KIELDER PRIMARY SCHOOL

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History

A brief history of Kielder School—1849 to the present day

The present day

We have a school that is extremely different today than when it first evolved in the 19th Century. The buildings we teach in today were designed to house up to 100 pupils. On its opening the school had 80+ pupils. The village of Kielder was a hub of activity for the Forestry Commission.

At its quietest time the school regrettably housed only two pupils.

Today the school still has far less pupils than its original purpose. With the change of time we now have a very different village, environment and lifestyle. Despite all of these changes we are one of the very few remote villages to have kept our school.

The beginning for Kielder School

Photograph of Kielder Castle

The earliest school at Kielder was built by the Duke of Northumberland, for the children of his estate workers. The original school opened in 1849. The early curriculum reflected the Dukes own interests rather than the needs of the farming community.

References to the hay harvest were common within the school log, and it seems that term dates revolved around the agricultural cycle. With parents often withdrawing their eldest children to work on local farms.

A number of facts about Kielder School

Kielder School was shut for a whole month due to illness in 1929. In 1917 Kielder School cancelled Easter Holidays to catch up on lost time due to extremely bad weather earlier that year.

In the early years of Kielder School, winter holidays started on December 26th with lessons on Christmas Day.

One of the pupils in the winter of 1917-18 was released for a week to act as the village temporary postman.

A new wooden building was built in 1940, to accommodate the expected influx of wartime 'evacuees'.

In 1945, during a particularly bad winter, the headmistress wrote to the Director of Education explaining:

"...all ink frozen solid in the inkwells ...milk and sandwiches frozen solid ...the temperature is lower than the thermometer can measure ...the toilet is frozen solid ...the wind blows directly to the underside of the floor and pupils regularly have to exercise and warm their feet during lessons and 50% of the pupils are off ill with colds or bronchitis."

This has been a brief snapshot into the journey Kielder School has travelled.

Further information is available from other web pages and literature.

Anyone who can add any links, information, stories or literature would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

The school in 1940 The school in 1950