School anniversary celebrations: Royd Nursery Infant and  Deepcar St John’s C of E Junior schools mark 50th anniversary

Children and staff at Deepcar St Johns C of E Primary celebrate the 50th anniversary
Children and staff at Deepcar St Johns C of E Primary celebrate the 50th anniversary

Parents, staff and pupils at two Sheffield primary schools took a trip down memory lane as they celebrated their 50th anniversary.

Royd Nursery Infant School and Deepcar St John’s C of E Junior School marked the occasion with a special celebration day.

Past staff and parents visited the schools for the anniversary celebrations

Past staff and parents visited the schools for the anniversary celebrations

Past pupils and staff were invited into the schools, while current students celebrated by dressing up in 1960s outfits and creating vibrant banners to decorate the walls.

The staff also got in on the action dressing up in psychedelic clothing.

Sean Sly, head of Royd Nursery Infant School, said past staff and children got the chance to tour both schools, which sparked discussions about comparisons and differences between them then and now.

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Staff dressed in 60s outfits for the celebration

Staff dressed in 60s outfits for the celebration

He said: “They had tours around the school and were sharing their memories.

“They were talking about what was the same and what was different.

“One of the things which people were saying was that the teaching is so different and much more interactive now.

“They also commented on what a nurturing feel there was in both schools and how friendly they were made to feel.

Children at Deepcar St Johns C of E Primary celebrate the 50th anniversary

Children at Deepcar St Johns C of E Primary celebrate the 50th anniversary

“The relationships between teachers and children is also much different to how it once was.”

Both school halls are now packed with photographs and historical information from over the decades.

Mr Sly said: “We have diary entries from former headteachers until 2001, which mention things such as the harvest festival, which we still celebrate in school today, and a trip to Eureka in the 1990s, which is a place we still take pupils to.”

An entry in 1997, tells of how children planted daffodils in Fox Glen, an area still visited by children.

Old photographs and memorabilia are on display in the school halls

Old photographs and memorabilia are on display in the school halls

“Children are still heavily involved in the community,” said Mr Sly.

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“They are involving in performing in a Christmas singing performance and plant bulbs in planters around the Glen.”

Visitors were invited to stay for refreshments as part of the celebrations, after which students at both schools enjoyed a joint picnic.

The day ended with both schools holding their annual school fairs.

Mr Sly said the anniversary was tied into learning children were doing in class about historical events and the history of the area around the school.

Former lunchtime supervisor Kath Stephens and  Coun Julie Grocutt

Former lunchtime supervisor Kath Stephens and Coun Julie Grocutt

“As part of our curriculum children have been learning about understanding events which have occurred in their own lifetime,” he said.

“But just as important, they have also need to understand the history of their local area.

“Children have done quite a lot of research and have looked at the changes at both schools over the years – little things that we take for granted like technology.

“Before, for example, children had nothing much in the playground and now they have bright markings and apparatus.

At Deepcar St John’s C of E Junior School, diary entries include the employment of a dedicated music teacher.

Music is still an important feature at the school, with all year four pupils learning the violin and viola last year. 

Both schools were officially opened in 1968, and starting with just a handful of classrooms and staff in each.

Over the years they have been expanded to accommodate the growing community.

They are now part of a joint soft federation, with heads at both and executive headteacher Louise Jones overlooking the schools.

READ MORE: SCHOOL FOCUS: Royd Nursery Infant School

Mrs Jones said: “'At Deepcar St John's the staff work very closely with the pupils and families to develop the child as a whole.

“We value each child as an individual and want the best for them socially, academically and morally.

“We have a strong Christian ethos through school and encourage all children to be caring and considerate about their peers and their community.”