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Old Warwickians

A brief history of Warwick Junior School

By G N Frykman, School Archivist, 2008.

Here is what I believe to be the first attempt to compile a history of the Junior School.

1889. The governors having refused to finance it, Lower School House was opened with 40 boys and was paid for by the Senior School’s headmaster, Rev. John Pearce Way. The first Housemaster was Rev F. J. G. Page, who left in 1898, eventually becoming Master of the Lord Leycester Hospital.

1896. Rev J. P. Way, on leaving, sells what is now called Junior House back to the governors for £3,500 (worth nearly £250,000 in modern terms).

1902. Under the Senior School’s headmaster Rev R. Percival Brown, numbers in the Junior House drop to 4.

1905. W P Richardson, Housemaster of Junior House, is sacked in a blazing and public row with headmaster Rev W T Keeling for failing to attract customers.

1906. Whole school closes, and re-opens in a merger with the King’s Middle School in The Butts under its former headmaster, Horace Seymour Pyne.

1907. Junior House re-opens under A. D. Hainworth.

1914 – 1915. The building is used as a home for displaced Belgian refugee children in the First World War, before being re-opened in 1915.

c. 1930. Drake, Nelson and Scott Houses (for boys up to U4) founded by the Senior School headmaster, George Albert Riding.

1934. Boxing introduced to the Junior House as a sport, which continued well after the Second World War.

1935. Junior House closed by headmaster E. Percival Smith, in an agreement with Arnold Lodge School.

1936. Junior House used as additional classrooms and cloakrooms for the Senior School.

1938. A D Hainworth retires from the staff, having run the Junior Boarding House for most of the period since 1907. Junior House, under Miss C. M. Evans, re-opened by headmaster A. H. B. Bishop as a private Preparatory School with 70 new boys, against the agreement with Arnold Lodge School, leading to the suspension of Mr Bishop from the Headmasters’ Conference.

1939. Junior boarders arrive once more (January). A. H. B. Bishop re-elected to the Headmasters’ Conference.

1940. Boys sleep on suitcases downstairs during the November Coventry Blitz.

1944. Miss Evans leaves, and is replaced as head of the Preparatory Department by Miss J. M. Franklin (later Mrs F. A. F. Fisher). Rev H. E. Cullis appointed as Junior Housemaster.

1946. The whole school goes independent (with continued state support), and fees triple to £16 per term. A. H. B. Bishop asks the governors to “accept the Junior School as a going concern” as his contribution to independence. Mrs Fisher leaves, and J. M A. Marshall (OW) is appointed as the Junior School’s first headmaster. Rodney House formed.

1952. F. E. Dugdale appointed as Junior Housemaster, replacing Rev H. E. Cullis.

1959. 125 boys in five forms with a staff of six.

1961. Junior Boarding House (40 boys aged 8 – 14) and Junior School extended. 117 boys in the Junior School.

1969. R. P. Usherwood is appointed as Junior Housemaster.

1979 (December). Jack Marshall retires as headmaster of the Junior School, and is replaced by Keith Winterbottom. 180 boys in the Junior School.

1982. Harold B. Robinson (OW) retires as deputy headmaster, having taught at the Junior School since 1961.

1986. Junior School equipped with science laboratory and art and music rooms. Roger Usherwood retires as Junior Housemaster, to be replaced by Grahame Ward.

1987. New Drama Hall built on the site of the old maintenance hut.

1989. Long weekends in northern France for U2s started.

1990. David Rogers appointed headmaster of the Junior School, Keith Winterbottom having been away ill for some time.

1992. Junior boarders move into Senior House. Junior boarding facilities altered to form flats for resident staff.

1993. New Sports Centre built behind the 1889 building, forming three sides of a rectangle.

1997. Three-form entry established.

2002. Entire school extended into a quadrangle, retaining the 1889 building as one side, the two-storey Assembly Hall building (former Drama Hall) and the Sports Centre forming the others. Wellington House formed.

2003. David Rogers retires, and is replaced by John Elston as Acting Headmaster.

2004. Guy Canning appointed as headmaster. Bears sculpture unveiled. 230 boys in the Junior School.

2006. 10-period day introduced, to include Performing Arts. 2008. 240+ pupils – a record high – with a staff of 19.