• School history - Needlework scheme 1938

1938 Curriculum & the War Years

The Curriculum

The curriculum included the majority of the subjects that you would see today, although the content varied.  In 1938 the curriculum also included Needlework.  Note the handwritten subject content in the photograph on the right hand side.  Students learnt to hem, embroider, mend and knit. 

The War Years

Former students remember trying to have lessons and playing `ghosts' in the air raid shelters, built into the mud banks.

Heather Gee (1938--1944) wrote:

“ I am one of the original Nonsuch girls, entering the school in 1938.  I was in Form1B and our form mistress was Miss Woods.  I remember the wartime years when we had outdoor coats with us at all times ready to go to the shelters during air raids.  On D Day the headmistress, Miss Dickie, came round to every room to tell us that the invasion of France had begun after 5 years of war.”

Some girls were evacuated and Miss Dickie wrote to tell them that the shelters were now water tight.  Two staff had to sleep in school on fire watch and the Home Guard moved their base to the school. 

The school had to be prepared in the event of a German invasion and received information about what to do.  Instructions were also received in 1941 about closing the school in the event of an invasion. 

At the end of the War there were winter fuel shortages, when only the rooms on the sunny side of the school were used.  Pupils attended school on alternate days with half the school in session on any one day.

There was also food rationing and food shortages.   In one photograph Nonsuch students can be seen unpacking food parcels in the quad received from the USA in 1948.  Quite a contrast from the arrival of cup cakes in boxes on the 75th Anniversary.




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