In 1844 Sarah Ann Branford of Rose Cottage (now known as Chesham House), Brisley conveyed one rood of land to the Rector of Brisley and the archdeacon of Norwich as the site of a School for the children of Brisley. This land was at the south east corner of a piece of land called Wagg’s piece on the west side of a street called New Croft (now known as School Road).
The first extension to the original building was in 1908 when a new Infant classroom was added. Other improvements included raising the walls two or three feet, a new roof with ceiling, an effective system of ventilation, an improved lighting and heating system, new floors, new cloakroom and three new offices (outside bucket lavatories). The children, of which there were ninety-three, were obliged to attend neighbouring Schools at Mileham, Elmham, Beetley, Ryburgh and Whissonsett during the alterations.
During 1910 the children were sometimes taken to the Green for organised games such as cricket. The number of children on roll in 1911 was one hundred and five. This included forty infants.
A report in 1958 stated that the only water supply was from a pump and soft water tank. Three enamel bowls in portable stands and jugs of water in the classrooms served for washing purposes. Drinking water had to be imported.
In 1959 the Schoolhouse was demolished. A new playground was made in 1961 and in 1966 the site of the old School house was grassed and added to the playground.
In 1968 major modernisation included a new porch, piped water supply, inside flush toilets and central heating. This work was completed in 1969 when the outside lavatories were demolished. In 1971 1.5 acres of adjoining land were acquired as a new playing field. Children and staff spent many playtimes removing stones from the area. This effort and subsequent careful management have resulted in a playing field which is the envy of many larger Schools.
During 1989 the first School office (modern interpretation) was added. This meant that the secretary no longer had to work in the porch. This extension also included storage space, boiler house and a new outside porch. The latter meant that what had been the outside door would now remain closed during very gusty winds.
In September 1993 Brisley became the designated School for the children of Whissonsett. 1994 was an important year in the history of Brisley School; it had been in existence for one hundred and fifty years.
August 1994 saw the commencement of a further extension to the School. This consisted of three new classrooms, two porches, facilities for the disabled, cloakroom/corridor, library, offices for headteacher and secretary, staff room, store cupboards and new playground. The new extension was very carefully designed so as not to detract from the original Victorian building which is now a well equipped activity hall and servery.
This work was completed in 1995. In 2007, building works commenced again. A new secretary’s office was built on to the front of the school along with a new front entrance giving automatic disabled access. The existing offices, toilets and staffroom were redesigned to provide a headteachers office, a larger staff/work room and larger, more modern toilets and a larger more airy corridor.
In 2011 a library was built and in 2013 the area between the end of the school and the library was roofed over, giving additional outdoor ‘classroom’ space.
We now have up to date facilities and equipment for approximately eighty five children and can look forward positively to the future.
Original History compiled by Mrs P J Claxton in 1997, and added to by the Headteacher, Mrs J Boyden, in 2007.
Information taken from the Brisley school website. You can find out more information here