Host of memories from former pupils as Chesterfield school celebrates 50th birthday milestone

Pupils and staff have enjoyed a special celebration to mark the 50th anniversary of their Staveley school.

Tuesday, 8th December 2020, 4:45 pm

A series of events to mark the milestone at Speedwell Infant School – many of them funded by the National Lottery – had to be cancelled in March and April because of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.

However, after the school reopened to the majority of youngsters in the autumn, teachers were determined to find some way to mark the occasion.

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Speedwell Infant School at Staveley celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Kira, Joey, Lily-Mae, Ela, Sophia and Isaac with their anniversary jumpers.

The school had ordered special jumpers for children to wear during the celebration events – and now all the pupils have been kitted out and are proudly wearing their special jumpers around school.

Headteacher Jane Moore said: “The children learnt about the history of the school, including interviewing ex-pupils, staff and parents, looking at old photos, newspaper cuttings and other information about the school.

"A special 50th anniversary song was composed with the children through the Derbyshire Music Service, and the children all prepared songs and information to share during the celebratory week.

"Then Covid struck, the country went into lockdown and schools closed just a few weeks before the big events. Everything had to be cancelled.

Speedwell Infant School headteacher Jane Moore with the original plaque for the school's opening in 1970.

“The children of keyworkers and vulnerable children continued to access school, and they planted out the new flower bed at the front of school with flowers to celebrate the 50th anniversary.

"The special jumpers for children to wear during the celebration events had already arrived at school, so when everyone returned in the autumn, all the children were given a commemorative jumper to wear in school.

"The children are proudly wearing their special jumpers around school, and all look very smart.

“The children have gathered a treasure trove of information about the school, including audio recordings of past and present staff and pupil’s memories and experiences, old school records and photos.”

The school now aims to preserve these items in a special commemorative box for future generations.

Many of the spring events were organised with the help of Richard Godley, from East Peak Countryside Associates, who helped the school secure funding from the National Lottery Communities Fund.

One of the legacies of the project was to establish a Friends of Speedwell group to support future fundraising for the school.

Anyone interested in helping out should contact [email protected].

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