1866 - 1900
Picture: The Temperance Hall - Welton
Welton Primary School has history well before the 1899 date above its main door. The first mention of the school is in 1866 but back then, it wasn't on Radstock Road but in The Temperance Hall, Welton. By 1897, the school pupil numbers of 74 had outgrown the size of the school so plans for a new school on Radstock Road began.
Picture: This photo is thought to have been taken shortly after the school first opened.
On 24th October 1899 at Radstock Road, a new school – 'Midsomer Norton Junior Mixed School' – opened with 66 pupils.
1900 - 1930
Picture: Welton Football Team 1927 - 1928
Pupil numbers grew continuously over the years and by 1905 there were 140 children so it was decided to build more classrooms to accommodate this increase. The next year brought in a change of school name to 'Welton Council School No. 265'. Health was a problem during this period of time and shortly after the rename, the school had to close for 3 weeks due to diphtheria. Another health problem arose in 1918 when a great flu epidemic struck and the school closed for 4 weeks. Over the next few years, the school continued to grow and change and on 1st September 1921 the girls left Welton to join the High Street Council School and left the 'Welton Council Boys' School'. By 1922, there were 262 boys.
1930 - 1960
Picture: 1952 - Children playing at the 'quiet area' next to the old canteen - now the Pre-school
In 1931, there were 176 boys in the school but there was no main hall that the school now enjoys. These boys were organized into 6 classes. 1947 saw a complete reversal of 1921 when the girls from the High Street Council School joined back with Welton and so was again renamed 'Welton Junior Mixed School'. Today, class pupil numbers are kept around 30 children but in 1952, there were 44 children in 3 of the classes. In the following year, a new classroom was built in the school garden so the main hall could be freed. This new classroom was completed by the following year but because of increased numbers, class 4 had to use the Stone's Cross Chapel schoolroom as a classroom.
1960 - 1990
Picture: Mr Goodman's class - 1955
Another major change happened on 1st April 1966. Mr. Furkins, the headteacher, wrote in the log book: This school no longer exists as a separate junior school. It is now to be amalgamated with the Infant Department to form the 'Welton County Primary School'. In 1972, there were 180 pupils in the school. During this year, the land below the school was leveled and made into a new playing field. The school acquired its first computer in 1984 but pupil numbers had fallen to just 74 – the lowest number since 1966. This was the low point and from then, numbers have steadily increased. In 1989, a 4th class was opened for the reception year.
1990 - Present
Picture: Graph showing pupil numbers over 110 years
On 1st January 1992, Mr. David Tilling began work as the schools' new Headteacher. At this point, there were 4 classes in the school: Class 1 was Years 5 and 6, Class 2 was Years 3 and 4, Class 3 was Years 1 and 2 and Class 4 was Year 1 and Reception. Over the following 5 years, the school continued to grow. 114 pupils in 1995 and 121 by 1997. Reorganization was necessary. The bottom playground was finished around Easter 1998 and by November 1998, the school canteen had been converted into a new Reception classroom making 5 classes. On 3rd July 1999 the school celebrated its 100th birthday with an elaborate centenary summer fair followed later in the year with a Victorian day when the children and staff lived and dressed as Victorians for the day.
Picture: Celebrating the Centenary by dressing up in Victorian clothes
The graph above shows the pupil explosion over the last 2 years. More classrooms were needed. In September 1999, the 6th class was created from the old library. April 2000 saw the opening of the new classroom extension for the Reception year and one month later saw the opening of the ICT suite. The final class was created in September 2000 by partitioning the Year 2 class and allowing Year 6 to share the space. We said goodbye to Mr. Tilling in December 2000 and Mrs. Mitchell started on the following January. 2002 saw a new classroom for Y6 and newly decorated ICT suite. This was officially opened in October and it meant each year now had it's own classroom pictures available from the Archive section. Mrs Mitchell was replaced by Mrs Haines who left in 2011 to be replaced by Mr Snell in the September of that year. Pupil numbers have since increased to over 180 once again. The ICT suite is no more with laptops and ipads used throughout the school.
Extracts reproduced with kind thanks to Mr. Norman Voake