Wimborne Junior School swap computers for chalkboards during centenary celebrations

(L-r) Jacob Keysell, 9,  Charlie Munt, 10, and Jake Bennett, 9
(L-r) Jacob Keysell, 9, Charlie Munt, 10, and Jake Bennett, 9

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PUPILS were given much more than your average history lesson as their school celebrated 100 years since it was founded.

Wimborne Junior School in Southsea opened in 1916 and its students and teachers dressed in period for yesterday’s centenary.

Headteacher Carina Jacobs led the school, in Wimborne Road, through an authentic day in the life of an early 20th century child.

Mrs Jacobs, who has taught at the school since 1998, said: ‘It’s been the best day of my teaching career.

‘It was nice to celebrate that we are the Wimborne community and looking at what we can leave for 100 years’ time and what we would put in the archives.’

Pupils spent a week before the milestone celebrations brushing up on the history of the school and dusting off some 19th century memorabilia.

Youngsters were taught in single-sex classes on separate floors, with the boys given lessons in tying knots and marching drills.

Meanwhile, the girls enjoyed observational painting and reciting the national anthem which, at the time, was still God Save The King.

The school went so far as to show the young girls around the rooftop, where they would have played in order to avoid mixing with boys at break times.

Mrs Jacobs said: ‘They particularly enjoyed being in their single-sex classes.’

The school banned any technology in the classrooms. Interactive whiteboards were switched off and swapped for chalkboards.

Pupil Harry Lee, 10, said: ‘I’d actually use the chalkboards in school today. I liked the experience and I would like to do it again.’

Harry’s classmate Sam Ford was less keen on the chalkboards, but liked some of the more practical lessons.

Sam, 10, said: ‘The best lesson was the army marching.

‘I thought it was funny watching everyone do it – they actually looked like soldiers!’

Boys and girls were given the opportunity in the afternoon to show off their newly-honed skills in a commemorative assembly.

The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor David Fuller, joined parents in attending an afternoon tea party, which was held in conjunction with the neighbouring infant school.

The celebrations were capped off with an extravagant cake designed by Cakes By Francis.

It was adorned with the school’s inspiring motto of ‘reach for the stars’.