King Edward’s Junior School is one of the finest Somerset independent schools for girls and boys aged 7 to 11 years.
The school is self-sufficient both in terms of staff and facilities but profits from some periods being taught by staff from the Senior School, namely Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), Physical Education and Art.
Years 3 and 4 are taught predominantly by form teachers with specialist teaching in PE, ICT, MFL and Music, but Years 5 and 6 are taught exclusively by subject specialists.
The School prides itself on its welcoming atmosphere and its supportive learning environment, with visitors frequently commenting on our friendly, polite and enthusiastic pupils. The staff are highly professional in their approach, dedicated to the task of educating the children and give freely of their time after school, at weekends and during the holidays.
Music, art and drama feature strongly in both our curricular and extra-curricular programmes. Approximately 70% of Junior School children learn a musical instrument with our team of twelve specialist instrumental staff who, between them, cover the full range of orchestral and band instruments. Ensemble groups include an orchestra of over 60 players, lower school and chamber choirs, wind band, brass group, percussion group, double bass club, string ensemble and steel pans. Our musicians are given numerous opportunities for performance. The school also stages whole-school drama productions each year, usually in the Summer Term, and there are numerous opportunities for performance including the an annual speak-out competition, pupil assemblies and by taking part in the Mid Somerset Festival competition.
The School enjoys considerable success on the sports field and is determined to provide as many youngsters as possible with opportunities to play representative sport and also to cater for those who enjoy sport purely as a recreational activity. The extra-curricular programme offers a wide range of opportunities including fencing, golf, street dance, gymnastics, yoga, and chess, amongst others.
After an excellent Inspection Report in 2008, the school is not content to rest on its laurels and will continue to develop, providing an excellent, rounded education for its children.
At first the School was situated in a house at the end of Frog Lane; then for nearly two hundred years it occupied the nave of St Mary’s Church; in 1754 the whole School moved into beautiful Georgian buildings in Broad Street. Eventually the Senior School moved up to its present site in North Road and the Junior School took over in Broad Street.
1552 Although the School has admitted boys at the age of seven from its foundation in 1552, it is not until more recent times that the younger pupils are treated separately in
their own accommodation.
1898 A discrete Preparatory School is established under Miss Neal and Miss Shum in a room over the small School Room. Within a year 49 boys are on roll.
1905 The Governors consider separate accommodation for the Preparatory School ‘as at present the small boys must be to some extent subject to rough play on the part of the bigger boys’.
1922 The Preparatory School moves to 20 Belmont. Mr J H C Dunn, Second Form Master in the Senior School, is made Master-in-Charge of the Preparatory School. Mr T E Rhymes remembers ‘the boys called him Daddy Dunn, he was a gentle person with a fatherly manner.’ However, Mr Eric Price who encountered Mr Dunn later in his school career disagrees – ‘Daddy Dunn … was no father figure … (he) ran the third, top preparatory class, with a fair but iron hand’.
1945 Following the 1944 Education Act the School applies for permission to continue as a Direct Grant School. Fees are raised from six to nine guineas per term.
1956 Three Houses, named after famous Old Boys (Prynne, Le Marchant and Western), are created to stimulate competition between the boys. The first winner of the House Challenge Cup is Prynne captained by John Deverell.
1988 The sale of the Broad Street building raises a substantial sum at the peak of the market and funds the construction of an attractive modern purpose-built facility on the North Road site.
1990 In July the ‘Farewell to Broad Street’ pageant is held. The pageant leaves Broad Street and moves down towards the Guildhall Building, across Pulteney Bridge and via Sydney Gardens to North Road. Dr Wroughton says of the new building: ‘This is a most exciting development. Although we shall be sad to leave our premises in Broad Street, which are part of our heritage, our Junior boys are looking forward immensely to their
marvellous new site set in green fields and fresh air. Broad Street, nowadays, is far too congested and noisy.’
1994 The House system is changed to four houses reflecting significant local historical figures – Austen (after the novelist, Jane Austen), Sydney (after the Old Edwardian
explorer), Palmer (a pioneer in the reform of the postal service) and Harbutt (after the inventor of plasticine).
1995 On 15 November the decision to admit girls to the school is announced. Head of the Junior School, Mr Garner, records in his Log Book: ‘It is a momentous day for the School, but the decision is not met with wild enthusiasm.’
2007 Mr Greg Taylor takes up the post of Head of the Junior School.
2008 The Independent Schools Commission inspects the school and concludes: “King Edward’s pre-prep and junior schools achieve their aims and effectively meet the needs of their pupils in an environment where pupils are supported extremely
2011 The Junior School will benefit from a £1 million investment, including a new ICT suite and DT room and improved classroom facilities, to be completed in time for the 2011-12 academic year.
Normal hours are from 8.40am to 3.50pm Monday to Friday. Children may arrive at the Junior School from 8.00am onward and after school supervision is available until 5.30pm each day.
From 8.00am to 8.15am children must stay in the library and from 8.15am to 8.35am they are allowed outside for supervised play.
At the end of the day children may be met at the Junior School or at the Middle entrance where a school crossing patrol is in place to allow children to reach their parents on the other side of North Road in safety.
A member of staff will check at the main entrance at 4.15 pm to ensure that all children have been met. Any remaining will be brought back to the Junior School and booked into After-School Club.
After-School Club is available from 3.50 to 5.30pm. Children are supported and encouraged to complete any homework they have. There is a charge of £4 per session.
Many other activities and clubs take place after school with most finishing at 5.00 or 5.15pm.
Pupils will sometimes be asked to stay for team practices, rehearsals, etc. We greatly encourage their full involvement in the life of the school.
THE LESSON TIMETABLE
8.45 Period 1
9.20 Period 2
10.15 Break time
10.40 Period 3
11.15 Period 4
11.50 Lunch time
1.05 Silent reading
1.15 Period 5
1.50 Period 6
2.25 Break time
2.35 Period 7
3.10 Period 8
3.45 Form room
3.50 End of school day
Head of the
Mr Greg Taylor