THERE is much cause for celebration in Rawthorpe.
It’s 50 years in May since St James CE Infant and Nursery School opened.
And a year of events have been planned to welcome as many members of this family community back into the building.
“The school has undergone many changes on the inside, but in the main it has stayed very much the same on the outside,” said Joan Rock, headteacher for the past nine years.
“As a church school, it has always been a focal point for the whole community and the commitment by staff who work here and parents has remained consistent throughout those 50 years.”
Fifty years to the day that the then Bishop of Wakefield the Rt Rev J A Ramsbotham, dedicated the school, one of three schools on the site, the school is hosting a special open afternoon which includes displays of memorabilia.
Mrs Rock added: “It is an opportunity for people who have attended the school or have had children here to catch up with old friends, have a chat and look at old photos and mementoes. We are also asking people to bring along any memorabilia which they have into school before the day.”
The afternoon runs between 3.30 and 6.30pm.
Among those attending will be educational teaching assistant Val Walker pictured in an all our yesterdays feature in the Examiner last year which featured Rawthorpe schools.
Old photographs are also to feature in a commemorative calendar which is being compiled as part of the celebrations.
Community cafe mornings, an extended Christmas fair and even a street party have also been suggested as events which could be organised.
A community artist will also be working with parents who attend the breakfast club to create a shop window from 50 years ago within the school building.
The school, which has inclusive resourced provision for eight children with physical disabilities, has strong links with Rawthorpe Junior and High schools.
All three schools now form part of the Netherhall Learning Campus and as a Federation school they share a strong bond.
A joint Caribbean concert is planned also in May as part of the Federation working and in June there will be a joint art week with schools from across the Rawthorpe pyramid including Dalton and Moldgreen.
Mrs Rock added: “The Federation is working well and has brought benefits to all the schools on the campus. It is a real strength which we will continue working with towards the next 50 years of the schools federation.”
Rawthorpe St James CE Infant and Nursery School has had nine headteachers since the inauguration in 1959. They are:
Miss A Gent until August 1960;
Mrs B Green from September 6, 1960 to August 1968;
Margaret Howarth from September 1968 to December 1977;
Maureen Walker from January 1978 to August 1990;
Sheila Bennett, acting head between September 1990 and March 1991;
Beryl Docherty, April 1991 to August 1995;
Alison O’Brien, September 1995 to December 1999;
Mary O’Donnell, January 2000 to August 2000;
Joan Rock, September 2000 to present day.
All are welcome to attend the first anniversary event on May 11.