Back to the very beginning of Chew Valley!

During a clearout of the English Department office, Mr James happened across the very first issue of the Chew Valley Magazine from the academic year 1961-62 (reproduced at the bottom of this page). The school was founded in 1958 and the Headmaster, J.C. Wright, alludes to this in his introduction: 

A new school, like a baby, takes time to grow and to develop its own personality. Four short years ago, we were still a collection of staff, pupils, equipment and buildings rather than a school. Now, I think, we have a personality of our own.

The magazine presents a fascinating insight into life in the early years of Chew Valley School, including examples of students' art work and creative writing as well as reports from sports teams and school societies. 

Some things are very different; I'm not sure Mrs Loynton's Dance Club would recognise the Dancing Club described: 

"Quick, quick, slow-forward, side, close." Such instructions mingling with the sound of dance music indicates that Dancing Club is in session. All seem to be enjoying themselves, even Mr Bentley - he is the perspiring gentleman in the middle striving to make his instructions heard"

There are accounts of trips to Germany, Steepholm island, London and theatre visits to Bristol, an update on the School Forest (!), and a perceptive analysis of children's magazines from Linda Lee (4A), clearly a media studies student ahead of her time:

Some of the nonsense in these doesn't seem to credit children with a scrap of intelligence. Others that glorify violence and sex can have an unhealthy influence on young people and give them a false sense of values, as in the same way many national newspapers affect the outlook of some adults.

The magazine finishes with a summary of the G.C.E O-Level successes of the class of 1961. Eleven students managed to succeed at O-Level, with notable successes in History (eight passes), English (six passes), Art, Needlework and Woodwork (3 passes each). Although the school's academic achievements are more extensive now, we still adhere to J.C. Wright's words of encouragement: 

We are what we make ourselves. So long as we are a school to which we are all proud to belong we shall prosper.

Read the magazine below, or click this link. If you recognise any of the names in it, we'd love to hear from you! Please get in touch via email at or on (01275) 332272.