The original Wilshere building had just seven classrooms. There were separate entrances at each end of the building marked ‘boys’ and ‘girls’. The 1951 addition was built using surplus aluminium which had been stockpiled and never used during the war. Iron railings had even been removed from parks and houses and people were asked to surrender their pots and pans. Aircraft manufacturers including Bristol Siddeley diverted their production from aircraft to prefabricated houses and buildings. Hence, some knew the school extension as ‘the building made from pots and pans.’ Just 5 years later, enrolment had increased again and the timber-framed/hardwood-panelled Medway building was erected.
Housing in the area continued to expand rapidly and at various stages, mobile classrooms sprung up at both the front and back of the school. In the early 70’s there were more than 900 pupils enrolled over 28 classes. Children were being taught in mobiles, on the assembly-hall stage and even in a local church hall. The Medway building often leaked and needed constant repairs. Then, in 1998 a storm took a large part of the roof off. At this point, the education board got the message that it was no longer fit for purpose. Eventually it was replaced with yet more mobile classrooms. It should be said though, that despite all of these challenges, the school remained very popular and very successful.
It was however with great relief that, in the year 2000, in Mr Mackay’s first year of tenure as Principal, the school appeared at the top of the Department of Education’s list for a brand new building.
Click to enlarge