Brighton Road and Rouge Bouillon Schools
A group of Eisteddfod competitors in 1915
The school is now on a site previously occupied by another elementary school, Brighton Road, and the building which housed the secondary school was the island's Police Headquarters, until they moved out to new premises on Route du Fort in 2017.
Rouge Bouillon opened as an elementary school on 7 July 1908, on a site adjacent to Brighton Road School, which was run by the Parish of St Helier and was one of 14 parish schools taken over by the States in 1913.
Rouge Bouillon School was used as a hospital during the First World War. In the 1950s it was rebuilt as the island's first and only girls' grammar school, before merging with Hautlieu School in 1966.
Brighton Road, one of the island's smallest and oldest schools, was earmarked for closure in the 1965 Education Plan, and the Victorian building was subsequently redmodelled and extended to create a new primary school. For a number of years from 1938 the buildings had been shared with the co-educational Intermediate School.
In 1980 the girls school relocated to where Grainville now is and a new Rouge Bouillon Primary School was opened, combining Vauxhall Street, Halkett Place and Val Plaisant schools.
The first head teacher was Nick Herbert, who held the post for eight years when he was succeeded by Wendy Hurford. On the morning of Monday 15 April 1991 – the day before the beginning of the new term – a fire ripped through the school. It started in the roof space where workmen had been conducting repairs before the children returned to their classrooms.
It also did considerable damage to the Teachers’ Centre, which was on the same site. No one was hurt in the fire. Rouge Bouillon was the largest of the Island’s primary schools – as it is today – and some 400 pupils were unable to return to school.
Thirteen members of staff, some with their children, had been in the building when the fire was discovered and they, along with staff from the Teachers Centre, were evacuated. Despite the extent of the damage (only the Nursery Unit remained largely undamaged) the school reopened to the majority of its students just one week later.
The school takes boys and girls from four to eleven years of age. This includes a thirty place Nursery, offering full and part-time places, Reception classes and Years 1 through to 6. Pupils start school in Reception in the Autumn Term of the year they become five. The school has just completed the move from being 3-form entry to 2-form entry. There are now two classes in every year group.
The school has been home to units for deaf children, for slow learners and for children from other countries. In the 1980s it provided education for children who came from Maderia with their parents who were employed in hotels and on farms.