School celebrates golden year

VIDEO Golden anniversary celebrations at an Ipswich primary school culminated with a fun street party involving all the pupils and staff.

GOLDEN anniversary celebrations at an Ipswich primary school culminated with a fun street party involving all the pupils and staff.

Dancing round the maypole, sack races and hopscotch were just some of the old fashioned games played at St Pancras Catholic Primary School yesterday in honour of its 50th birthday.

All week there has been plenty of activities taking place, including a special open evening where past and present pupils were invited to view a photo exhibition from the last 50 years, a disco, with the theme 'Across the Decades', and a whole school mass.

Former pupils also went into classrooms to tell the younger children their memories of the school back in the 60s and 70s.

Steve Barker, who has been head teacher at the school since 1991, said: “It has been absolutely fantastic. Faces from the past have been coming in to show us what the school was like back then, even some of those who were the first ones here in 1957.

“As it is a long term, the children were able to be completely off curriculum for the whole of this week. We have had so much going on and they have really enjoyed it.

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“For the first time, we also let the children go home slightly earlier so they could have an extra long half term holiday.”

The school now has 174 pupils and is home to seven classrooms. However half a century ago, it was a very different story. There were just three classrooms originally. In 1961 an extra two classrooms and the hall were built. Since then, two more classrooms have been built as well as the all-weather surface pitch in the school's playground.

The first pupils came through the school's doors in 1957 but it was officially opened by the Diocese of East Anglia a year later in 1958.

The committee of friends and staff at the school in Stratford Road, Whitton, were in charge of the organisation of anniversary celebrations.

Yesterday the children were allowed to wear their own clothes and rotated around the playground to take part in the seven different games, which have been popular over the last five decades.

The street party ended with a lunch where everyone sat in rows with packed lunches and a buffet lunch for staff and visitors.

Classes finished at 2.15pm.

Is your school celebrating an important anniversary? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail

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