Charters School opened its doors on 23rd April 1958 to just under 400 pupils. A service of dedication was held in the school hall on 17th December 1958 and the pupils were given an extra half-day’s holiday to mark the occasion.
Charters School got its name because it was built on part of the grounds of a house by that name, formerly the home of Montague Burton, of tailoring fame.
The origins of the school badge came from the opening day of the school. The school opened on St. George’s Day and Shakespeare’s birthday. The red cross of the school badge comes from the cross of St. George, the dagger symbolises Shakespeare and the stag is the symbol of Berkshire. The badge itself was to reflect courtesy, compassion, chivalry and scholarship.
Queen Elizabeth made an informal visit to Charters School on 4th April 1962. During her visit, the Queen saw diverse lessons, from recorder playing to hammer forging, from a comptometer-operating class to woodwork and metalwork. A boys’ handicraft class was also on the agenda.
By 1965 the population of Bracknell, Windsor and Ascot was on the increase and intense discussions were under way as to the future of secondary education in the area. A decision was eventually made to develop Charters into an eight form entry comprehensive school taking all children from the area from the age of 11-18 and by 1969 plans were under way for proposed extensions to cope with the massive increase in school numbers.
In 1970, a Forestry Commission house set in the Brecon Beacons in Wales was bought by three Berkshire schools as a field study and outdoor pursuit centre – Tirabad! After much renovation to convert it for its new purpose, it was officially opened on 29th September 1971.
1972 saw extensive alterations to the school with the addition of 10 science laboratories, a games hall, drama hall and arts, crafts and home economics centres being built. By 1977, a growing Charters School faced severe over-crowding to the extent that nine classes were regularly being taught in corridors, the dining room or the two halls!
1979 saw Charters celebrate its 21st birthday and in 1983, its Silver Jubilee. To to mark the occasion, a huge cake in the shape of the school crest was made.
In 1981 a decision was made to make Charters School a centre for physically disabled pupils. The school undertook a series of modifications, which included two lifts, a medical room, and home base for these pupils as well as access ramps around the school. The school opened its doors to the first physically disabled students in September 1983. In 1985 the sports facilities were expanded to make Charters School the focus of the area's recreational, social and community activities.
The school continued to grow and in September 1992 a new purpose built Library and Resource Centre was opened. More modular classrooms were also added.
In July 1997 Charters received another royal visit. The headmaster was presented with the year’s ‘School Curriculum Award’ by the Princess Royal. In addition, the school was given the Sportsmark Award.
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Click on the dates to look at the history of those years in more detail:
Charters School 50th Anniversary
The Garden Party
HRH The Duke of Kent's visit