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Last days as Dryclough Infant School before big school merger next week

Long-serving past and present staff shared their memories

It is one of the most multicultural schools in Huddersfield.

The 26 languages spoken at Dryclough Infant School that cover everything from Albanian to Wolof are a telling note of how much the institution has grown and changed since it first opened in 1872.

And now staff have looked back over its past as they prepare to become part of a new super school from next Tuesday.

The large 420-pupil institution on Dryclough Road will join with the adjacent Crosland Moor Juniors and split-based Thornton Lodge Nursery to become voluntary controlled Oak C of E Primary School for children aged from two to 11.

READ MORE: Councillors to rule on merger plans creating Huddersfield's biggest primary school

The school buildings, however, which includes the nursery’s two sites at Yews Hill Road and in the Dryclough Road Sure Start Centre, will remain in their current homes and staff at each will be retained.

Former headteacher and pupil Bernie Boryslawskyj joined seven other staff members with in between 20 and 34 years service each, to reflect on some of their best moments at the school.

“It is the end of an era in a way”, said Bernie, who was head for 13 years until 2010.

“But hopefully it will be good for the families.

“Until now, they may have got a place for their child at the nursery but then they have had to apply for a space in the infants and then again in the junior school.

“That’s been quite difficult for them at times, especially a few years ago when some children in the area missed out on a place.

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“It happened because of the increasing demand, which will be offset once the other new school in the area, Beaumont Primary Academy, opens in September.”

The school has continued to grow in size since it was first opened as Crosland Moor County Infant School on Park Road.

“It was on the site of what then became the now demolished St Luke’s Hospital”, said Bernie.

“But the number of children in the area kept growing, so soon it was too small.

“That’s been the biggest challenge of it over the years.

“It was moved to the old library at Moorfield and to what is now the Seventh Day Adventist Church on College Street.

Last days of Dryclough CE (VC) Infant School before it changes to Oak C of E Primary School. Newspaper cutting from 1957.

“Then we moved to our current site in 1977, which used to be the junior school until its new building was built.

“We’ve had several extensions since then in 1993 and a big one in 2001.”

Bernie reminisced about her days as a child at the school.

“We had a headteacher with a heart of gold called Mrs Pogson.

“She was a great lover of art and supported lots of local artists by buying their paintings to put in the school, some of which are still here.

“She used to let David Blackburn practice his painting on the back of cupboards here too.

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“We were also the first school in Huddersfield to get a colour TV.

“But because she spent the entire school budget on it, there wasn’t enough money left to buy paper.

“So we used to go to the Examiner offices and buy the left over paper rolls to paint on instead.”

Bernie commented on the current school.

“I think it has always been very welcoming.

“Current children’s parents have been taught here too, as have some of our staff, like Moira Ginley, our cook.

“It’s very diverse and we’ve always tried to make sure that everyone who comes through our doors finds something that tells them that this is the place for them.



Doug Thomson
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