In June 2011, Mrs
Denise Smith contacted WalmerWeb to explain that she
had discovered some old local school reports dating from 1925,
1926 and 1927 in a large amount of old documentation from
a farm sale. They charted the academic progress of a young
Daphne Travers in her first years of attending Leelands School
in Upper Walmer.
From the school reports it would seem that
Daphne started at the school in the Autumn of 1925, age 5.
The Principals are shown as a Miss Belshaw and Miss Taylor
and - together with a teacher M. Poad - they were clearly
impressed by her aptitude for a surprisingly wide range of
subjects. The curriculum for Daphne's first term features
arithmetic, reading, writing, history, geography, scripture,
English, nature, singing, elocution, eurythmics and drill,
dancing, handwork and drawing and there are reports on her
A year later, Daphne, now in "Form
I", was still achieving "Very Good" comments
for most of her subjects, now under the care of several other
teachers named as G. Willson, G. Harris and M. Temple. By
the fourth report - for July 1927 - Daphne was taking a couple
less subjects but still achieving "Good" and "Very
Good" assessments. If a note on the final report is correct
it seems that her class size was fairly small with only 10
pupils in Form I.
The wide range of subjects offered and the small class sizes
at Leelands in the mid-1920s provide an interesting contrast
to today's primary school provision.