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Eaton Bray Primary School, 1954

This article was published in April 2014. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Ron Evans has very kindly supplied the photo below of Miss Jackson's class at Eaton Bray Primary School in 1954.

Do you know the names of anyone in the photo? If you can help with more names, please leave them in the comments below or contact us directly.

Eaton Bray Primary School, Mrs Jackson's Class 1954
Eaton Bray Primary School, Miss Jackson's Class 1954
(Back) Miss Jackson, Alan Stock, ????, Colin Goodyear, Norma Mardell, ????, Ron Evans
(3rd row) Gerald Cook, Andrew Fountain, ????, Bruce Wiseman, Daryl Burrows, Rod Ashton, Susan ??, ?? Sliney
(2nd row) ????, Shirley Horn, Diane ??, ????, Brenda Bird, Rosie Clarke, Linda ??
(Front) Sandra ??, ?? Robson, Jimmy Isherwood(?), ????

Source: Ron Evans

Eaton Bray Lower School

This article was published in July 2008. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Welcome to the new Eaton Bray Lower School Nursery

New Nursery buildingEaton Bray Lower School is very pleased to announce the opening of its new pre-school facility in a purpose-built setting within the school grounds.

We are now able to formally join forces with the successful Eaton Bray Pre-School Playgroup on the same site to combine our efforts for the further benefit of the children and wider community.

We are very lucky to have been able to take a creative and innovative approach to the building due to the skill and vision of one of our governors, the architect Andrew Whiteley, whose contribution is greatly appreciated.

With a design that is light and airy, and using materials that are more environmentally-sensitive than a standard building approach, we are certain that this will provide a wonderful environment for the children to enjoy the start of their learning experiences at (pre-)school.

The school is already blessed with generous grounds to allow plenty of outdoor learning opportunities on a secure site, in addition to those offered in the building, and the preschool group are excited about having dedicated facilities available.

By September 2008, the new building will be open for childcare from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., rather than just the morning sessions that the Pre-School Playgroup have been able to offer previously. Formal pre-school sessions will be running in the morning and afternoon, with further options for childcare at Breakfast Club, Lunch Club, and After-School Club. The aim is that, from the start of term following the child's 2nd birthday, full-day care will be available to support those families where all parents/guardians are working full-time.

Extended services are also available at school, with the county's Children's Centre service offering sessions on matters of family health and welfare. Further details of these sessions will be advertised in due course. Once the Pre-School and Children's Centre services are up and running, we will turn our attentions to other activities that make the most of our new facilities, with learning opportunities for the wider community, such as the successful ICT Club that we have run. Clubs and sports activities to be run during the school holidays are on our radar, and we hope to start preparing those for 2009.

Word does seem to have got around already about the new facilities opening, and we have had a high number of enquiries for children to join us, so we would encourage any other parents/guardians of prospective pupils to contact us soon and arrange a visit.

If you were unable to join us when the new building was open for the summer fair on June 28th, please call the school on 01525 220468 or email [email protected], and we would be pleased to show you around.

Source: Focus, July 2008

Eaton Bray Lower School: Top Marks!

This article was published in May 2008. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Eaton Bray Lower SchoolThe opening paragraph from the OfSTED inspection report, after their October 2007 visit, said this about EBLS:

"Eaton Bray Lower is an outstanding school. It modestly evaluates itself as good with some outstanding areas, but it is better than this. Its selfevaluation is correct in identifying strengths and areas for development. It provides an outstanding quality of education and care for its pupils and excellent value for money. Staff work exceptionally well in partnership with parents and the community for the benefit of all pupils. Pupils‛ enjoyment of school is impressive. The supportive parents are delighted with all aspects of its provision. Leadership and management are outstanding. The headteacher‛s vision for a school at the heart of its community is shared by the highly committed staff and excellent governors. This is set to become more firmly realised with the building of a new nursery with facilities for the local community and visiting professional from children‛s services."

Please come and visit our friendly village school. Phone 01525 220468 or see our website.

Eaton Bray Lower School extension

Coming Soon: EBLS Nursery with extended School provision and wraparound care in a modern, light, environmentally-aware building - due to complete Spring 2008 - please call at the school (01525 220468) to find out more.

Source: Focus, May 2008

Book characters invade schools

This article was published in March 2008. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Eaton Bray Lower School - World Book DayWee Willie Winkle ran through the town, upstairs and downstairs in his nightgown, and youngsters at Eaton Bray Lower School went to lessons in their pyjamas for World Book Day.

The school chose bedtime stories as their theme for the day and they all had great fun talking about their favourite book and why they enjoyed it so much.

They also wrote bedtime poems which headteacher Sue Hounslow said will be published as an anthology.

Get the Leighton Buzzard Observer every Tuesday.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 11 March 2008

Children catch the walking trains to cut school chaos

This article was published in January 2008. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Learning to keep safe on the journey to school is childplay for youngsters at Edlesborough School who are celebrating the first anniversary of their walking bus scheme.

Edlesborough School Walking Train

Nearly 90 children join three "trains" each morning that make their way through Eaton Bray and Edlesborough to the High Street school and they get their first lessons in the playground.

The school were given a £5,000 grant from Bucks County Council and used the cash to remark a play area with zebra crossings and road junctions to give the younger pupils a first look at the hazards faced by pedestrians.

Debbie Dunstan, who organises the walking bus, said: "It's been a really successful year and we are delighted by the way parents are supporting the scheme.

"The traffic chaos caused by parked cars outside the school is a lot easier in the mornings; it's a shame the same can't be said of the afternoons which are horrendous.

"We appreciate a lot of parents drop their children off on the way to work but there are some parents who drive very short distances to school. We'd really like them to put their children in the walking bus."

Get the Leighton Buzzard Observer every Tuesday.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 15 January 2008

Tanya cooks up a schools top title

This article was published in January 2008. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

School kitchen manager Tanya Watkin is enjoying a healthy helping of success, after winning a top title.

Tanya Watkin with appreciative pupils of Eaton Bray Lower SchoolChildren at Eaton Bray Lower School are among the best-fed pupils in Bedfordshire, thanks to Tanya. Now the 34-year-old has won the county round of a national contest for school chefs.

She was voted Bedfordshire's top school chef, in a cook-off for the National School Chef of the Year Competition.

Next, she will go on to compete against chefs from around East Anglia in the regional heats.

She said: "I'm really happy. I didn't think I'd win, I was surprised."

Her husband Gary, and children Holly, eight, and Rebecca, six, who attend Eaton Bray Lower, were delighted by her win.

And the school team was thrilled for her, too.

Tanya Watkin with lunchtime helper Wendy Lowe and head Sue HounslowHead Sue Hounslow said: "We are delighted for her. She works very hard as our school cook, she is fully involved in the life of the school.

"For example, if the children are doing a topic on Vikings, then a melon is miraculously turned into a 'Viking longship'!

"When they visit a butterfly farm, she'll make biscuits into the shape of butterflies - and she works really hard to make dinners special for the children."

Tanya, who joined the school in March 2006, had to prepare four portions of a main course, and four helpings of dessert, for the contest.

She cooked up tasty Tex Mex beef wrap, followed by banoffee yoghurt cup.

The aim was that the school menu idea should be suitable for 11-year-old pupils, and should be a balanced twocourse meal. And the dishes had to meet competition standards, but still be adaptable to large-scale catering.

The judges took into account a wide range of factors, including flavour, colour texture, presentation, nutritional balance, the use of regional and seasonal products, working practices, creativity and service counter marketing.

Healthy eating is one of the areas for which Eaton Bray Lower has won high praise.

Last year, the school was awarded National Healthy School status, after excelling at meeting government guidelines in areas including healthy eating and physical activity.

The school's healthy eating menu has been greeted with enthusiasm by the pupils, and the number of youngsters having cooked school meals has soared.

For the latest news from Eaton Bray and beyond, get the Dunstable Gazette every Wednesday and make a daily date with Dunstable Today.

Source: Dunstable Gazette, 2 January 2008

Two tier switch gets thumbs down

This article was published in July 2006. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

A meeting at County Hall has voted NOT to make a huge change to the county's school's set-up - despite being urged to do so by their own experts.

The Beds County Council vote means that the three-tier school system of lower, middle and upper schools - which has already been replaced by the more usual two tier system of primary and secondary schools virtually everywhere else in the country - will continue.

The vote also called for an action plan designed to improve standards at schools across the country and raise standards to the average achieved by pupils in comparable areas by the time they are able to leave school at 16.

Progress will be monitored through a performance management structure. The County Council will formally review progress in late 2009.

Councillor Rita Drinkwater, cabinet member for education, said: "We have accepted the view of the County Council on school structures and will now be getting on with implementing the amended recommendations."

Parents and teachers across the county were outraged by the suggestion that the county should switch systems, fearing years of disruption and huge bills.

But fans of the idea said that Bedfordshire schools were under-achieving, that the move could protect the future of smaller schools and that the county was increasingly out of step with the schools set-up in the rest of the country.

Source: Dunstable Gazette, 12 July 2006

Decision day on schools' future

This article was published in July 2006. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Parents and youngsters at Pulford School supporting the middle school system

Beds County Council's executive committee gave its backing to the idea of ditching the county's three-tier schools structure of lower, middle and upper schools in favour of a two-tier schools system of primary and secondary schools instead.

Now the controversial matter has to go before the full county council for the final decision about whether to make that move. The full council will discuss it on July 13 at County Hall in Bedford, and parents are urged to attend.

County council leader Madeline Russell, who described the schools shake-up as one of the biggest decisions Bedfordshire will make for the next 30 years, said: "Standards of education in Bedfordshire are not as high as they should be, particularly for older children. We have some excellent teachers in our schools and we owe it to them to bring in a system that helps them do the best possible job.

"Our children's exam results are not good enough when compared with the results of children in areas that operate a two-tier system. We believe even our best schools would get better results in that system.

"If the county council agrees to change, then our top priority will be the children currently in the system. We will work with the school communities, parents and the public to ensure change is handled carefully and gradually and their progress is not disrupted.

"There will be further public consultation with the individual school groups, and we will want to be sensitive to the needs of the children."

A working group of county councillors, parent governors, and representatives from the church diocese and the Learning and Skills Council recommended the move as they believed it would help to improve pupils' results.

They concluded that pupils' performance is linked to the system of schools, and that pupils in the two-tier system get better results overall than those in the three-tier system.

If the county does move to a two-tier schools system, any change can only happen after further consultation with individual schools and local communities.

Education bosses have a five-year plan to pull off the huge task and no changes would occur in schools before September 2008.

Under arrangements which have yet to be finalised, it is likely Bedfordshire, will be divided into two or three parts to manage the transformation.

If two parts get the nod, it would take three years to then complete the change, beginning with consultation with individual schools and ending with the winding up of middle schools.

If Beds is instead split into three, with one part of the county starting first and the others following in successive years, the switch would take five years to complete.

The council's own figures suggest the transformation will cost up to £473 million over the next 16 years, including redundancy payments, new school buildings, and temporary accommodation.

Nearly half of that is expected to come from the government, but a handy chunk - about £104 million - is hoped for from the sale of middle school sites to developers. The county council has already begun sizing up what school land would be attractive to builders.

But Councillor Rita Drinkwater, cabinet member for education, said: "I have been contacted by a number of people who have heard that we are planning to close lower schools. That is completely wrong.

"The proposals state very clearly that we plan to upgrade all of our lower schools to become primary schools, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

"We recognise the importance to parents of their local schools and their staff. Becoming primary schools will allow them to provide an even better education and continue to meet the needs of their local community. A primary school system also means the children will spend another two years in their local school, with teaching staff that they already know."

However, parent Trudi Barnes from - Leighton disagrees with the county council's plans. She says it is not true that standards will rise if the school structure is changed.

"There is no evidence" she said. "The council know this and say so in their documentation. The fact is that standards are rising faster in Leighton than in most of the country.

"The council has said that it expects and accepts the risk that standards will actually fall for your child because of the changes.

"Our children are not failing in Middle Schools - this is misinformation. It is being suggested that Bedfordshire is at the bottom of the education league nationally. This is not the case. Bedfordshire is in the middle and improving.

"Our children's education will be seriously and irrevocably compromised by the uncertainty and confusion of change and expansion.

"I ask the people of Leighton Buzzard - do you want your 11-year-old child transferring to a secondary school that could have over 1,500 pupils, has year groups of 300, acid will be a major building site for at least three to five years?"

She continued: "The anticipated cost includes £104 million from the sale of middle schools, plus £217 million BSF government funding that will be available for education regardless of the change. Surely this could be better spent improving our already good schools. The consultation results said that 65% wanted to retain the three-tier system. The consultation cost £141,000 yet the results are being ignored!"

She went on: "The report talks about a perceived recruitment and retention issue from not having the same structure as most of the country but people move here for it. There has been no research into the loss of experienced teaching staff who will leave or take redundancy rather than face the reorganisation - these are the people that have made Leighton-Linslade schools as successful as they are."

Mrs Barnes urges parents to contact their local councillors over the issue or even Andrew Selous MP at the House of Commons. "Apathy will cost our children dear" she added.

Fours, the council's independent researchers, published its report this week. A presentation was given at County Hall on Tuesday morning.

A full copy of the report can be found on the Bedfordshire website, Out of the 9,500 written responses received, only 5,000 were from parents - which amounted to a response rate of a mere 10 per cent.

Fours summarised its findings: "A significant majority of those who responded favoured retention of the current three-tier system overall. This however masks variation between stakeholder groups and geographic areas.

"There is no consensus throughout the county or service about the appropriate school system, in Bedfordshire."

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 4 July 2006

Should schools be restructured?

This article was published in February 2006. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

A consultation on the structure of Bedfordshire County Council schools began on Monday [30-Jan].

The consultation excercise will ask whether moving to a different structure of schools could improve academic performance, or whether improvements should be made to the current three-tier structure of lower, middle and upper schools.

The county council is concerned that while standard of achievment by pupils in Bedfordshire is good between ages three to five, they are not as good as they should be as a pupil progresses through school.

Last August, the county council was reviewing its system with a view to bringing the county in line with other local authorities.

Councillor Peter Hollick is the cabinet member responsible for education at the county council.

He said: "It is important that everyone involved or connected to education in the county contributes to this debate.

"We do not have a preferred structure for Bedfordshire schools but doing nothing is not an option.

"If we keep the existing system we must be clear about the work that will be done to improve standards."

Public meetings will take place across the county in March and workshops have been organised for headteachers, governors and school staff and pupils will be consulted at their schools.

Peter Hollick added: "Whatever the final recommendation is, it will have one aim, to improve standards so that young people in Bedfordshire can fulfil their potential."

The county council will meet in July to decide on the best structure for Bedfordshire schools.

For more information about the consultation log onto

Source: Luton/Dunstable on Sunday, 5 February 2006

Campaign for new school

This article was published in September 1983. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Parents and teachers at Eaton Bray's Victorian village school are pressing for plans for a new £500,000 replacement building to go ahead.

Eaton Bray Action Group invited county councillors to a protest meeting at the school, to see the cramped and decaying existing building. Plans for a new school were at risk of being axed yet again, for the 17th year, because of tough new council spending restrictions.

Source: Dunstable Gazette, 29th September 1983

MP backs school campaign

This article was published in July 1983. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Eaton Bray parents have won the support of David Madel MP in their campaign to have a replacement school built in the village.

He pledged to support their fight, as he opened the school's first fun day and fete.

Source: Dunstable Gazette, 14 July 1983

Village school campaign

This article was published in January 1983. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Parents in Eaton Bray were planning a campaign of action to push for a long-awaited replacement lower school for their village.

Plans to build a £480,000 lower school on land in School Lane had been in the pipeline for many years.

Meanwhile, only minimal maintenance was carried out on the existing Victorian school building.

Source: Dunstable Gazete, 6 January 1983