By 1580 there was an established school at Offington. In 1581 a schoolmaster was recorded as being in Broadwater. In 1613 records show the curate of Findon was licensed to teach in the school.
By 1805 the parish rector and his wife had established a Sunday school for poor children.
In 1818 there were separate Sunday schools for boys and girls, whose master and mistress were paid by the rector.
An infants' school was established in 1817 which, with those in Worthing, was claimed to be among the earliest in England. In 1818 it had about 40 boys and girls, and it was supported by the parish and by W. Davison, Chaplain of the Worthing Chapel of Ease.
In 1826 the north transept of Broadwater church was converted for the use of the school. The school was supported by subscriptions and school pence in 1833. By her will (proved in 1835) Lucy Hawes left a quarter of the income from £1,000 to the free schools of the parish, which was still received in 1974. A building grant was received in 1840, and by 1847 the school was united with the National Society. It then had 23 boys and 40 girls on the roll, with one paid mistress, and it was supported by subscriptions and payments.
By 1848 the school occupied a building at the east end of the village, and in around 1849 it moved to a converted barn north of the church. A new school, for both infants and older children, was built in 1873 on a site at the south-east corner of the green given by the ladies of the manor. The average attendance was 92 in 1874. By 1903-4 the school was divided into mixed and infant schools with attendances of 145 and 80 respectively.
In the late 1920s it was reorganized as a mixed junior and infant school and there was an average attendance of 159 in 1932.
In 1937 a new school was built in Rectory Gardens, the old one being demolished for road-widening.
In 1976 the school became a first and middle school with an average attendance of 388.
We became a Primary School in 2016 and now have just under 440 pupils from Early Years through to Year 6.
Above: 1905, Broadwater Green, looking South from what is now Grove Lodge roundabout.
Above: 1908, Broadwater Green, looking South with the school on the right, and the Parish Rooms second down on the left.
Above: 1920, Broadwater Green, showing three children with the school behind them, the pump, and the Parish Rooms on the other side of the road into Worthing.
Photographed by Eddie Mitchell
Above: Now, Broadwater School current site in Rectory Gardens.
Celebrating our 150th
This year, we are celebrating 150 years of primary education in Broadwater. A new school, for both infants and older children, was built in 1873 on a site at the south-east corner of Broadwater Green given by the ladies of the manor. At the time, the then Bishop of Chichester laid a corner stone, which is still visible at the entrance of the school. The stone says: This school and two others, one for St George’s Worthing, the other for Christ Church Worthing, were built by voluntary effort to secure the daily instruction for the young in the truths of the Bible and in the principles of the Church of England. Although the school has developed and changed site since then, we felt it was important to celebrate the school’s history. This school has educated children for 150 years. Things have changed over the years, but we are grateful to those who have made this school what it is today.
As part of the celebrations we asked former pupils, teachers and governors to share memories of the school. Click here to see some of the memories that have been shared
On 26th May 2023 we celebrated 150 years of primary education in Broadwater. We started the day with an aerial drone photograph of the whole school forming the shape of 150. It was great fun and we can't wait to see the results. During the afternoon, we gathered together on the field, with invited guests, for a special service lead by the pupil leadership team and the Bishop of Chichester. Bishop Martin officially opened our prayer garden and planted a tree to mark this amazing milestone in our school's history. Many people have contributed memories of their time at Broadwater, and these will be on display during our summer fair on 30th June.