The earliest we can trace our school back through the archives is 1728! There is a report on Charities from that time that speaks of money being given to educate poor children in the parish for three years and then give each of them a new Bible!
Some years later a school was set up in front of St.Teilo’s church, we know it was there from at least 1837. (The church has an incredibly long history – stretching right back to 1130 – the building we see now was built in the late 1100s and early 1200s then restored in 1851.)
When visiting the school in in 1847, the assistant commisioner reported “On 13th February, I visited the school. The children were not present to be examined”!
In 1874 the school had to be closed from January 16th until February 20th due to an outbreak of scarlet fever.
In 1885 the school had to be closed for two weeks due to typhoid fever.
The government inspector frequently reported dirty conditions at the school!
Rev. Peter Potter was given the job of managing the school in 1891 – he brought about much needed improvements. In 1900 the Board of School Managers appointed a new school master, Mr. Horatio S. Hawley. Mrs James was the sewing mistress, Miss Cissy James the assistant and Charles Bevan was the monitor!
Bishopston, like the rest of Gower, was completely rural, it consisted mainly of lowly paid farm workers. This meant children were often kept at home to help with planting in Spring and harvesting in Autumn. Attendance would drop drastically – unless an inspector was due to show up!
In 1908 the school had to be closed from February 19th to March 16th.
In April 1912, Mr Hawley’s salary as the Headmaster was confirmed at £118 per year. (Mr Owen’s salary has gone up to £119 per year!!)
In 1913 the school report is excellent: “This is an excellent school in every respect. The tone and discipline are excellent, the staff deserve the highest praise for the good results obtained.”
In 1924, the inspector wrote, “The conditions at this school just now are such as to make the visit of inspection a very pleasant duty”.
Again in 1930 the inspector reported, “The work throughout all grades has been very well done”.
In November 1936 two pupils sadly died because of an outbreak of diphtheria. This eventually led to the Local Authority taking over the school in 1937.
In 1949, a new primary school was built in the village. It was officially opened on 6th February 1950. The school was built to accommodate 160 children – at that time there was only 133 though.
In the 1960s the population of Bishopston rapidly expanded so a new Infant School was built. It was officially opened on 15th February 1970 with 154 pupils.
It was not until 1976 that the Comprehensive School opened, that opened in stages. By 1980 it had reached 900 plus pupils.