The school originally started in 1790 when Mr W. Holmes took a class of ten pupils at the Lady Chapel in St. Martin's Church. By 1815 the class progressed to include 20 of Aldington's poor children and by 1818 a further 21 girls joined the school. By 1842 the school became too large to be held in the Church and William Deedes, an ancestor of the Late Lord Deedes, paid for a school to be built. In 1897 William Deedes again extended the school to include a new toilet block. In 1903 the school passed from the Church of England to Kent County Council and in 1948 it became a Primary School. More facilities were added in 1994 including the temporary classrooms which were only pulled down in 2003. In 2004 Aldington Primary School finally had permanent classrooms built and a new hall.
Children from Eagle class researched the history of the school further by talking to local people who attended the school in the past. They invited Mr Hills (a volunteer in the school) and Mrs Kemp (a governor) into class, to talk to them directly. They also devised questionnaires that were sent out to other local people to record their memories of their time at Aldington Primary School. The information they obtained back was collated and the following reports were written by the children.
Children who started school in 1932 and left in 1939, at the age of 12, often then transferred to the North School. Children who lived in the village walked to school. School started at 9.00am and finished at 3.00pm much the same as today.
There were 3 classes with 90 children in altogether. The head teacher’s name was Mr Rolf. The classrooms were setup differently than today. They had wooden desks with lids and wooden chairs and at the end of the day they had to put their chairs on their desks.
The uniform that they wore was a blue cardigan, gymslip and a blue blouse. The uniform had no logo. Playtime was fun with games such as skipping, chase and marbles. They only had the original playground and the grass at the front of the school to play on. During lunchtime no hot dinners were served, you either ate sandwiches or went home.
Punishments were different in those days they either had the ruler across the knuckles or the cane. The subjects taught included History, Geography, P.E., Maths, English and Music.
Between September 1934 and July 1940, children who came to Aldington Primary School usually walked. It took them about 15 minutes to walk to school. Boys always wore shorts. Pupils remembered that there were two classes with a huge amount of pupils in each class.
The school started at 9am and finished at 3:30pm. Children recall that at playtime, girls were at one side of the playground playing skipping and the boys were playing war games on the other side. The playground was very small and they had no field.
There were no clubs running, because the children were not allowed out after blackout which is where you see nothing and blinds are pulled down so no light can be seen.
Pupils remembered that there were no school dinners because they went home for lunch, because of rationing of fruit and vegetables.
Children did not have to wear school uniform; there were also only 3 teachers and 80 people in the whole school. The teachers were called Miss Boulding and Miss Swaffer, Miss Jones.
They did not have any homework and teachers were strict you were not allowed to speak in class. They got the cane or a clip round the ear if they were naughty.
During the Second World War, the children who attended Aldington Primary School had to take a gas mask in case of a gas attack. Where they were so heavy children kicked them around so they didn’t work.
As there was no transportation they either walked or used a push bike to travel the few miles to school. The School hours were 9:00am to 12:00pm. Lunch was to 1:15pm and school finally finished at 3:15pm.
At play time the girls played What’s the time Mr Wolf or skipping while the boys played War games and if you were unlucky you would be picked as a Nazi (German).
There was no field but a giant playground from the old kitchen to the cliff. Half of the playground was for the girls and infants, the other half for the boys.
In class you were only allowed to use a pencil until you were the age of nine.
There were two classes and two teachers there was also eighty children in the school. The two teachers were Ms Swaffer and the head teacher was Ms Boulding. They were very strict and you only had to look as if you were going to cause trouble they would give you the ruler across the knuckles.
The children who attended Aldington Primary School between 1949-1955 started at 9:00 and finished at 3:30pm. They managed to get there by foot but those more fortunate were picked up by a taxi if they lived far away.
Their playground was bigger than today’s playground, and they played different games to us. For example they had marbles, jacks, hopscotch, skipping ropes and hula hoops. It is not clear if there were any clubs running at the school.
Like today they did have a uniform but it was different. The girls wore a grey/navy pinafore and the boys had a maroon tie and grey trousers. The schools uniform did not have a logo like today’s.
The class teachers were apparently very strict and they were called: Mrs Jones, (head teacher), Mrs Bolden and Mrs D. If you were naughty you would get the ruler but if you really misbehaved you would get the cane. However, if it was a one off, you would get sent to the corner or the back of the classroom. They also had a school dinner lady called Mrs Johnson, who made, apparently, very nice school dinners which were healthy. However, some pupils did bring their own packed lunches.
There were up to 25 pupils per class, meaning 75 pupils throughout the whole school. These children were taught: English, Arithmetic, (maths), Art, Geography, History and Scripture. Their equipment for all of these lessons were: pencils, books, globes and compasses but they did not have computers or calculators.
Lots of things have changed since they have been to this school and technology is one of them. They did not have calculators, computers, interactive whiteboards or televisions. One of the few things left from their time at school are the old, brown, lift up desks, which only remain in Bear Class.
Between 1961 and 1967 for many children who attended Aldington Primary school, it only took 5 minutes to walk to school. The girls had to wear a grey skirt or pinafore dress, white blouse and a maroon cardigan for winter and their own dresses and a maroon cardigan for summer. There was no school logo. School started at 9o’clock and finished at half past three.
The lessons were Maths, English, R.E, P.E, Art, Reading, History, Geography, Spellings and Music. There were about 90 children in the school. Everyone went home at 1:00 pm for lunch then came back for more lessons. They had wooden desks with lids and wooden chairs and there was no homework. At play time children played Jacks, Skipping, hopscotch and Chase. In class they had ink pens in the upper classes, pencils, rulers and wax crayons. There were no clubs running. The head teacher was Miss Jones and she taught Class 3. The other teachers were Miss Stanley (Class 2) and Mrs Boulding (Class 1). If you were naughty you had to stand in the room, outside the room or got the cane.
Between 1972 and 1978 most children travelled to school on foot. They had to get there for 9.00 and got home at 3.30.
At playtime they would play British Bulldog, Marbles and Kiss Chase. Their playground was small and it had bars on, they were allowed to use the field when it was dry. They used pens, pencils etc.
There were clubs running and that included a Youth Club and a netball and football club. Boys liked sport and they played against Smeeth.
They did have school dinners which were good home cooking. Their uniform was grey with no logo. There were about 3-6 classrooms and approximately 80 children in the school. They had lift up wooden desks.
They were taught Math, English etc. They did not get any homework. The teachers were called Miss Evans, Mrs Leonard, and the Head Teacher was Mr Bryant and Miss Jones. The teachers were really strict and if you were naughty you would have to write out lines.
At this time, there was no technology but now we have loads.