Seeds of generations’ success were sown decades ago by the Rev Humphrey Perkins who had a desire to create strong foundations for learning. We are celebrating our 300 year history with Founders Day on the 7th February 2017 and a Community Day on the 8th February 2017.
At the turn of the century in 1700 education in Barrow and the surrounding area was beginning to take off. It was recognised that children in the local villages needed to learn the three R’s to help them make the best of their lives. New opportunities were coming to middle England, and education was central to the drive forward.
The Rev Humphrey Perkins, rector of Holme Pierrepont, was determined that he would leave a legacy in Barrow Upon Soar. He wanted to provide much more than a basic education. Mr Jackson and Mr Rawlins provided for schools in Barrow and Woodhouse respectively to teach English, Latin, writing and arithmetic. Mr Watson, a nonconformist, set up an academy in Mountsorrel that taught subjects other than Latin. Humphrey Perkins, who had been at Cambridge University with his friend Isaac Newton, wanted to provide a much broader education. Today Humphrey Perkins School delivers a broad and balanced education.
Together with the Rev Benjamin Bewick, vicar of Barrow, the ground was laid that led to the finalising of the Will of Humphrey Perkins in 1718 that provided the first funds for the school. By Michaelmas 1734 work had started on realising Humphrey Perkins School, and by October 1735 the Schoolroom was built and taking pupils. From then on the school has grown, evolved, moved, evolved and grown again.
During the 300 year history of the school there have been some real characters, both staff and pupils. As our current staff team have been preparing for our 300 year celebrations they have unearthed some hidden treasures. Photos, awards, cups and prizes have been dusted off from the 1920s onwards. A list of Head boys and Head girls has also been unearthed along with sports results and the dreaded ‘Punishment Book’. This book reveals that times have not changed that much with accounts of boys (usually) trying to pull the wool over their teachers’ eyes and generally misbehaving. Back in those days pupils received punishment ‘to the seat’ in the form of the cane or slipper. It is interesting to note the various levels of tariff depending on the crime. Smoking usually received ‘1 to the seat’, although repeated incidents were taken more seriously. Accounts of knocking over cocoa, rudeness, breaking windows, trespassing and looking up girls’ skirts seem to have been a regular occurrence. There were some more notable activities, namely flooding Boys Block, throwing a member of staff in the Swimming Pool and throwing a dart that ended up rebounding off a wall into a pupil!
Do you have memories of Humphrey Perkins School that you would like to share? You may have been a Head boy or girl and can recount tales from your final years at the school. Perhaps you played for one of the many successful (or not so successful) school teams and would like to remind us all of your time representing your school. Perhaps you were a quiet pupil who just got on with your lessons, or you were awarded a school prize or cup, or even have your own entry in the Punishment Book. We would love to learn more from you about our school in days gone past. If you have something you would like to share then please contact us. Either drop into the school, write to us or use our special alumni email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today we continue to cherish our traditions. We believe in self discipline and building character as well as dressing smartly and using good manners. Our aim is to combine the best traditions in education with the latest tools to enhance learning. Building on the great work of our local primary schools, a focus on reading, grammar and handwriting is complimented by our innovative e-learning with iPads. Our curriculum is both broad and balanced, and provides an excellent foundation for learning post 16.
We are looking forward to sharing as a community what has been such a central place within our village for some many centuries.
Mr P Nutkins, Headmaster, Humphrey Perkins School