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European children studying with one of the housefathers in South House (part of International House)

Education for children living at the Pestalozzi Children’s Village can be summarised in two segments:

  • Structurd schooling within the Village for children who were still learning the English language
  • External education at local schools for those with sufficient English.
Students in the Tibetan House work under the watchful eye of their lama.
Students in the Tibetan House work under the watchful eye of their lama.

The European children who could not yet speak sufficient English were taught by the Pestalozzi houseparents who had teaching expertise.  The Tibetan children were initially taught by their resident lama.

Local Schools

Sedlescombe Primary School

In 1959, just one English boy attended the local village school for his final, primary year.  Making local friends probably contributed to an easier transfer to secondary school the following year.

Bexhill Grammar School

Initially, one English boy attended Bexhill (having passed his 11+ exam the year before arriving at the Pestalozzi Children’s Village). We think there were a small number of other Pestalozzi children who also attended this school at a later stage.

Claverham County Secondary Modern School

Claverham was the focal education resource for the Pestalozzi children.  The head teacher, Peter Court, was strongly supportive of welcoming the new students to the school and kept a close liaison with the Village’s staff.  Our  recollection, generally, is that we were readily integrated into school life and it was a happy time for most of us.

The very first children (all teenagers) who had arrived in Sedlescombe from Germany went straight to Claverham.

For Claverham, the immediate benefit was a substantial boost to its sporting prowess.  While the school already had a keen and competitive reputation, Pestalozzi children became significantly involved in football, rugby and athletics – some going on to county and national competitions.

Achievement was not confined to sport and many of the Pestalozzi children came away from secondary school with creditable successes.

If you have recollections of the early Pestalozzi children’s school days – get in touch with us!

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Finding The Forgotten Story