In the early 1800's, Sunday Schools played a vital role in educating children and adults who had received little or no formal education. Llangennech was no exception, and many people in the area benefited from this form of education. Today, there are many resources available for students who want to learn more about the history of education and other related topics. Check out our Education Blog for students and explore a wealth of informative articles on various educational topics.
By the mid 1800's the day school gained more importance and popularity and the Sunday Schools were left behind to a certain degree, although they ensured the survival of the Welsh language in the village at a time when virtually all other education was provided through the medium of English.
Daily schools had been held in many places in the village including Capel Salem yr Allt and the vestries in the other chapels.
At the beginning of 1850, there was only one school in Llangennech, the school in the two small cottages below the church.
The first purpose-built school was opened in 1850 as a 'National Girls School' . This building is still used today as Church Hall. The boys remained in the former school cottages until 1874 until they joined the girls making a total of 200 pupils. The school, however, was too small and it was decided to hold a number of fund-raising concerts in order to pay for an extension. By 1886 the school could cater for 400 pupils.
The big problem with the National School was that it was run by the church, and the Nonconformists who outnumbered the church members in the village by four to one, had no say in its running. A committee from Bethesda, Bryn Seion and Salem was formed and fought to have a school that could provide a non-sectarian education.
The result of this was that another school was opened in the village on the 3rd May 1886, and this was known as the British school. There was no purpose-built building for it, so the older children were housed in Salem vesry and the infants went to Bryn Seion.
The new British school at the bottom of Maes Road was officially opened in December,1888. However, the children did not attend the school until the 4th February 1889, due to a severe outbreak of scarletina in the village. The attendance on the opening day was 106. The cost of the building was £1300 raised by local tinplate workers and proceeds from concerts, tea parties and finally a voluntary rate.
Here are some extracts from the School Log Book written by the headteacher in the early 1900's :-
"Have decided to visit the homes of those children who owe one shilling as fees......."
"Haymaking and bathing accounts for the absence of many boys......."
"I find that the children are being kept home this week for the purpose of gathering blackberries."
"The attendance this week, owing to the local Fair, Thanksgiving Services and potato gathering has suffered greatly."
On the 15th September 1952 , pupils attended the new primary school for the first time. A short service was conducted at the old British school before leaving, and at 10 o'clock, all classes were ready to move. It was a dry morning and Maes Road was lined with well wishers to witness the children walking to the new school.
The building was occupied at 11.45a.m. by 184 pupils.
Here are the details of the new classes in 1952:
Group I - Mr.Glyn Williams 30 pupils
Group II - Miss Hilda Hall 30 pupils
Group III - Mr.John Lawrence 33 pupils
Group IV - Miss D.A.Thomas 34 pupils
Group V - Mrs.E.T.Lawrence 26 pupils
Group VI - Mr.Walter Evans 31 pupils
The Headteacher was Mr.Emrys Jones