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Richard de Clare Academy in Halstead celebrates 175th anniversary with week of commemorative events


By Priya Kingsley-Adam


Richard de Clare primary school has marked its 175th anniversary..The school has hosted a number of events to celebrate the milestone.....PICTURE: Mecha Morton... (12921847)
Richard de Clare primary school has marked its 175th anniversary..The school has hosted a number of events to celebrate the milestone.....PICTURE: Mecha Morton... (12921847)

For more than a century, Richard de Clare Academy has welcomed students through its doors.

Last week marked the 175th anniversary for the Halstead primary school and nursery, which hosted a series of week-long events to commemorate the milestone.

Students and staff – both past and present – accompanied by guests joined in the celebrations.

Headteacher Sarah Donnelly was delighted to see the children take such an interest in the school’s history and understand the significance of the milestone.

“The children have been fascinated by looking at photographs of the site, where dresses and activities may have changed, but the school is still clearly recognisable,” she said.

“We have been so fortunate to be custodians of the school at this time – it has been wonderful to share memories and develop the children’s love of history, while creating memories for the future.”

Youngsters led visitors on a nostalgic journey, which involved them being transported through the decades to 1844, when the school was first established, and back to the present day.

Nostalgic songs associated with that era were performed, before a group sing-along.

Former staff and pupils, some of whom are now aged in their 90s, shared fond memories of their time at the school.

“We have reflected on the past, present and future and have been truly excited,” added Mrs Donnelly.

Halstead mayor Andrew Munday was among the guests treated to a street-party themed lunch, followed by classroom celebrations.

Traditional clothes representing every era from 1844 were showcased by youngsters and staff.

Traditional classes, which conformed to a curriculum of the Victorian era, gave students an insight into the various subjects taught during the period.

Former school records, accompanied by a series of old photographs, featured in a display.

An aerial photograph depicting all members of the school, in the formation of the number 175, was created to mark the occasion.

The week-long festivities culminated with a time capsule being buried.



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