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Walthamstow School for Girls Ofsted Outstanding Provider

History Snippets

Our School Bells

Our school bells are not being used at the present time and I was just wondering whether we were missing them? 

Here is a piece from the 1920 edition of our school magazine ‘Iris', describing the love/hate relationship that a student felt towards the school bell.

Mrs Kelly
LRC Manager

An Address to the School Bell 

We have heard thee oh Bell! in the mornings when we were panting for breath in the cloakrooms, and when our unmarked footwear was lost behind the dusty boot-lockers. Twice hast thou called in a harsh voice, "Hurry, thou daughters of laziness, 'tis time for work!" Then have we hated thee, and have muttered things about thee. 

When our brains were hard pressed, and we sighed for thee, then didst thou keep unwanted silence. It seemed the minutes were tied down with leaden strings and thou rangst not. How wearily we waited, and how great was our agony until thou hast cleft the silence with thy welcome voice, oh, longed - for Bell! 

We have heard thee when the sun shone brightly, and when the bell was our companion. Ah! how grating was thy call, - "Come in at once, ye maidens, cease your play." A subdued triumph lurked in thy unwelcome note, oh hated Bell! 

Oh! thou herald of all school functions! how mingled are our feelings toward thee! "Sometimes we would gild thee in honour, to show our love for thee, oft we would fain smash thy works - yet more in sorrow than in anger, for thou art one of the things that must be, and that ever shall be! Oh Bell! 

E Foster, Form VI



The First World War deeply affected people long after it had ended. Here is a poem by a student, Olive Baker, written in the 1933 school magazine ‘Iris’, which remembers those people who died.

THANK God for peaceful England, this dear isle;
For England's quiet green beauty and her fame;
For her never-failing honour, and her ever-glorious name,
Which still doth stand though nations fall the while.

Remember! Only nineteen years ago,
The roll of war's dread thunder filled the air,
And ev'ry home was called upon to spare
Her father and her sons, to fight the foe.

Think, that the flower of all this nation,
And the good, were laid 'neath alien sod.
And for them England now gives thanks to God.

So while we in security may dwell
Remember still those sons who fought and died For England's noble glory and her pride.

Olive Baker (Form VI)

Brave New World 

With the modern TV adaptation of the Aldous Huxley book ‘Brave New World’ now showing, I thought I would share with you an illustration from the 1964 edition of ‘Iris’, our school magazine. Ann Giles was aged 14 when she submitted this illustration and she had many more illustrations in other copies of the magazine, all of them equally impressive.  

Our school magazine was produced every year (apart from 1917-1920) from 1906 to 1974 and included articles and illustrations from students, staff and former students. 

Mrs Kelly
LRC Manager