The School in the Worth Community
There was a time, not much more than a hundred and fifty years ago, when the population of Worth was almost entirely made up of farmers, farm workers and artisans who serviced the farming community. Educating boys for anything but a life in farming, and educating girls at all, were not considered important.
When, in the mid 1850s, attitudes began to change there was a desire in Worth to build a school – for boys and girls. A site was identified beside the village pond opposite the Church Corner. The site was not ideal but it was convenient. The building (comprising what is now Reception, Years 1 and 2 and the library) was completed in 1857 and by 1864 the school was attended by 56 ‘juveniles and infants’ with an evening school attended by 11 adults.
The school became established as an important part of the village community – so popular was it that in the 1870s a further classroom was added at the west (pond) side of the original building and a School House was built between the school and the pond where the ‘Master’ and ‘Mistress’ of the school lived. The school could now take 100 pupils.
Times have changed since then:
- The School House was demolished in 1963. Its corner of the playground has been occupied at various times by a small swimming pool and the mobile classroom (1987 to 2020) but is now where our newly built classroom stands.
- The population of Worth is no longer totally dependent on agriculture (though tractors and farm vehicles are a familiar sight on The Street).
- Our pupils have more space, our teachers no longer live on the site, our pupils are no longer entirely ‘village children’, many being driven to and from school from a wide area.
- And the school’s operations are no longer run on the whim of the School Master. There is a Governing Board and we are part of the DEALT Multi Academy Trust.
But some things don’t change:
- The school is still at the centre of the Worth Community.
- We have lovely neighbours living in the houses around the school who help the school whenever our help is needed.
- There have been occasions when the ‘powers that be’ wanted to close the school but the local community got together to ensure that would not happen.
- Many who live in the village have donated very welcome funds by supporting our Summer and Christmas Fairs.
- Four of our governors live in the village, generously giving their time to support the staff in ensuring all the children get the best possible start in their education.
- The village Gardening Club has assisted with our allotment.
Worth Primary School continues to be very much part of the Worth Village community as it has been for over one hundred and sixty years.