In the beginning...

Kenningtons Primary School was first opened as separate Infant and Junior Schools on Monday 25th April 1955. The Headmasters of both schools recorded the historic day in their respective Headteacher Log Books detailing the names of all the staff and the number of children joining the school. Kenningtons Infants School started life with 368 pupils while just across the site, Kenningtons Juniors School enrolled 275 children, although the Infants school was so big they commandeered two classrooms in the Junior School as well.  Today, Kenningtons Primary Academy has 420 children attending which is just over half the total number of 638 who came to school here in 1955/56. To accommodate everyone class sizes were subsequently somewhat bigger than children of today are used to; Class 2 in April 1955 in the Juniors School had 47 children.

In a time way before computer records were available, details of all pupils who joined the Infant and Junior schools had to be hand written into the Register of Admission and Withdrawal. The photo below on the left shows the first page of the register from the Infants school. Can you imagine writing in the details of over 350 pupils?!

To look closer at the Register, click here.


Copy of the Register of Admission and Withdrawal

- Copy of the Headteacher’s Log Book


The Headteacher’s Log Book was a compulsory record of day to day life in school from when Kenningtons Infants and Juniors Schools opened, right up until the end of the 1980s. Headteachers had to record all the goings on at school including staff absences, problems with school equipment and incidents involving vandalism and  trespassers on the school site  as well the nicer occurrences such as prize givings, Christmas plays and school trips. The photo above on the right shows how the first Headmaster of Kenningtons Infants School recorded problems with the boiler in January 1963.


On a slightly warmer note, to the right is Mr Winsford, Headmaster of Kenningtons Junior School, explaining the examination timetable and the school trip to the Tower of London back in July 1958.

To look closer at the log book to the right, click here.



Staff 27 April 1955' – Mr Winsford, centre front; Audrey Fentiman left of Mr Winsford and David Ross-Watson who is 3rd from the right on the back row (the gentleman wearing glasses).


Staff 3 May 1963' – David Ross-Watson, third from left on the back row and Mr Winsford, centre front.


Kenningtons Junior School had several sport teams including a rugby team and the football team. Below is a photo of one of the early football teams complete with trophy. Click here for a closer look.


School photos were an important part of life back in the 1960s, just as they are today. The photo below is one of the whole 2nd year juniors in 1964. 2nd year would be today’s Year 4. 

 Click here for a close up.


David Ross-Watson’s Class 27 June 1966’ – David Ross-Watson is in the centre but what is interesting is that his daughter is in the photo, second from the right on the front row, wearing the hairband. She was in his class for a couple of years.



Staff 27 June 1969’ – David Ross-Watson is second from the left on the back row and next to him is Doug Harding who was a PE teacher. On the front row second from the left is the deputy head (Mr Corney?), next to him is Mr Winsford and then Audrey Fentiman.



Staff 1972’ – Photo given by Jo Wainwright. David Ross-Watson is centre back and next to him, with the long hair, is Jo Wainwright. On the front row are Audrey Fentiman and, in the centre the man I mentioned earlier, who was the deputy head.



In the past every incident that resulted in a pupil being punished was recorded in the ‘Punishment Book’. The Kenningtons Primary archives have two such books; one from the 1950s and 60s and one recording incidents from the 1970s. Below is an excerpt from 1977 that includes Mrs Shea’s husband Richard!



Kenningtons Primary School

The two Kenningtons schools were joined together in April 1981, 26 years after opening. By this time pupil numbers had decreased as classroom sizes became smaller. The headteacher of the new Kenningtons Primary School, Mr Hall, recorded the first day in his log book which can be seen to the right.

For a closer look, click here.


Kenningtons Primary Academy, 1st September 2012

Kenningtons remained as a Primary School for another 30 years until becoming Kenningtons Primary Academy on 1st September 2012.


A letter to the school from former pupil: Leonard Rice


My name is Leonard Rice. I moved to Kennington in 1953. from west London and lived in Usk Road. I remember a school trip by boat presumably from Tilbury to the Tower of London, I remember how cold it was eating our sandwiches sitting on a low roof of the boat. Other than mr Winsford I remember a Mr Gill my form teacher and a Mr Brown.

Mr Brown was a Scout Master. He started a cub group at the school. I remember we needed a note from our parent to join, I remember rushing home to get this letter and rushing back and being beaten by a friend named Alan Uren. He was first cub member so I was number two. As time moved on Mr Brown decided to start a Boy Scout group I think it was called “1st Kennington scout group”. And would you believe the very same thing happened, I rushed home to get the letter and rushed back only to be beaten by, yes you’ve guessed Alan Uren.

I also remember an incident with Mr Winsford. In those days school started with a full assembly in the school hall. As we filled in Mr Winsford was playing at the piano, he played until we had all filled in and settled down, he then stopped playing stood up and asked if anyone knew the music he had been playing. He asked a few students then he put it out to anyone, then everyone, he was getting more and more frustrated and angry with every answer called out. It turned out he was playing “the Lord’s Prayer” now he tried to give us clues but we never picked up on them and I can’t remember what the outcome was but I still remember the incident.

Just a little foot note, before Kennington opened we use to travel by bus over to “Dilkes Junior school” across the Belhus park.

After leaving Kennington I went ockendon Lennard county secondary school. Such a long time ago it seems like the day before yesterday.


From Len Rice a former pupil