RKS Alumni and Guestbook
We would love to hear from our RKS Alumni from across the years!
Please tell us some details about your time at the school; here are some ideas to get you started...
When did you attend? Who was the Headteacher at that time? What is your favourite memory of your time at RKS? What school trips did you go on? Are you still in touch with any of your friends from RKS? Where in the world are you now and do you still have any links with our school?
Underneath our Guestbook you can see who else has visited this page to share their memories!
If you are interested in visiting the school as part of our Raising Aspirations programme in Spring 2020, please email the school office (firstname.lastname@example.org). This programme aims to excite the children in the school about their futures, with visitors coming to talk to the children about their own time at school, their chosen career path and lessons they have learnt along the way! In 2020 we are hoping to receive visits from RKS alumni.
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Jennifer Lane (nee Agnew), October 2016
I was a pupil at "the village school" as it was known, from 1949-53 and have nothing but happy memories of my time there.. There were no nurseries, no pre-schools, no playgroups in the '50s - mothers generally didn't work and we were at home until the age of 5, then straight into primary education. School started at 8.30 with Prayers and a hymn, finished at 3.30pm. Halfterm holidays were just 2 days (Monday and Tuesday). 2 weeks holiday at Christmas and Easter, 4 weeks in the summer. Going on holiday before term finished was unheard-of. No school trips, no outings. The school was on the main road, opposite the junction with Steeles Lane. A small building - double doors from outside into the cloakroom with pegs for coats and cubbyholes for shoes - no school uniform but a change of shoes was mandatory - lace-ups for outdoor wear, Start-Rite sandals for indoors. No assembly hall - just 3 rooms, 3 classes, 3 teachers. Miss Foxall took the Infants (5-6 years), Mr.Skinner the Middle Class (7-9) and taught Arithmetic, and the Headmistress took Top Class (9-11 - or in some cases, 12!_) You moved up a class based on age only. We sat in long lines of single wooden desks with a bench seat and wooden backrest. Our exercise books were kept in fabric bags, made by out mothers, with tapes to tie them onto the backrest. The desks had inkwells - we wrote with dip pens, but a lot of our work was done in pencil - less messy! A basic curriculum - no languages other than English and I remember no sports, apart from endless games of Chain He, Prisoners' Base and Grandmother's Footsteps played during the lunchbreak on the big asphalt playground at the rear, which was edged with horse chestnut trees - great for conkers! We had an annual Sports Day, on the rec in front of the cricket pavilion, with sack races, obstacle races and egg-and spoon (my speciality!). We did have Poetry as a separate subject - Tennyson, Rupert Brooke, "I Vow to Thee my Country" - quite advanced for 7-year-olds. Large classes, definitely mixed ability - no classroom assistants so we had to help each other - at 6 years old I was put in charge of a reading group of 5 other pupils - oldest 12 years. My first Headmistress was Miss Brown, soon replaced by lovely Miss Gladys Mayo - I adored her. She lived with her mother and an Alsatian dog in the school house, next door. and later went out to Uganda to teach. She was followed in the late 50's by Miss Thora Hutt - older but an enthusiastic member of The Oxshott Players, the amateur dramatic group founded by my parents in 1950. School milk was provided free in the mid-morning break in small glass bottles - one-third of a pint with a straw. The school had no cooking facilities, but a small room at the rear where Mrs.Pocock and Mrs.Evans doled out the school dinners from huge metal containers brought in by van. I didn't like the look or smell (spam, lumpy mashed potato, overcooked cabbage) and was glad to walk home for lunch, down Oakshade Road to our house in The Ridgeway, where my chums Angela Channell, Penny Radford and Jo Barton also lived. Other names I remember: Angela and Mary Neill, Pat and Michael Nutcher, Graham and Alan Lewis, Geoffrey Letts, Bruce Clench, Sandra and Jackie Tilbrook, Eileen and Suzie Wyatt, Michael Ratcliffe, Linda and Morna Robinson, Michael Good, Peter and Linda Pocock, David Evans, Erica and Vera Botton. It was a very happy school - by to-day's standards it might be viewed as strict but we were taught old fashioned values - respect for our elders and betters, doing what were told - and I think we were all the better for it. I left at 9, on the advice of Miss Mayo, who suggested to my parents that I would never pass the 11+ unless I had coaching in Arithmetic and this was impossible to provide at the village school. So I went to Rowan Hill prep school in Claygate - very different! All girls, we had lots of homework (not part of the village school), did French, netball, hockey - more importantly, small classes and extra coaching in the holidays. It produced the desired effect - I passed the 11+ and went to Guildford County Grammar School for Girls. Many of my old friends from the Royal Kent also went on to grammar schools and university, as I did. Others went to secondary moderns, then to teachers' training colleges. Those not very academic still found good jobs. National Service for young men went on until 1962, so boys who had finished their education early could go into the Armed Services and be taught a trade. Quite a few of the girls opted for early marriage and children, rather than a career. We all benefited from having had a solid grounding in the basics, taught in a happy atmosphere. I left Oxshott in 1970 and have lived in Wiltshire since 1975. I am still in regular touch with my "oldest" friend, Alison Browne - we are now 72 and have been friends for 67 years. I hope some of my memories have been of interest - one occasion that stands out for me was when Miss Mayo called us all together in 1952 to tell us that the King (George VIth) had died. This news stunned us all into silence - quite a few little girls, including me, burst into tears. It was unthinkable. None of us had ever seen the King - like God, he was an unseen presence - but like God, we expected him to go on for ever. When I got home, I wrote to the Queen (later Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother) to say how sad I was. To my amazement and delight I had a reply, on black-edged Buckingham Palace notepaper and signed by a lady-in-waiting - "Her Majesty is most touched by your kind thought in writing." In 1953 all primary schoolchildren received a Coronation mug - mine lasted for years before finally getting broken in a housemove. I still treasure the letter as I do the memories of a very happy time at my very first school. May the Royal Kent School continue for many years to come.
Michael Dowling, January 2019
I started at Royal Kent in 1961 until I think 1967. Miss Hutton was the Head teacher during my time there. I have great memories of playing marbles under the trees lining Oakshade road. Also playing cookers under the same trees. I use to live in steels lane until we moved to fern hill in about 1963, after leaving Royal Kent I went to Surbiton grammar school for 2 years until we moved to Australia in 1969 where I still am. I still have most of my school reports from Royal Kent!
Matthew Brown, January 2018
Back in the mid 1970's I spent a memorable and, mostly, enjoyable time as a Student at Royal Kent. Mr Hedges was our Head at the time with teachers who included: Mr Ryland in what we called Class 1, which would be called Year 6 in today's terminology; Mr Fountain, Class 2; Mrs Hutchins in Class 3; Mrs Isaacs was our French Teacher. My memories cover a great range of topics and events including: Sports day, when my father was beaten by the Priest from St Andrews Church, much to his disappointment; performing in the end of school play(s) where I not only performed, but was also put 'in charge' of the lighting; performing our Nativity play in St Andrews Church, where I was Angel Gabriel; being offered ice cream scoops of mash potato at lunch time and then taking the left overs from the school dinners to the slops bucket, which we were always told went to the local pig farm; being told to keep off the grass and play equipment when it was wet; having classes in the 'huts' at the back of the school; being able to sit on benches in the hall when we reached Class 1 (Year 6) when everyone else had to sit on the floor, amongst many others. I only really remember a couple of trips from my time. One was to the Weald and Downland Museum http://www.wealddown.co.uk/ which was a great day out with our Year 6 trip being a week at what I seem to recall was an old Napoleonic fort. I still remain in touch with one friend, Andy Armiger, from all those years ago and we still regularly catch up and meet every couple of years often reminiscing about our times at school. After Royal Kent we moved from Oxshott to Camberley and after attending Tomlinscote School and Guildford College of Technology I moved to London and have since started my own family. I have brought them back to Oxshott on numerous occasions to walk and play on the Heath, showing them not only my old home, but also my old School. Royal Kent. Hope all goes well in the build up to the big anniversary and who knows we may even see you in the area when we are out walking on the Heath!
Julia Witten, June 2018
Born 1960, I was a pupil when Miss Hut was head teacher. We lived on Oakshade Road. My Mother now lives in Silverdale Avenue so backs onto the playing field. When I come and visit her it is so lovely to hear and see the pupils enjoying their time learning at The Royal Kent. I can remember bonfire night when the fire was built up in the school grounds near the houses...health and safety wouldn't allow that now. One year the Guy was dressed in a formal tailed coat as it had been donated to the church to be taken with other bags of clothes to Spitalfields homeless charity in London. It was thought this attire would add a more historical link to the gunpowder plot and the learning for the children rather than taking it to London. We used to play marbles on the earth under the chestnut trees. It was fiercely competitive and the rules were strict.
John Denton, September 2018
Way back,I was at your school from 1950-1954. I enjoyed good education there and was one of three pupils "upgraded" to a higher stream.... I recall in 1953 going on a school trip to the cinema to see a film about the conquest of Mount Everest. I would've been about 7,and found the film somewhat tedious. Apart from a little inevitable playground bullying, I liked my time there very much. I have absolutely no links whatsoever with the school or any classmates. Too long. Our headmistress was Mrs. Mayo who,I think,emigrated to South Africa. I think my form teacher may have been Miss Foxall,but not sure. There was a Mrs Pocock who was perhaps the "dinner lady" and helped organise the annual school play. I remember a nice little girl named Sandra Tilbrook - she was terrified on her first day of school - I was already there and remember comforting/befriending her. Some years later - mid 1970s - I made a nostalgic revisit to Oxshott (our family moved away in 1954/1955.) but the Royal Kent School -the one I'd attended - was no more. It had been demolished. I'd be happy to see any pictures of the old School,if anybody has some. I'm pleased the school continues,albeit in a new location. Enter text...