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Thursday, 30 October 2014

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Barrow school in birthday groove

MORE than 200 balloons were set free by pupils and staff at a primary school to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

Staff and 195 children at St Pius X Primary School, in Schneider Road, Ormsgill, let off 224 balloons on Friday.

Each balloon contained a message in three different languages asking the receiver to call the school.

The event ended a week of 70s-themed celebrations and was a nostalgic repeat of the launching of balloons on the first day.

Gill Barrow, 47, of Norfolk Street, Barrow, is the chairwoman of the school Parent-teacher Association which organised the launch.

The mum-of-one said: “It happened on the first day of the school opening so we thought it would be nice to do for its 40th anniversary.

“It looked fabulous. Hopefully, we will get some responses. The information in the message is in three different languages.”

Hundreds, including governors and members of the PTA, gathered at the school grounds on Friday. The crowd then shouted happy birthday as the balloons were launched.

The school donned fancy dress on Friday as well as during three shows. They sang songs from the decade in which the school opened.

Music from the 70s included the likes of the hokey-cokey, Don McLean’s American Pie and an Abba megamix. Headteacher Amy Bates, 44, said: “It was a brilliant week.

“We had all the parents up dancing during the shows.

“This week has really shown the community spirit, the supportive parents and the fun-loving staff.”

Mrs Bates also said that children had spent the week learning about games and sports played in the 70s, including Space Invaders, British Bulldog and Queenio.

Posters of retro food were pinned up around the school canteen by cook Rachel Barclay.

Mrs Bates said children also learned about some major changes in the school system in 40 years, including the scrapping of corporal punishment.

Pictures of sweets such as a Marathon, now Snickers, bar, Spangles and Opal Fruits. The 70s packaging for Frosted Flakes and Sugar Puff’s Honey Monster were also posted around the school.

Vice chairwoman of governors, Liz Nugent, 61, of Barrow, said: “My two children went here and my two grandchildren are now here. I’ve been a governor for 30 years.

“Today I just came to watch and to support it. The PTA did a great job. I just wanted to watch.

“It was quite moving watching them going off. It will be wonderful if someone finds it and replies to us. I retired four years ago, since then it’s been a vital part of my life.

“I love coming here. Each governor has a class which they are assigned to and visit once a week. You then follow that class through the school. Last year I had Year Six so this year I’ve got Reception.

“I think we have been a wonderful school for 40 years and have only had four headteachers in these years.

“The school has had extensions, more facilities with an IT suite which we wouldn’t have had 40 years ago, and a wonderful music department.”

Mum-of-two Sarah Richardson, 40, of Ormsgill, said: “My song Liam is in Year Six so is just about to leave.

“My daughter, Emily, is in Year One. I became a governor five years ago.

“I think the school is a proper community and a family and staff know the majority of the children by their first names, same with the parents. By the end of their first day the teachers know all their names.

“Obviously, it’s a deprived area but we get children from all different areas because it’s a Catholic school, but we’ve never felt like it’s a deprived school. All the children are treated the same and treat each other the same.

“I’m not Catholic but I sent my children here for the Catholic education and ethos which goes right through everything that the children do.

“All the children are very polite and hold doors open for you.”

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