On 4th July 1939, Sandon Road Infants School & Sandon Road Junior School opened for the very first time.
Miss M. E. Jones was the first head teacher of the 371 students at the infant school. Some classes having as many as 50 children.
Mr H. B. Davenport was the head at the junior school which was attended by 270 children between the ages of seven and eleven.
The first term ended on 3rd August 1939 and whilst the children were on holiday, war was declared.
The new school year was delayed until air raid shelters could be provided, which meant children didn’t return to school until November 7th. There weren’t enough shelters for all the children, so for 2 months attendance was on a part time basis with groups of 50 students taking it in turns to attend.
Just 4 months passed after the shelters were completed and tested, when sirens warned of an attack on the area. Bombs were dropped and damage was done, but both the children and the building were untouched.
The schools were very close to an aerodrome, the realisation of this became clear when a pilot landed his plane short of the runway on the home of Mr Phillips of no. 33, Harrowby Road, and later when an aeroplane landed on the school playing fields; the plane wrecked but luckily the pilot managed to survive.
At the end of the war, school closed for two days of national celebration.
The number of children attending both sites grew rapidly so in 1948 the nursery unit separated from the main school. The site that is now Grange Nursery School was formally a duck pond that belonged to Normacot Grange. By 1951, with around 640 pupils in total across both sites, inspectors expressed concern regarding overcrowding. So in 1952 two Medway classrooms were opened.
During the next 30 years the names of the schools were changed twice. The first in 1957, with the word ‘Grange’ replacing ‘Sandon Road’ in both school names, the word coming from Normacot Grange which was located next to the schools. Then in 1970, following the redesignation of city schools, Grange Infants School became Grange First School. Extra classrooms were added at the Nursery and First School.
The annexe which you see today was built to accommodate the final year in the new Grange Middle School. Children would now wnter the first year at eight years old and transfer to secondary school at 12.
In 1978, Headteacher Mr Cartlidge, who served the school for 20 years died suddenly. In his memory, a garden was planted next to the annexe building.
A further name change occurred in September 1983, that also involved a major change for both sites. ‘Grange Primary School’ was formed from the amalgamation of the two schools.
in 2002, Grange Primary became Sandon Primary with academy conversion taking place in 2014!
Look what we've found!
This is a promotional video that we found in the archives from Grange Nursery in 2011 entitled 'A day at Grange Nursery School'.
Take a look and see if you can see some familiar faces!