History of Kingsmead

The History of Kingsmead


Kingsmead School, formerly Wiveliscombe Secondary Modern School, was inaugurated on Monday November 9th 1953, while the construction work was still in progress. The total cost of the school was more than £90,000 (equivalent to £2,754,518.61 now). The school featured specialised rooms for arts and crafts, handicrafts, needlework, science and rural science. It also had a well equipped gymnasium, an assembly hall with an apron stage and a small hall. The headmaster at the time was Mr H J Jones BSc. The opening of the school enabled the Education Committee to provide adequate secondary education for the students in the local area.

The school was built on Lambrook Meadows, where two “temporary” buildings already existed, one of which dated back to the World War II era when American servicemen were stationed there.

The school started with 310 students divided into 10 classes, with 13 teachers and three support staff employed.


The official opening of the school was celebrated on Friday July 2nd 1954, in a ceremony that took place in the school hall. The distinguished guest of honour was W.F.Oakeshott Esq., M.A., ES.A., LL.D., Rector of Lincoln College, Oxford, who performed the ceremonial unlocking of the school doors and addressed the audience of pupils, staff, governors and local officials and their spouses. The ceremony also featured musical performances by the pupils, including the rendition of the school hymn “Heavenly Father, may thy blessing, rest upon thy children now”. The ceremony concluded with a guided tour of the school facilities and a reception for the guests.


The second issue of the Kingsmead Newsletter is now available. A packed edition with staff and student news, fundraising, events and sporting successes. All in an easy-to-read flip book, no need to download!

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