A History of the School

History of the School

Our school has not always been known as Southwold Primary School. The original school building, on Wollaton Road, was first opened in 1880. The school was known as the ‘Radford Woodhouse Board School’ and the headteacher of it was Miss Mary Anne Newcomb.

On the first day there were just 91 children in the school.

The school changed its name in 1889 and became known as the ‘Wollaton Road Board School’.

It has changed its name twice since – to ‘Wollaton Road School’ and then to ‘Southwold Primary School’

During the 1940’s the School was closed on several occasions because of the Second World War.

At the end of the war, every child received a special gift from the King;

The message of it was as follows;

‘Today, as we celebrate victory, I send this personal message to you and all other boys and girls at school. For you have shared in the hardships and dangers of a total war and you have shared no less the triumph of the Allied Nations.

I know you will always feel proud to belong to a country which was capable of such supreme effort; proud, too, of parents and elder brothers and sisters who by their courage, endurance and enterprise brought victory. May these qualities be yours as you grow up and join in the common effort to establish among the nations of the world unity and peace.’

By the 1960’s, after many years of use, the building was becoming unsuitable for use as a school, and so a new school was built on land across the road from the old school, behind the houses. The school opened in February 1968, and an official opening ceremony was arranged for March of that year.

The message inside the brochure read;

‘In his forward to the Plowden report the Secretary of State for Education and Science said “Primary Education is the base on which all other education has to be built. Its importance cannot be overestimated.”

The education committee have for many years held this view and have been anxious to improve conditions in the old Primary Schools. The new buildings of the Southwold School are one of the results of their efforts. The old school premises with the clock tower, opened in 1889 by the school board and transferred to the City Council’s Education Committee early this century, have been a well-known landmark on Wollaton Road, but improved standards required for educational building and the danger to children from the increased volume of traffic made it imperative to replace them.

‘The school has done good work in the area for nearly eighty years and the Committee are confident that, in its new buildings, it will go on to still greater achievements.  They wish every success to the Head Teacher and the members of the staff in their work in the years which lie ahead. A site was available nearby; the school was included in the 1967-8 Building Programme; progress on the school was rapid and the new Southwold School was occupied in less than a year from the start of building, a notable achievement.’

In 1998 the school celebrated 30 years of education in the new building, with a special ‘party week’.

The HeadTeacher, Mrs Kay Price, and all the staff and children enjoyed a week of activities and special events – including a whole school picnic on the Friday afternoon.

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