Frittenden School History

The First Hundred Years

The school was opened in 1845 and was the first school in the area. The Government paid half of the annual cost and it is likely that the other half was paid by Reverend Edward Moore. The school was run by William and Elizabeth Hudson and 211 children were on roll. Log books from 1863 show that the first trained teachers, John and Elizabeth Hollman, had taken over. The government asked for annual evidence of attendance and results in reading, writing and maths in order for the school to earn its 50% grant. History and geography were not on the curriculum until 1880.

Absenteeism was as high as 50 – 60%, due to seasonal work, the weather and illness. The Hollmans lost a daughter Alice, aged 7, to an illness which lasted just a few days. They ran the school until their deaths: John died in 1892 followed by Elizabeth about 6 months later. They were both about 60. They were succeeded by their son Henry, who was widowed early due to illness. In 1901, entries in the punishment book included stripes on hands or buttocks and solitary confinement for 1 week!

In 1904 Mr Norris took charge and stayed for 18 years. Around this time the school could be closed for weeks at a time due to illness, for example it was closed for 7 weeks for a scarlet fever outbreak. A number of past pupils were killed in action in World War I, 1914-1918.

The head teacher from 1923 – 1931 was Mr Fitz. The first school trip took place in 1931, to London St Paul’s and the Zoological gardens. The reins were taken up in 1931 by Miss Jesse Stringer until she retired in 1945. Electric lighting was installed in 1936. In 1939 the school was prepared to be an emergency rest and feeding area, with the delivery of 220 bags of corned beef, condensed milk and chocolate. The village and school welcomed 20 evacuees in World War II.

In 100 years the school saw just six head teachers, staying an average of 17 years.