Member Hipperholme Grammar Junior School has marked its Centenary Year with a week of celebratory activities and specially themed events.
The School premises at 45 Wakefield Road, Lightcliffe changed from a Liberal Club to a small preparatory school in 1915, and it was established as a centre for high quality education by three generations of the Watkins family. In 1955, the school was bought by Archibald Watkins, his son Philip took over in 1959, and his granddaughter Jackie Pickersgill ran the school from 1979.
In 1992, major extension work was completed which almost doubled the capacity of the school. Then in 2003, Lightcliffe Preparatory School was acquired by Hipperholme Grammar School, thus offering an ‘all round’ education facility spanning Nursery through to Sixth Form, and the name was changed to Hipperholme Grammar Junior School. The Junior School has since benefited from the addition of modern facilities, including a new, purpose built Hall and two Headteachers have helped oversee its transformation into a leading independent junior school for the area. Mrs Louise Reynolds held the position from 2008 to 2014 before handing over the reins in January 2015 to Mrs Sarah Weller.
Mrs Weller said; "I am very proud to be a part of our School’s history. We have made a fantastic start to our Centenary Year with our ‘Focus Week’. Every day of our Focus Week has brought something new and exciting for the children. They have enjoyed learning about the School's evolution and have had the chance to make history themselves."
Special Centenary activities at the Junior School have included visits from local singer/songwriter Roger Davies, who has created a new School song, and local war historian Mr Millichope, who gave the Junior children an informative talk on local life during the Great War.
Mr Simon London, a former pupil, and five former members of staff were invited into School to be interviewed and brought with them a wealth of information and old photographs. Mr Steven Smith wrote to the School following his visit, saying: "Thank you for the morning at School. It is stunning, and the children so bright and happy."
Mr Smith's visit followed an exciting day when the whole School went back in time and dressed in Edwardian costume to experience schooling as it used to be. Fortunately Edwardian style punishments did not need to be administered!
The week had begun with a presentation of £100 to ‘Guide Dogs for the Blind’ and ended with flower and bulb planting in the shape of ‘100’ in the School grounds. Head Boy and Girl at the Senior School, Kane Butler and Abigail Phillips, along with Junior School Head Boy Matthew Binns and Head Girl, Gemma Hall, helped to plant a tree and a time-capsule to mark this momentous occasion.
Year 5 pupil Imogen Manion said: "I have had a very exciting week. The time capsule was amazing, but my favourite part was Edwardian Day."
Many more ‘100’ themed activities took place in the classroom and out on the sports field where pupils formed the number 100 for an aerial photograph of the whole School.
Mrs Weller added: "It has been a wonderful week and one I know the children and staff will remember for some time. It is an important milestone in our School history and one that will mark the start of many more proud moments to come."