Pupils relive school’s past

Children from St James Infant School, dress up to celebrate the schools 100th Birthday.
Children from St James Infant School, dress up to celebrate the schools 100th Birthday.
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A three-day celebration marked the 100th birthday of St James Infant School in Daventry.

The school’s 164 pupils donned outfits from 1913, the year of the school’s construction, from 1940 and from the swinging sixties, learning about the period of history in character.

St James Infants School 100 year anniversary celebrations.'With the time capsule are Charlie Baker ( 6 ), Keiran Jones ( 7 ) & Ella Walsh ( 5 )

St James Infants School 100 year anniversary celebrations.'With the time capsule are Charlie Baker ( 6 ), Keiran Jones ( 7 ) & Ella Walsh ( 5 )

A time capsule and commemorative plaque (supplied by Timpson’s of Daventry) was buried on the school grounds containing photos and information from 2013 and the school opened its doors to old faces when ex-pupils, staff and friends of the school visited the dining hall for an afternoon tea party.

Headteacher Judith Murray said: “The whole event went really well. The children really enjoyed all of the activities and the dressing up. I feel they gained a good understanding of how it may have been to attend the school at different periods in history.

A history ‘pod’ was set up for visitors to look at old photographs, the old school bell, headteacher’s log books and registers.

And old floor plan showed how the school had expanded from the original six classrooms to eight and the original dining hall, which had an overlooking balcony from which the head addressed the pupils, was now in use as a classroom and office. It also showed a wall divider in the playing area to separate girls and boys.

Parent link worker and kaleidoscope coordinator, Debbie Tucker, said: “It’s fascinating to learn more about what the school used to be like. Now it feels like ‘my school’ but looking at old log books and reading extracts about air-raid sirens and what it was like in the war has been really interesting and eye opening.”

Former pupils recalled their memories of the school and enjoyed watching pupils perform maypole dancing and releasing balloons (supplied at a discounted rate by the Card Factory in Daventry) in celebration.

Mrs Murray said: “It was wonderful to see how special the school is to so many people and we were pleased that lots of people who have either been to, or have been associated with, the school were able to join us for the celebrations.”

The celebrations culminated on Saturday with a summer fair at the school. Mrs Murray thanked staff for their hard work prior to and during the three days.