does not appear to be adequate and the flooring needs attention. (G)

22 March 1906

H.M. Inspectors Report: The defects commented on in last report still remain unremedied. (G)

6 April 1906

The classroom cupboard has been altered and now forms a commodious cupboard for the cooking utensils. (G)

19 Dec. 1906

H.M. Inspectors Report: A portion of playground should be drained, levelled and provided with better surface. The girls department continues to be overcrowded and some of the desks in it should be replaced by new ones. (G)

10 Jan. 1908

Received new dual desks, 20, sufficient to supply the whole of the end room. (G)

4 Feb. 1908

Owing to insufficient accommodation in school, during the cookery lesson a class of 20 children from Std. IV were taught in the Board Room. (G)

13 July 1910

Twenty five dual desks have been placed in the School in exchange for eight long desks which were used by the upper classes. (G)

9 Dec. 1910

A new sliding door has been put in Rooms 1, 2 and 3. (G)

14 Feb. 1911

Some bolts, which have apparently been loose and project two or three inches from the bases of the pillars round the covered playground are very dangerous and require immediate attention. (G)

16 Feb. 1912

C.C Inspector Report: Fire drill is specially necessary here owing to the nature of the exits. (G)

18 Feb. 1914

Received a Singer sewing machine for the use of the school. (G)

30 March 1914

One class teachers desk and one high chair were received from North Brancepeth Council School today. (G)

15 Nov. 1915

H.M.I. Report: Standard I is taught by a young teacher in a room remote from the main building. (G)

11 July 1921

Painter begun to clean and paint outside of school – inside to be done during holidays. (G)

26 Sept. 1921

Miss Daly, H.M.I., reported on (a) accommodation of Class Room 3 and (b) insufficiency of artificial lighting throughout the school. (G)

7 March 1924

After two weeks work, electric lighting is installed in all departments of this school. (G)

9 Dec. 1925

Painters arrived today. (G)

22 Feb. 1926

Planted shrubs and trees in front of School today – plants came from Mr. Mathson’s nursery at Morpeth. (G)

12 May 1927

The Director of Education visited the School today at 4p.m. on the question of accommodation and buildings. (G)

21 July 1927

Mr. Willey, chief architect of Education Committee visited the school this afternoon in connection with proposed alterations of school buildings. (G)

29 April 1930

During the Easter holiday, the boiler of the heating apparatus has burst owing to old age. A new radiator is now being fixed in the cellar. It is of the most modern type and is expected to keep the temperature higher with a smaller consumption of fuel. (B)

19 May 1932

The Clerk of Works called this morning to inspect the premises. (G)

18 Feb. 1935

Mr. E. Milward of the County Office visited the School this afternoon and inspected the whole of the premises with a view to studying facilities for reorganisation. (G)

11 April 1935

Received notification of closing down of Brasside C.C. School and arrangements for conveyance of children by Motor Bus to this school as from 2 May 1935.

5 June 1935

Have instructed the Caretaker to allow the heating apparatus to cool off for the summer. (G)

22 July 1935

The school yard has been recovered with Tar Macadam. (G)

20 Sept. 1935

The boiler fire was lit today and the school heated for winter. (G)