The site for this school was bought in 1920, but owing to the very high cost of building just after I the war, the new building was shelved until 1925-6. This new school then had accommodation for 152 pupils with a teaching staff of five and was formally opened on 13th April 1926 by Mr. A. G. Copeman, the Chairman of Norfolk Education Committee and was to be known as Watton Senior Mixed Council School. Since then it has been enlarged twice and is now the Junior School with 280] pupils and a teaching staff of twelve.
One interesting memory that I have of my days in the "Temporary Provided School" was the six-1 monthly visits of the school dentist who used to arrive in a Romany type van pulled by a horse. During] the summer months it became so hot in the van that the dentist left the door wide open, thus enabling the children to watch the sufferings of the patient in the "dreaded chair" from the bottom of the caravan steps. He appeared to sterilise his instruments of torture over a primus, or similar type stove, before commencing operations. Whilst this was going on the horse was ever on the look out for a meal an in the absence of grass, the school hedge supplied the main course, with rose bushes in the adjoining! garden providing "the sweet" which was often followed by bread and cheese supplied by the' children from their lunch tin and on at least one occasion a girl's woolly hat disappeared in mysterious circumstances. On Tuesday November 18th 1958 the new Secondary Modern School, which had been in use since Easier, was officially opened by Mr. F. R. Salter, Warden of Madingley Hall, Cambridge. Addressing the 490 pupils he said, 'A School of this sort is a delight, a challenge and a temptation and it was a shining and burning light through East Anglia".
Since then the school has been considerably extended and a new era in secondary education at Watton started on Monday, September 6th 1976 when some 190 children from the town and nearby villages became the first students in the all-ability system.
As from 1st September 1976 Watton Secondary School became Wayland High School. Watton was one of only six Norfolk Schools selected as the first in the county to "go comprehensive". The new term started with 760 pupils on the roll. Today there are 840 pupils with a teaching staff of 47.
On July 4th 1979 the new Westfield First School was officially opened by Mr. David Coates worth, the County Education Officer. All the 240 pupils of the school were given a tagged balloon which they released into the air upon a signal given by Mr. John Edwards, area education of ficer.
The numbers of pupils and staff are variable from year to year at all the schools and the present figures for Westfield First School are 180 pupils and a teaching staff of 7. During the 1920's Miss Denton ran a Private School in part of the premises belonging to Lloyd's Bank and upon her retirement Miss Nora Wace continued to run it in the 1930's.
Boys and girls outside the National School, 1889.
Note both the boys and girls are wearing "hob-nail" boots.
previous / next