The Elms. Faringdon County Grammar School for Girls 1925-1976
Gloucester St., Faringdon, Oxon
The School was founded in 1925. Read the Indentures on this page
Until the 1944 education Act, it was a fee paying school for girls age 9 and upwards. Passing an entrance exam was required. Fees were waived/reduced for scholarship girls. Read the Indentures
The original school building was 'The Elms', the home of Mr Dundas who gave the (former) Cottage Hospital in Coxwell Road to Faringdon
From 1944 it became Faringdon Grammar School for Girls.
The school catchment was from Stratton St Margaret, to Abingdon , Wantage, Didcot, Harwell and surrounding villages. Most girls were bused to Faringdon. The Grammar school for boys was King Alfred's in Wantage.
There were usually 2 forms for each year group up to 5th year, with 30 - 40 girls in each form. Plus a Lower (1st year) 6th and an Upper 6th. In the 1960s there were between 10 and 15 girls in each 6th form.
Until 1969 the year group was split by age ie up to January birthdays in 1 form, and the rest in the parallel form. From 1969 it was done alphabetically
Scroll down to Gloucester St on Faringdon & District Archaeological & Historical Society (fdahs.org.uk)
This is a link to the talk that is mentioned
Miss Dorothy Lucie Beck ( b 26/6/1888) 1920 - 1925.
Miss Ruth Bartels (b 21/7/1891) 1925-1930
Miss Anstace Helen Moore OBE ( b 16/4/1895 ) 1930 to 1956. Died 27th October 1983 Obituary
Miss Ada Joan Towns Head mistress from 1957 until 1976 b1915 died 2016. 100th birthday article
Head mistresses had living accommodation in the school.
Faringdon moved from Berkshire to Oxfordshire in the Local Government reorganisation of 1972.
The Berkshire County Boundary was the Thames at Radcot- so no girls came from Clanfield/Bampton, Brize Norton. Neither were there games matches between the schools across the County Boundary
Information and Documents
Faringdon History Room information
Box Mem 342 for newsletters, prize giving reports and indentures.
Whole school photos in hanging files.
The Elms building Grade II listed 1986
08.50 until 15.45 with 1 hour 15 mins for lunch
Morning assembly. based on Church of England. Girls from other religions were excused. We sang a hymn and said prayers. I think it was mostly (always) the Head who led the service.
The silence rule applied for the walking in and out. I think all but the teachers and 6th forms sat on the floor. There was usually a pianist playing. Outdoor shoes were not allowed in the Hall
University Honours boards and head girls in gold leaf lettering on oak display boards
PE was games, gym or dance. Dance was 'freestyle movement to music' ( aka flitting)
Tennis/netball courts, hockey/cricket pitch, outdoor swimming pool ( from mid 1950s) before then swimming was in an unheated, un- chlorinated ( often green) pool at Faringdon House or Buscot Park.
Taking a communal shower was mandatory after PE. Rather a shock for modest 11 year olds
Inter school matches- tennis, netball, hockey - with St Helen's (Abingdon), Milham Ford (Oxford), Wychwood School, Burford
Annual Sports Day
Running, dribble a hockey ball, throw the cricket ball, House relay, long jump, high jump
Victrix Ludorum awarded
1950s and 1960s. Grey bibbed pinafore skirt, blue check blouses (winter). Blue gingham dresses (summer) Grey felt hat. Boater in 6th. For PE short elasticated waist dress called 'greys'
Pale blue waist sashes for those girls with good posture
School exams twice yearly. Formal exam conditions. Report to parents were twice a year. Until 1971, reports were a single A4 sheet. After this they were booklets with blue covers. Miss Towns signed every one. Height and weight were shown on each report until the 1960s. Example 1948 report
Girls were put into A, B or C sets for mathematics, French, Physics
Subjects were: Religious Knowledge, English (Language and Literature), History, Geography, Latin, French, Maths, Science, Domestic Science, Art, Physical Training, Music.
Until 1960 the most able A level students took a 3rd subject exam to achieve scholarship level. 1954 French, English, History Scholarship papers
Increasing as you progressed through the school to around 15 hours a week. Homework was graded from A+,A,A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C D.
Getting a D meant the work was returned and it had to be redone in break time. Any outings were cancelled for D returns.
School house teams, mostly for sport. Family members were put in the same teams.
Grenville House yellow. Sir Richard Grenville
Roper House green Margaret Roper (daughter of Sir Thomas More)
Sydney House blue Sir Philip Sydney
Drake House red Sir Francis Drake
Roper was the last house to be formed (during the 1940s). For many year it was 'looked down upon' as the new house
Every morning ( was it every morning?)
Ignatious Loyola ( Teach us good Lord........) every Monday
General ThanksGiving ( Almighty God, Father of all mercies..........) Friday pm.
The Head and Vice head girl were chosen by senior staff
Lady Fitzgerald, Buckland 1940s
Alexander Gavin Henderson (2nd Baron Faringdon)
Freda Baker ( nee Indge)
Captain Allen Stevens