There were about ninety pupils in the early days, from Brook, Mottistone, Compton, Chessel and Shalcombe. The school was ‘cordially complimented on the number of attendance awards, especially as many children had to come long distances over very exposed roads.’ The school records seem to give excessive prominence to scripture, drawing and needlework; but the church register shows the growth of literacy. In the 1870s about half the newly-weds signed with a mark, by the 1890s, all signed their full names, often elegantly.