It's our birthday!
We were 150 years old in 2021. The school was founded in 1871 on the current site next to the Hogsmill River in the heart of, what is now, Kingston's leafy conservation area.
We held a week of celebrations in the July for all to enjoy. We launched a fundraising campaign to create special artworks to commemorate the time. We hosted a visiting victorian farm and reconnected with past members of our school community and loved hearing their stories from years gone by.
We are situated in the heart of The Grove Conservation area on the banks of The Hogsmill river, a globally rare chalk river. St John's School opened in 1871 on part of the present site in Portland Road, on the initiative of the Rev. Arnold Letchworth, the first Vicar of St John the Evangelist and under the auspices of the National Society.
The School started with eighty-five children being taught in a temporary galvanised iron building by Mrs Hammond, a local woman, assisted by one pupil teacher. The school grew rapidly – by January 1872 a hundred and forty five pupils attended a Christmas party – and by the end of 1875 the first permanent building, the Girls' School, was opened, to be followed over the next few years and further fund-raising, first by the Boys' School then by the Infants' School. The first master was W H Legg, who was to remain in post for the next forty-five years. The school buildings were improved in later years, for example by the installation of new toilets and electric lighting in 1929, and the filling in of a stagnant backwater of the Hogsmill around the same time made the whole Portland Road area much healthier.
In more recent times, 1970s plans for replacing both church and school with a linked building on the school site were abandoned, but in the 1990s, a new hall, two new classrooms and a nursery unit were added, and since then, further improvements have enhanced the school.
Thank you to Isobel Robinson, author of, "Spring Grove 1865-1880, Birth of a Community" for help in compiling this page.
Curate of St John's 1870 -73 and Vicar 1873 - 1915, who founded our school.