The school of Venables

Since 1832, at the time of the Ministry of Guizot, during the reign of Louis-Philippe, the Commune of Venables had a school for boys and girls. It was located in the street of the 'Grandes Vignes', which means 'large vineyard', and its buildings also housed the Town Hall and the Fire-station. It was of solid construction, and the ground floor consisted of a large classroom with basement and adjacent kitchen. On the first floor, above the classroom, was the Town Hall separated from two rooms by a corridor. The teacher's accommodation was thus completely integrated into the school. Outside, a yard extended as far as 'Des Sources' street. A kitchen-garden and orchard occupied much of the land.

With the Statutes of Jules Ferry [1882/1883] the Commune decided to enlarge the school and, with this intention, acquired the farm of Mr Jean Prosper in 1885. This poor man had lost his two sons, both drowned: one while crossing the Seine between La Rive and the village of Muids, the other at the time of his military service in Rouen.

 

The Town Council, led by Mr Thorel, decided to build a classroom within the fabric of the old farm. Mr Igoult, the teacher, implemented the plans, and the Carpentier Company, of Villers sur le Roule, was put in charge of the construction of a 60m2 extension, which was completed in 1888. The Town Hall and the teacher's accommodation were transferred to the main house of the farm, built between 1870 and 1871.

Due to demographic trends after the Second World War, the Municipality required the opening of a second class in 1952. This was placed, temporarily, in a room once occupied by the firemen. With the necessary land set aside in the village, a nursery class was established in 1979. Then, in 1981, a third, primary, class was opened.

 

However, the school-buildings were far from satisfactory with two unsettled classes. The Town Council, led by Mr Jean-Marie Drouet, thus built a new unit which consisted of two classrooms, a workshop and a dining-room, in 1986. A commemorative plaque, representing a scene from the Bayeaux Tapestry in low relief carved in wood, recalling the link between Venables and the epic story of William the Conqueror, was put up.

 

Finally, in 1990, a fourth primary class was granted by the academy, but this had to close in 1993. Currently, the school consists of 3 primary classes and a nursery class. A school bus-service has been organised by the Commune since 1980, and a small canteen provides lunch for the children of the hamlets.

 

Many workshops exist, thanks to donations and supporters: introduction to English, Music, data-processing and handicraft workshops. For the last few years, two of the classes have benefited from use of the swimming-pool at Gaillon.

 

When the children complete their primary-schooling, they are usually sent for 4 years to the college at Aubevoye. Afterwards, they may go to one of the high schools at Gaillon, Andelys, Vernon, Louviers, and even to those at Evreux or Rouen. As for universities: Evreux, Rouen, Le Havre and Paris offer many possibilities.

 

The head-teachers who have followed one another for nearly 150 years are: Jean-Baptiste Doutte, Philippe Igoult, Emile Pinson, Edouard Trehet, Georges Noyer, Roger Dupressoir, Jacques Ollivier and Emmanuel Caille.