TOPHAM ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 

Topham

Topham Elementary School was constructed in 1962-3 on 5 acres of land. It was named for G. H. Topham, who fought in World War I and was killed in action. Topham Road was originally named for this same soldier. On the Cenotaph, the "G" of Mr. Topham's name appears to be a "C" because a piece of the inscription is missing. 

Topham consisted of three classrooms, and in 1965-6 a fourth classroom library and covered play area were added. In 1969 a fifth classroom, with a hallway connecting the five classrooms to form one building, was added. In 1974, an activity room and foyer were added. Since 1974 a water storage tank has been added. In 1978 an acoustic ceiling was installed in the gymnasium, and in 1981 the boiler was converted from oil to gas. With increased enrolment, two portables were added in 1997. 

The school housed children from Kindergarten through grade seven, and operated as a feeder school for Fort Langley Junior Secondary School and later Walnut Grove Secondary. The first head teacher and later principal was Mr. Jim Babchuck, who was in the Langley School District for many years until he retired. 

Topham Elementary School was one of the schools slated for closure along with other small schools. The original Topham Elementary building was sold to the Francophone School District and renamed L'Ecole Voyageur. 

The new Topham Elementary School, built to accommodate 450 students and located at 21555-91 Avenue, was opened in January, 2000, with 16 classrooms, a multi purpose room a library, 3 learning assistance rooms, offices, and a gymnasium. It is now a feeder school to Walnut Grove Secondary. The first principal of the new Topham School was Robin Mott, who had also served at the old Topham School. 

Topham is a community which celebrates languages and cultures, caring, common sense, and commitment. Topham is unique in that it offers Japanese as a second language to all of its Kindergarten to grade 3 students. Students develop reading, writing, and speaking skills, as well as learning about the Japanese culture. In addition, early French Immersion started at the school in September, 1999. However, due to the growth in the catchment area, the F.I. Program was moved to James Kennedy Elementary in 2004. The school population in 2004 is 279. 


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