The 'open plan' Junior school
The boys and girls in the Victorian building were amalgamated to form a Junior mixed school in 1971 and the new building was opened in 1973. It was vastly different to the previous building.
It was divided into four, open plan, unit areas which had four 'homebases' where the pupils would have registration and teaching input. The units were named after colours - red, green, yellow and blue and each unit had a class from each year goup. Generally speaking, the children would stay in the same colour unit for the duration of the time in the school and brothers and sisters would often be placed in the same unit.
Most work would be completed in the unit area, which seated about 90 children. It was not uncommon for some pupils to be painting, whilst others would be writing or working on their maths.
Inner courtyard and pond
The central courtyard had a raised pond, with various fish and also an animal area, which included a large cage of budgies. In this photo there is a window into a Red home base on the left and on the right is a Yellow unit home base.
This was between the central courtyard and red and yellow units with the door in the photo opening into the Resources room. Lots of reading schemes: Griffin Pirates, One,two, three and Away and Bangers and Mash were all very popular.
In a home base
Here is Miss Stevenette in her class home base with some of her pupils. The teachers had limited storage space with a desk at one end of the room.
The resources room was a central library space for non fiction books and a large TV for 'live' or recorded programmes - on VHS recorder.
In the unit
At work on typewriters on the wooden benching, in the unit area. The school did have some early BBC computers as part of a new Government initiative but the activites were extremely basic and no internet in those days.
This courtyard was where the external fire exit doors led out from the hall. On the right was blue unit and on the left was the music room and an admin office.
Open plan unit area
This is one of the open plan units - Red Unit. Four classes would share this area and teachers would either work with their classes here or in the homebase. An additional Year Group Leader was available when the school first opened, to supervise the children too.
Christmas in Blue unit
Miss Smither's Class at Christmas 1980 in blue unit. The brown stools were used in the homebases and brought into the unit for additional seating.
Green and Red Unit Dining area
There were two dining rooms, one for Red and Green Units and one for Yellow and Blue Units. Children either had a school dinner or went home for lunch. Lunch times were an hour and a half. The dining areas were also used for work space during lessons too.
Gym lesson in the hall. One side was open to the dining area, one door was to the front entrance and staffroom, and another door led directly through to blue unit.
This photo shows green unit in the background and the old St George's church on the right - which was also burned down, several years before the school fire. Arson was also presumed, for this too.
Seated in a home base
Homebases were only just big enough to seat 30 children on the floor and to provide storage space - some classes had lockers and some had trays. They were mainly used for registration, introducing the learning and for story time.
Group work in Red unit
Teaching support Chris Hennessey (and midday) shown here supporting some pupils at work. Notice the toilets opening directly onto the share work space. Not ideal!
Outside Red Unit
Each unit had its own exit to the playground.
Outside Yellow Unit
Two pupils at work outside Yellow Unit. The maths scheme- SMP- required a lot of practical work which children often did outside - unsupervised.