A HEAD teacher is inviting past pupils and teachers to return to the classroom to help celebrate their former school’s golden year.
Fiona Brown, the head teacher of St Joseph’s Primary School, Newton Aycliffe, is asking anyone with items of school memorabilia from the past 50 years to get in touch to help mark half a century of being at the heart of the community.
“Fifty years is a real milestone in the history of St Joseph’s and we’d love to celebrate our anniversary with anyone associated with the school since it opened,” said Mrs Brown.
“Unfortunately we don’t have a lot of historic memorabilia in school so we are hoping that past students, parents, carers, teaching staff, governors or members of the local parish can help us create a display with any old school reports, photographs, artwork or other items that they could let us use for our celebration.
“Anyone who has a story about their school days or recollections about being a pupil here at St Joseph’s is also very welcome to come in and tell us and all the stories will be written down and put on a memory board for everyone to read.”
The 154-pupil school, on Garburn Place, Newton Aycliffe, officially opened in 1969. It teaches pupils from three to 11 and is planning to hold a whole week of celebrations from July 1, where people can come into school every day from 1-2pm to look around, see the memorabilia displays, view the original school plans, enjoy light refreshments and have a tour of their former classrooms.
“We have also planned a special 50th anniversary service and blessing to be led by Father Anthony Cornforth,” said Mrs Brown.
“I came to St Joseph’s in 2018 so it will be wonderful for me to find out more about the school’s past and I hope that everyone in the local community who has had links with St Joseph’s will join us to see how it has changed over the years and celebrate this highpoint in the school’s history.”
Planned celebrations for pupils also include a whole-school picnic or street party and a ‘dress up through the decades’ celebration day.
St Joseph’s Primary School will be hosting an Open Day on June 4 where parents, carers and future pupils are welcome to view the facilities, including the school’s nursery, where places are still available for three-year-olds for September.