Development of School

The school opened in 1914, 7 years after the official opening of Stannington Sanatorium to try to provide some continuity in the children's education during their period of illness. Early reports reveal that they lacked the necessary buildings and equipment and there are several instances recorded in the school log book of the school room, desks and chairs being too damp to use following spells of inclement weather. Like the sanatorium itself the school met with several difficulties to begin with but the continued efforts of staff and benefactors saw it flourish over the years.

In line with the philosophy of the rest of the sanatorium classes were taught outdoors whenever possible to allow the children to experience the benefits of the fresh air and sunshine and the resident medical officer also demanded that the children be allowed a period of rest during the school day. These requirements combined with the problem of some children often being too ill to attend meant that the sanatorium school faced more challenges than the average school.

Over the years as the school's resources increased they were also able to provide tuition to the children who were bed-bound and could not leave the wards. Teachers conducted lessons on the wards in all the traditional subjects in addition to screening films and allowing the children to listen to the wireless to make sure that those who were often the most ill did not fall behind.

In addition to core subjects most children engaged in handiwork and produced various goods. Reports from the management committee minutes show that these were sold in the local community, for example, a sale of school handiwork was held in 1935 at Morpeth Town Hall and attended by the Dowager Countess Allendale and raised an impressive sum of £162 12s 3d.

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