July 1, 2008

School Turns the Spotlight on 150 Years of Its History

By Jacqueline [email protected]

In 1858, Dundry Church of England Primary School was opened to educate the children of engineers and manufacturers in the parish.

Today, the popular North Somerset primary school is celebrating its 150th anniversary with a number of events.

The original trust deeds of the school state the building was to be used as and for a school for the education of children and adults or children only of the labouring, manufacturing and other poorer classes in the parish.

Since then, the school, which is now controlled by North Somerset Council, has continued without interruption, to provide education for the children of the parish of Dundry and in recent years, children of neighbouring areas.

During the war years, the school received evacuees from London, and many have since been in touch with the school to share their memories of their school days.

To celebrate the school's anniversary, there will be an exhibition of photographs, logbook extracts and artefacts gathered over the years.

Head teacher Jenny Handford has been at the school for the past five years.

She said: "I am very pleased to be head teacher of this school at the time of its 150th anniversary. This school stands in the heart of the village and has strong links with the church and local community.

"During the five years I have spent at the school I have enjoyed the uniqueness of the school's position high on the hill overlooking Bristol and the diversity of the school population, as it serves pupils from the village and the neighbouring south Bristol wards and also has strong links with Chew Valley School."

Every class has been involved in researching the history of the school to mark the milestone birthday.

There will also be a service at St Michael's Church, in Dundry on July 11, followed by a celebratory peal of the church bells and a street party lunch and circus activities.

The youngsters will also present an old-time music hall performance, based on the history of the school and the village.

Mrs Handford added: "The task of educating 21st-century children in a 19th-century building can be challenging, but we are proud of our history and are determined to provide the best possible learning experiences for our pupils."

Mrs Handford wants to hear from any former pupils and staff.

Call 0117 964 7181 or email, [email protected] gov.uk.

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