Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: November 02, 2021
Webpage updated: November 03, 2021




Opened in 1856 as the Saint John's National School, it was extended in 1895 to accommodate 125 junior children in addition to the Infants' School at Turnchapel.

When the Devon County Local Education Authority took over responsibility for education in the County as a result of the Education Act 1902, it became the Hooe County Elementary School.

In 1914 Mr Robert D Ford was the master of the main School at Hooe while Miss Sarah Wilson was the mistress of the infants school at Turnchapel.  The average attendance at Hooe was 115 children and at Turnchapel was 49 infants.

On the evening of Monday February 11th 1929 the ratepayers of Hooe and Turnchapel met to discuss the poor condition of the School and they sent a resolution to Devon County Local Education Authority asking for a new building.  They also requested that in view of the growth of the area the local County Councillor should be co-opted onto the Education Committee.  Less than a month later it was confirmed that Hooe was to get its new school and that it would be opened nine months from commencement of construction.  Work started on October 27th 1930.

The children from the Plymstock Hooe Infants' School at Turnchapel moved in to the new building with the Plymstock Hooe Mixed Junior and Senior School on October 5th 1931.  The infants were aged between 5 and 6 years 7 months; the juniors, between 6 years 7 months and 10 years 7 months; and the seniors were aged between 10 years 7 months and the school leaving age of 14 years.  The School now comprised 203 pupils plus five who started school that day.  The head master was Mr Edwin Rogers, who took taught the 49 children in Class 1.  Miss Margaret Elsie Common was in charge of Class 2 (43 pupils); Miss Dora Agnes Eslick, Class 3 (42 children); Mrs Bertha Mary Full, Class 4 (39 children); and Mrs Ethel Alice Stenning, Class 5 (30 children).  They were assisted by a temporary County supply teacher by the name of Miss Dorothy Kingslaw Rowe.

Sir Francis Dyke Acland, Bart, chairman of the Devon County Education Committee, officially opened the School at 2.30pm on October 12th 1931.  Although the official programme for the opening said that the architect would be handing the key to Sir Francis, the press said it was the contractor, Mr Charles Russell, and the school log book said it was the builder, Mr M L Russell, who did the honours.  The chairman of the managers of the School, the Reverend Charlton S Turquand, the vicar of the Anglican Church of Saint John the Evangelist, made a speech.  The children, under the direction of the head master, Mr Edwin Rogers, sang songs accompanied by Miss Norah E Knott at the piano.  For some unexplained reason the school was known as the "Pomphlett-Hooe Council School" at that time.

According to the School's log book, it was not until Tuesday January 12th 1932 that the head master was informed that the official name of his school was the Plymstock, Lower Hooe Council School.

At the start of the term on April 4th 1932 the number of children on the register was 221.  It transpired that the head master had admitted seven new children when there was only room for six on the register.  The number of classes was increased to six, and a temporary supply teacher appointed.  Class 1 had 18 pupils, while the others now had 45, 45, 44 and 32 children in each.

After moving the infants from Turnchapel to the new school building, by June 1932 the building was so overcrowded that they moved them out again to the old premises adjacent to the Anglican Church of Saint John the Evangelist.  The head master's class had increased to 34 children, while the others were 42, 43. 42. 42, and 36 respectively.

The school year 1932-33 began on Monday August 29th 1932 and a new uncertificated teacher arrived - Miss Victoria Hughes, known as Vera.   Twelve children had left the School and 5 infants plus three juniors had started.  The total  number on the register was now 236 children.

A swimming test was carried out at Jennycliffe on Thursday September 1st 1932, under the watchful eyes of Captain Young, a Physical Training Officer.

Exceptionally heavy rain on Thursday September 8th 1932 caused many children to be sent home as they had wet clothes.

As from Monday September 19th 1932 the milk supply was withdrawn due to falling demand.

Coal fires were lit in the infants' classrooms on Monday October 10th 1932 and in the remainder of the School the following day.  As from Wednesday October 12th 1932 the School was lit by electric lights.  The "house" system was adopted in the three eldest classes for work and sport from Monday November 14th 1932.

Mr Rogers, the head master, resigned on Wednesday November 30th 1932 as he had been appointed head master of a school at Highweek, Newton Abbot, Devon.  The new head master, Mr Leslie John Stanbury, joined the School on Monday February 13th 1933.  The School roll was now 249 children.  A Miss Pearse had joined the staff on the first day of term, Monday January 9th 1933, to replace another teacher who had also gained a headship.

Torrential rainfall meant that 22 of the 40 infants were absent from School on Friday February 24th 1933.

On Monday April 3rd 1933 there were 256 pupils on the roll.  The classes were reorganised and made up as follows: Class 1, Mr Baker, 50 pupils; Class 2, Miss Alford, 45 pupils; Class 3, Miss Common, 45 pupils; Class 4, Miss Eslick, 43 pupils; Class 5, Miss Pearse, 37 pupils; and Class 6, Mrs Stenning, 36 pupils.  In addition to the above, and the head master, Mr Stanbury, there was also a monitress for the infants classes and a student teacher, Miss Hacker.

A new low attendance was achieved on December 15th 1933, just 190 children, due to the cold weather.

On December 2nd 1935 Mr A W Rably was appointed as head master in replacement of Mr Stanbury, who had become head master at Oreston School.

On Monday January 10th 1938 the School re-opened after the Christmas holiday as the Plymstock Hooe Junior Council School only for those from 10 years and 7 months to 14 years old.