The school from 1950
The Down side playground in the early 1950's. Notice all the trees and the hoops children are playing with..
Life at school in the 1950s was very
different from today, school started at 9.00 am but did not finish until 4.00
The Festival of Britain Exhibition was opened on the South Bank, London, in May 1951. This festival was intended to celebrate the end of war, the start of a new era and to "cheer up" a nation still suffering from rationing and war damage.
31 May 1951, the school closed during the afternoon for the children to attend "Festival of Britain" sports at the Polegrove.
The school became known as Down County Primary Junior School c1962.
In September 1963 Mr J Cornwell replaced Miss W Kirby as headteacher.
Over the next 30 years the school really started to develop into what we know today, corporal punishment was banned, many more and varied school trips, some residential, took place. A PTA was formed and social events such as the Summer Fete and school discos started.
At the beginning of the spring term in 1963 the school was disrupted by very severe winter weather, the outside toilets were frozen up and did not thaw out until 11th February, Year 1 (now known as Year 3) children were sent home for all this time, the Infants school had indoor toilets and these were used by the rest of the school.
May 1966, the first school swimming pool (unheated) was opened, a heating system was added later. The present pool was built and opened in June 1991.
April 1970, the first residential trip to London, The children stayed at Chigwell Sports Centre and visited the museums, Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, Downing Street and other places of interest. This photo shows a group outside Number 10 Downing Street, the Prime Ministers house, in 1994. These trips continued until 2002. The children stayed at Baden Powell House, (very close to the Natural History Museum) from the early 1980s
Mr Edward Carey became head in January 1973.
December 1975, "Camelot" our outside classroom was opened, this was formerly the outside toilet block for the junior school, moved indoors earlier in 1975. Bexhill Round Table funded and carried out the conversion work, hence the name "Camelot".
In March 1975 the school was again renamed, this time to King Offa Junior School to avoid confusion with the Infants school. the name was derived from King Offa of Mercia who gave some land for the building of the Manor House in Bexhill Old Town.
A PTA was formed in April 1973. They organised the first summer fete in June that year to raise money for the swimming pool heater. The school Choir and Orchestra performed and the children gave PE and Country Dance displays.
May 1975 King Offa Junior School
took over the De La Warr Pavilion to present a show called "King Offa's
Children". Part 1 was a revue "Kid's Now" written by Mrs Jane
Downes, a teacher at the school; part 2 was a version of "Joseph and
his Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat" called "Kids Then". 420
children and all the staff took part, A total of 1850 people attended the
production, and 150 people attended the buffet supper after the show.
Mr Ian Roughley took up the position of headteacher in September 1979.
The school obtained its first computer, a BBC Microcomputer, in September 1983
An IT Suite of 15 computers was opened in September 1998 only 3 of which had internet access, the number of computers has gradually increased and we now have 30.
The school website was first published on the internet in March 2000.
In 2010 Bexhill High School moved to new premises in Gunters Lane and the old buildings, started in the 1940s were demolished. King Offa was allocated a strip of now redundant land as a playground and playing field.
Due to the demolition of the old High School buildings alternative arrangements had to be found for lunches. Previous to this we had used the same kitchen/dining room as the High School. To solve the problem the existing Head's office and administrative offices were converted into new kitchens. A new Head's office was created in our old food technology room and the food technology room moved outside into the converted swimming pool changing rooms, which now became known as the 'Studio'
(This history has been compiled from local history, ex-pupils memories and references in the School Logs, some of which are very brief, if you have any further information I would love to hear from you; king(at)kingoffa(dot)e-sussex(dot)sch(dot)uk; our thanks also to ex-pupils and their families who have supplied photos.)