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History of WCS

The History of Wanstead Church School

Wanstead Church School was originally founded in 1786 by the Rector at the time, Samuel Glasse. There is a stone set into the wall on the front of our building, which can be seen from the High Street, which reads “Parochial Schools 1790”. It is believed to be the foundation stone of the first school building, laid by Dr Samuel Glasse, which was likely recut in 1928 and again in 1980 when the current building was built. However, it is thought that the date 1790 is actually incorrect and that the school was in fact established in 1786. The confusion, according to records relating to the school, seems to have come about because the stone became worn. It is documented that Dr Glasse laid the foundation stone in 1796, and that the 6 became worn and looked more like a 0. One Headmaster actually thought it read 1794!


Historically, Wanstead Church School was in fact 3 schools: a girls’ school, a boys’ school and an infant school. The Nursery is the only remaining original building and is still referred to as the Master's House to this day. This too is actually historically inaccurate as it was the Mistress's House long before it was the Master's House. In fact, the girls' school building was once attached to the back of the existing Nursery building.


Fun Facts About Wanstead Church School

The current school hall was deliberately built to be larger than is required for a one-form-entry school in order to preserve the dimensions of the former Drummond Room. The Drummond Room was a larger hall that could seat 400 and was originally built in 1890. It was often used by the local community for events. 


You may have noticed there are two stained glass windows in our school hall. These were installed to represent the two churches in our parish: Christ Church and St Mary’s.