Hampden Academy

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About Hampden Academy

                The first school in Hampden was built by the Church of England in the late 1890's. The one-room school was built in the small cove of Rooms, one of many small coves in the Hampden area. The school was made from local wood, and was heated by a wood stove. The school maintained an average enrollment of 25 - 30 students after International Pulp and Paper Company started logging in 1915. The company was an American firm logging pulp wood for the US markets. The first known teacher at Rooms was Mr. Chesley Reid, who also fulfilled the duties of Minster when the local minister was at Jackson’s Arm.

                A second school was built in 1944 by the Anglican Church. This school was located in Beaches, a small community that is often considered part of Hampden. St. Bartholomew was a school as well as a chapel. The building was the focal point of the community. Miss Dorothy "Dot" Dawe was the first teacher in this one room building. The school usually maintained an average enrolment of fifteen students. For a period of time the school came under the jurisdiction of the Seal Cove School Board. A Mr. Sidney Robinson was the Superintendent at the time. Unfortunately, many students could not attend school because of winter conditions in White Bay.

                All the schools were maintained by the efforts of the local people. The families of students enrolled at the school were expected to donate firewood and/or kerosene. Male students would serve weekly fire starting duty to warm the school before the arrival of the other students. Families were also expected to provide their own slates, cloths, caulk, water bottles, etc . . . Families also paid cash for textbooks. This is especially important due to the lack of money available in the outports at this time. It wasn’t until 1949, that government provided books for primary & elementary school books.

          Unfortunately we have not been able to find the rationale behind each school. We do not know what policies or formal goal each school had. However, were taught exclusively in the early years of both schools. It wasn’t until later that history, geography and drawing (art) was added to the curriculum at these schools. A major focus in both these schools was a strict adherence to religious piety. Morning prayers and bible study was a daily part of both schools.we do know that all arithmetic, reading, writing and grammar

                Social groups were also a focus of the schools. Community spirits and socialization was promoted through Junior Red Cross, Youth Clubs and Sports Clubs. The schools also held Christmas and Easter programs every year. It was not unusually to have Friday afternoon devoted to student performances. These were usually produced and preformed by themselves with minimal teacher guidance.

                In the early years of formal education, many teachers were clergy or lay people. Anyone who had completed grade 9 or above, was qualified to teach in a classroom. Later on, many teachers were trained at Memorial University. Early teacher training consisted of a two month summer school in St. John’s. However, due to the logging in the area many teachers came from the United States.

                In the 1940's a third school was opened in the area of Bayside. This school was a multi denominational school Bayside Amalgamated, represented Anglican, Salvation Army, and United Church students.

                In 1969, Hampden Elementary and Hampden High School replaced all the other schools. These schools came under the jurisdiction of the Deer Lake Integrated School Board. Two new additions were made to Hampden Elementary after 1969. In 1976, Hampden High made its final move into a new modern facility which included a gymnasium, science lab and library. In the 1980's both schools were combined to make Hampden Academy what we know it as today.