Celebrations to mark Baileys Court Primary School’s 20th anniversary got under way on Tuesday 20th September with a series of special activities that culminated in a giant birthday picnic for staff, parents and children.
Pupils and parents had been asked to design and bake a cake to celebrate the school’s birthday and bring it along to the picnic. Many of the entries featured the Bailey Bird, a symbol that appears on the school’s uniform badge and on most communications coming from the school. It is said to originate from a set of curtains hanging in the hall when the school first opened! The high standard of entries made it difficult to select a winner, but the judges eventually concurred and the victorious cake was ceremonially cut and shared with everyone present.
A special ‘friendship bench’ was also unveiled, which will serve as a permanent reminder of the anniversary celebrations.
Earlier in the day, pupils created a huge line around the school buildings and joined hands to give the whole school a big hug. Every child also designed and made a special birthday-themed badge to wear at the picnic and they enjoyed a special lunch prepared by the kitchen staff.
The day’s activities were coordinated by class teacher Julie Barnett, who has been with the school since it opened twenty years ago. She said:
“I am proud of everything that we have achieved as a school. Everyone who has passed through the doors has contributed to where we are now. Despite all the changes, Baileys Court still has the same fantastic ethos running through its core – one of striving to create lifelong learners who are supported by a team of dedicated and enthusiastic adults who are willing to go the extra mile. The 20th anniversary gives us a chance to focus on our successes and how far we have come, but also to continue to focus on the future. It is a very special place to work.”
Deputy head Martin Telfer added:
“We’ve seen so many changes in the school over the years but it still remains the same happy environment that started life in 1996. We all have many very happy memories.”
Further celebratory events that the school has planned include Samba drummers coming in to do workshops with all classes and run a staff meeting, a visit from a theatre company, a mosaic artist coming in to work with some of the Year 5 & 6 children with the aim of producing a mosaic for an outside wall and a big musical celebration at the end of the year.
A display of newspaper cuttings and photographs on show at the picnic outlined the school’s history and recalled some of the difficulties encountered during the school’s first year.
A delayed start on building the new school meant that it wasn’t ready to be occupied in September 1996. Consequently, the first intake of 90 pupils aged between four and seven had to be bussed to temporary classrooms at Bowsland Green Primary School. Staff and pupils were finally able to move into their new school in January 1997 and the official opening subsequently took place on 4th July 1997.
The school has since been extended on three occasions, with three temporary classrooms being added in 1998, two classrooms being added to the main building in 2002 and a further two temporary classrooms being added in 2009.
The school has had just two headteachers in the 20 years, starting with Wendy Davey (later Wendy Preedy, as she remarried), who remained in post until she retired in 2012, when the current head Andrew Lynham took up the role.
Photos: 1 (l-r): Julie Barnett (teacher and lead for anniversary celebrations), Martin Telfer (deputy headteacher), Andrew Davey (governor) and Andrew Lynham (headteacher). 2 Some of the entries for the birthday cake competition. 3 Pupils join hands to give the school buildings a hug.
This article originally appeared in the October 2016 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion. View the magazine article: issuu.com/bradleystokejournal/docs/bsj_2016-10_issuu/c/smvcjth
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