60 glorious years at Spalding school celebrated by generations

Staff and pupils at St Paul's Primary School in Spalding celebrating its 60th anniversary in costumes through the decades. SG060715-122TW

Staff and pupils at St Paul's Primary School in Spalding celebrating its 60th anniversary in costumes through the decades. SG060715-122TW

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Generations went back to a Spalding school this week to celebrate its 60th anniverary.

St Paul’s Primary saw pupils and staff old and new gather on Monday to reminisce on how things had changed since the school opened in 1955.

Among them was John Portas, who taught at St Paul’s for 24 years.

He said: “I introduced ‘Special Education’ which in those days was in its infancy.

“I still live in the area and meet some ex-pupils regularly but it was a great pleasure to meet some who I had not seen for years, including the secretary Sally. We shared many memories.

“Although there were times teaching at St Paul’s was not always easy, the school was part of the community and there was always a certain warmth and generosity and for some of us it was a great place to be.

“It all seems a very long time ago. The demands of society seem to be putting more pressure on children and teachers and sometimes you must wonder where it will end.

“In spite of this it was good to see the children were as enthusiastic as ever and parents just as supportive.”

Josie Bray, who was also one of the first teachers at the the school, spoke to the reception class about her experiences.

She said: “It was one of the most happiest times of my teaching career. There were no targets, classes were 40- plus and teaching assistants hadn’t been invented.

“I made life-long friends working here.”

Pupils and staff marked the day with a ‘through the ages theme’ non-uniform day and parents joined children at lunchtime for a picnic and a slice of anniversary cake.

A display of old photographs showed how the school had changed over the years, including allotments at the back where there are now bungalows.

Former governors and staff were among the judges at a talent show held in the afternoon.

Kira Nicholls, the current headteacher, said: “Everyone had a lovely day and parents have said how nice it was to have a picnic with the children and want us to do it again.

“Each of the 240 pupils released a balloon as part of a competition to see which one could go the furthest.”

Children will also have their eyes in the sky next week for the arrival of the school’s new kitchen pod, which is due to be craned in on Tuesday.

Miss Nicholls said: “The children are all very excited and have been growing fruit and vegetables in their community garden for when it comes into use in September.”

Spalding school to get a £190,000 kitchen