Walkerburn School - 150 years and thriving
Walkerburn was founded in 1854 when Henry Ballantyne
expanded his business in the textile industry. He wanted more room
than his present mills would allow and so moved them to a site, ten
miles from Galashiels, on the banks of the Caberston Burn. The
village of Walkerburn grew and expanded to house the many mill
workers and their families.
The population of the village continued to grow and by 1860 the
residents wanted a school for their children. A site was secured for
a nominal feu duty of one penny per annum and on September 7th 1861
the foundation stone was laid. The building was completed in 1862. A
further classroom and a schoolmasterís house were added to the
building in 1866/67.
Since then the building has been added to and altered in various
ways. Most recently, in 2000, the building was almost completely
refurbished resulting in a bright and modern interior. Accommodation
comprises three classrooms, a nursery unit, staff room, office,
library/visiting specialistís room, and a gym hall/dining room.
Within the grounds, there is a large tarred playground, with
markings for games, and a bicycle shed, which has a lovely sea bed
mural painted by the children. The playground has trees planted
around the perimeter which are surrounded by beds of seasonal
flowers and plants. These and the tubs are planted and cared for by
the children. Adjacent is a wonderful wildlife garden which is now
beginning to mature.
The school roll has varied greatly over the years. Records show that
two years after opening, the roll was about 100 pupils and by the
turn of the century it had more than doubled with around 250 pupils.
Today the school roll today stands at 42 pupils (plus around 12 in
The school has good links with the wider community of
the village and provides a monthly report to Burning Issues, the
village newsletter. It works closely with the
Parent Council. Parents are regarded as vital to the school, and are
kept in touch with all that is going on through meetings, parentís
evenings and regular newsletters home.