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Exwick School

Extracts from the School Log Books

From 1892 to closure in 1971

Researched and compiled by Julia Sharp

Page added 3rd November 2013

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All Schools have been required to have a Log Book where the Headteacher or their Representative note details of items that are significant to the School, teachers and pupils.

These extracts are taken from two Log Books which cover the period from the 1890s to closure in 1971. These documents are held by the Devon Heritage Centre along with other records of the School.

They demonstrate the changing attitudes, requirements and education of the pupils and families in Exwick which in 1900 was a small settlement of about 400 people that had just become part of Exeter. By closure the new housing development in the area had started and the School had become too small. It was succeeded by Foxhayes Infant School and Exwick Junior School. These Schools in their turn became too small and at the beginning of the 21st century Exwick Heights Junior School was opened, and has already been extended.

Once the School had closed on the original site, the building became Centre Exe Community Centre; this existed until the early 21st century before it closed, there having been a new Community Centre built in Kinnerton Way.

There had always been a significant use of the School premises by the villagers as it was part of the original agreement when the School was founded that this should be so. Since the 1920s there has also been the Parish Institute, now called the Parish Hall, which is situated on the opposite side of Station Road for leisure activities. In 2013 the School buildings were renovated and opened as The Exwick Ark, a Nursery and Pre School.

19th Century – from 1892

These are some extracts from the School Log books, divided into different types of events. Adolphus Herbert Rousham and his wife Lila Rousham, who were both certified teachers, joined the staff as Master and Mistress in 1891, a year after their marriage. Katherine Darley Kenny was an Assistant Teacher. Mrs. Rousham had a child on 23 October 1893.



November – Scarlet fever broke out in Mrs. Hill’s house and 5 scholars away for some weeks. The same thing had happened last year.


April – Whooping cough
June – All St. Thomas schools closed for 2 weeks in June because of epidemic of Measles. Also that year, at least 5 cases of Scarlet Fever and one case of Typhoid Fever. Epidemic grant claim made.


May – 8 boys from workhouse absent due to Measles, returning 14 June.



Half day holiday for visit of Duke of Edinburgh


May – Received permission to use School for Musical entertainment by school children in Easter week.
September 1896 – Holiday in 23 September 1896 – to commemorate the fact the Queen will have reigned as Sovereign of this Realm for the longest period on record.


June – Broke up on 18 June 1897 – for Diamond Jubilee holiday from 18 to 28 June. All Children attending the School are to be provided with a tea etc. and presented with an enamelled Commemorative Mug on Tuesday 22 June named Jubilee Day.

Floods etc.


December 1893 – High wind carried away the roof of the Girls shed.


November 1894 – 12 November only 30 attended as very wet morning.
13 November great flood, lower part of village entirely flooded. The water entered the School to the depth of 9 inches and a second flood occurred on the Wednesday but did not enter the School being 1 foot lower than the Monday.


February 1895 – 1 February weather very severe; frost and snow prevented younger ones attending.
8 February no water from taps – water in casks sent from Exeter.


December 1896 – 14 December there was another flood after heavy rain yesterday. Road to Foxhayes flooded.


January 1897 – 18 January there was very severe weather
March 1897 – 3 March gale did great damage and blew down trees in all directions.


November 1898 – 25 November a flood occurred with roads impassable.

Absence of pupils


September – Great deal of irregular attendance in the 1st Class (older pupils). The girls especially required at home to look after babies while Mother out washing. This is always a great draw back to good and continuous work in the Upper Standard in this school.

December – Attendance very poor in 1st Class. Many boys with shooting party in the woods beating the hedges etc. Only 18 present in School with 30 on the Register.


June – On 30 June attendance affected due to a variety of causes, chiefly haymaking fruit picking and gardening.



November – new stoves fitted


December – Took 1st Class of Girls (10) to Museum at 2.30pm. on 17 December and on next day took 13 boys from 1st Class again to the Museum.


February – New desks delivered.

Number of pupils on Roll

I have not kept notes of all numbers on roll, unless of interest. In May 1893 – there were 135 on Roll with 120 attending.

However, there is some references to the fact that sometimes they had to restrict the admittance of infants, some as young as 3 ½ years. On other occasions, children as old at 7 would be admitted for the first time.

There are references to children attending examinations for the Labour Certificate in Boys School Cowick Street. (18 children presented in April 1896) It was just one of many such examinations. It appears that this was a Certificate to allow Children to leave school at or after the age of 11 when they could prove they were literate and numerate, to the required standard.

20th Century – to end of the first log book in 1926



May – On 24 May Holiday for Queen’s birthday and relief of Mafeking.
June – At 10.40 the children were marched to the centre of the Village and with the help of the harmonium, The National Anthem, Rule Britannia etc. were sung to celebrate the occupation of Pretoria by Lord Roberts and the British troops.


January – On 25 January King Edward VII was proclaimed and the School had a half holiday to celebrate.
September – Notice was received from the Clerk of a holiday on 30 September to celebrate the freeing of the Bridge and Road from the toll. This was celebrated by a visit from the Mayor of Exeter and the Council members. The Vicar wrote a long report on the Funeral of the Old Toll Gate, which is shown elsewhere


January – Proclamation of Peace in South Africa. At 9.45am the School sang the Doxology and National Anthem before declaring a holiday for the rest of the day.
July 1902 – School treats


May – On 24 May the School celebrated Empire Day. The school assembled in the yard for the Union Jack to be hoisted by 2 older boys. The flag was saluted before it was explained what Empire Day was.
September – On 6 September School was closed for the unveiling of equestrian statue of General Sir Redvers Buller.


May – On 6 May King Edward VII died.


June – Coronation holiday 21 to 29 June.


June – On 14 June Celebration of Mr. Rousham’s 21 years as Master. He addressed the Children, there was a Review and they received buns and sweets.


July 1914 – On 22 July there was Exeter Historical Pageant and Alexandra Rose Day before School closed for Summer holidays. War was declared on 4 August between England and Germany.
September 1914 – On 10 September King George V and Queen Mary came to Exeter to visit the wounded in the Hospital. Several Children were absent.


November – On 12 November there was a military procession and reception of the German Guns captured by the Devonshire Regt.


Rev. Winter died. Children went to Church during the preliminary
Service. Rev. Brenton succeeded him


November – While the school was closed due to Spanish flu epidemic, WWI ended.


June – On 28 June the Peace Treaty was signed by Germans at 3.12pm.
School Union Jack hoisted.
July – On 19 July the Peace Celebration took place in the Village. The School Children’s part consisted of tea, sports, maypole dancing etc. It being wet the programme was carried out with the exception of the Sports in the School. The Sports were adjourned until Saturday July 26.


February – A captured German rifle was received from the National War Savings Committee with the following inscription ‘This captured German rifle is presented by the National War Savings Committee to the Exwick & District War Savings Association in recognition of its successful work - October 1919 – ’
November – Armistice Day celebrations at the Memorial Cross in Church grounds.


July – On 24 July School was closed on the occasion of the unveiling of the Exeter War Memorial by Admiral Beatty.

Floods etc.


February – Continuous rain after snow caused flood which surrounded the school and filled the space under the floor – just entering lower door when receded.


December – Roads flooded


July – Cleaning out of Mill Leat on Sunday


December – Attendance affected this week by heavy rains, floods. etc.


January – Floods again. School yards under water by 9am


January – Very stormy weekend and high flood Sunday. Water entered about 8pm, reaching about 3-4 inches inside, 2 ft. outside
Absence of pupils


October – Boys away on beating duties – to be reported


Growing tendency for girls to be kept home on Fridays to help clean house, run errands, etc.


May – Case of Cruelty by parents to Langdon children – led to Police and NSPCC taking 9 year old to magistrates and school closure as all teachers also had to give evidence. Parent convicted and Mother sentenced to 4 months imprisonment


February – Head Teacher absent in morning to prosecute and give evidence
in series of Church robberies
Question of severe beating of new pupil denied. Initial aggressive attitude of Parent and Relative who accepted the position later
November – Miss Montgomery and others came to distribute needlework and knitting for pupils


Miss Tucker became infant class teacher.
School now called No. 4 Exeter Exwick Council School


P.C.M. Veitch sent 144 hyacinth bulbs in 18 varieties for a competition between pupils
December – Mrs. M. Richards the Caretaker was summoned and fined for taking coal and wood from the school. She was dismissed and Mrs. Blackmore was appointed Caretaker


August – Edith Cornall Stage III aged 10 years was drowned in the River during the dinner hour. She was present in School in the morning.
December – More bulbs from Mr. Veitch for another competition.
October – 20 boys visited Pynes Waterworks.


An allotment garden was obtained to be worked as a single block for pupils to use with the help of visiting professional gardener. 14 boys were involved. The garden was about 6 minutes walk away from the school.


April – 14 girls walked to Ide via Whitestone Cross, Barley Lane, Pocombe etc.


December 1915 – Edward Godbeer aged 9 years fell into the Mill Leat which was in flood about 1.30pm. The body could not be found.


February – War Savings Association doing well.
September – Special War Works potato plot was very effective. 8 score of potatoes were planted 96 score were harvested and sold to Villagers at 1/1d per score making surplus of £4. 17. 6d.
October – The children are gathering chestnuts for the government. The total collected was 6 cwt. (chestnuts were used in the manufacture of cordite for use in shells).


October – Outbreak of sickness chiefly Spanish flu. School closed from 7 October until 18 November due to Spanish flu. During this time the War was over when the cease fire was proclaimed on 11 November at 11am.


19 March 1 – School was closed for funeral of headmaster’s eldest son Herbert Howard Rousham
5 May – Mr. Teed the Gardening instructor did not attend until 3.30pm as his employer kept him at the Station to meet a train.
17 October – Mrs. Blakemore the caretaker resigned due to ill health.
24 November – Mr. Teed ceased as garden instructor. Head to take over until the crops as gathered when the class will stop.


14 December – New Boiler


29 May – A. H Rousham sent in resignation as Head Master after 33 years service.
1 September – Mrs. A. M. Richards appointed Head Mistress
21 November – Boiler bursts.
24 November – New Curtains to divide the classes in the main hall were hung

Number of pupils on roll


116 – pupils on Roll


133 – pupils on roll. The largest number for several years.

20th Century – the second Log Book from 1926 – to closure in 1971.



12 April – School Gardening Club 2-4pm to continue while crops sown remain. Allotment about 12 minutes walk away from school (it was noted by School Inspector that the pupils in the Club included 2 Senior Girls)


14 May – Nature Study Walk – ‘where is Brittus Lane?’


4 February – Discussion on the further structural improvements to be made


3 May – Afternoon off for Silver Jubilee of King George V
25 May – Empire Day celebrated


22 May – School closed in afternoon for Empire Day
29 May – School closed for Whitsun holiday.
3 June – The children were taken by Head Teacher to see the King pass through Exeter
8 June – School reopened after holiday. Miss Tucker commenced duties as uncertified teacher
15 June – Boys entered for Sports ran preliminary heats
16 June – Girls entered for sports ran their preliminary heats
17 June – Holiday for school treats
23 June – School Sports Day
24 June/1 July and 8 July More School treats
3 December – School closed for afternoon – installation of Bishop
14 December – School opened at 2.30pm to enable the children to hear the proclamation read
8 December – Class I Register dated wrongly by the Head Teacher


22 April – School closed for a day to enable teachers to attend a refresher course
11 May – School closed for Coronation and Whitsun Holiday
24 May – School re-opened. Empire Day so school closed for afternoon


19 May – School closed for half day to enable children to see Queen Mary
24 May – Empire Day school closed for half day
30 June – Una Richards passed the Scholarship Examination


29 February – School closed at 11.30 to allow children to see the march past of Officers and Men of HMS Exeter. Afternoon school commenced at 2.15pm
6 November – Discussions held on numbers and extra accommodation at the Vicarage
12 November – A fireman gave a demonstration of the stirrup pump
18 November – Miss Garrad London County Council teacher commenced duties in the School
Three rooms in the Vicarage are now classrooms. Miss Tucker and her Class occupy one room which is fitted up as a classroom. The other two rooms are empty for activities. There are 133 on roll, 38 are London children
27 November – Sirens sounded at 3.40, the all clear came 20 minutes later
5 December – Siren sounded before school and the all clear at 9.40. School commenced at 9.45am


3 February – Bristol teacher commenced duty. 14 Bristol children admitted. 2 removed to another billet. Second class made at vicarage under Miss Caull
12 March – another siren – also 24 March and 21 April
22 April – Pupils on Roll 102 Exwick 38 evacuees 7 referred
Teachers went on course on communal feeding


12 February 1 – Sirens sounded during the dinner hour – all clear at 2.05pm
12 March – Siren 12.00 All Clear 12. 20
18 March – Siren 12.00 All Clear 12.30
25 March – 15 boys left school at 3.00 to join the march of the brigades and war ships section
31 March – Siren 1.47 pm All Clear 2.03pm another Siren 2.10pm All Clear 3. 02pm. Afternoon classes cancelled.
17 April – Siren again Morning with All Clear 2.16pm another Siren 3.40pm All Clear 4.00pm
24 April – Siren 9.15am All Clear 9.30am
29 April – After a severe air raid on the City the schools were closed for 2 days as the teachers officiated at the feeding centres.
78 children absent. Number on roll 125
School closed at 11.30am at end of morning session. Members of staff assisted at the John Stocker Emergency feeding centre.
30 April – Normal School. Number on roll 120
During the night of May 5 Exeter received a severe blitz. School was suspended and all teachers officiated at different feeding centres.
13 May – School re-opened hours 10-12 and 2- 4pm
14 May – 54 children present
14 May – Miss Garrad granted a days leave, each member of staff to be granted a days rest day in rotation.
16 November – The Mayoress presented the children with a bar of chocolate each a gift from Toronto Canada
1 December – Miss Cole London County Council commenced duty in the school
4 December – Miss Garrad LCC finished duty in this School
10 December – Question of a nursery class was discussed


8 May – Special holiday to celebrate end of hostilities in Europe
18 June – During the week Infants and Primary children took part in Schools Festival
5 July – School closed for General Election
July – Two girls (one LCC) obtained Scholarships, and one passed the entrance exam to Bishop Blackall
3 December – Noted that school dinners were served in the Institute


1 March – The Children attended the parade for survivors of HMS Exeter


13 September – During the Summer holidays a large window was built out to give more light to rooms 1 and 2


23 July – School Closes



29 November – School closed during the afternoon session at 2.45pm due to rapidly rising flood which entered both playgrounds and flooded all roads reaching a depth of several inches
5 December – School closed in afternoon due to floods which also entered the school


4 November – Playground flooded school closed until tide turned and it was possible to get to school


1 February – Playground was flooded, impossible to enter school. School held in the Vicarage


28 November – Flood


10 February – Flood surrounded building
22 November – Water reached level of 1 ft. and left marks on screen and walls – teachers salvaged what they could


16 August – River Exe rose following Exmoor flood disaster – water did not enter the building


23 November – Floods to 1 ft. 25 November – School was held in the Vicarage, Parish Room and Club Room.
8 December – More floods – no water in building


6 October – Severe flooding 7 October 1960 – playground still flooded water mark of flooding 8 inches above inside flood level
27 October – Severe flooding inside depth 2ft 6 in
5 December – Severely flooded throughout water level 3ft 9in – floors covered in red mire
6 December – Floods again in playground


14 January 1963 – School frozen

Evacuees list 25.11.40 – origin of evacuees


Victoria Park


Fulham Palace Rd.

Plymouth (Millbay)
Worcester Park
Military School Malta

There were 4 evacuees billeted at Cleave House and 3 at Hamlyn House

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