Two schools' birthday celebrations can finally go ahead

Outside Giles Nursery and Infants' School and Giles Junior School on Durham Road in Stevenage

Giles Nursery and Infants' School and Giles Junior School in Stevenage will be celebrating their 50th anniversaries on Saturday - Credit: Louise McEvoy

Two neighbouring schools are celebrating their 50th anniversaries this weekend with all the fun of the fair and a trip down memory lane. 

The Giles Nursery and Infants' School and Giles Junior School on Durham Road in Stevenage were built next door to each other in 1970 and have both been expanded in recent years from two-form entry schools to three.

The COVID-19 pandemic put paid to any plans to celebrate their 50th anniversaries last year, but all that is about to change. 

Rouane Mendel, headteacher of the nursery and infants' school, said: "Everyone is tremendously excited to finally be celebrating."

She continued: "Our school sits at the heart of its community and is proud of the richness and diversity of the families it serves.

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"The school has a local reputation for high standards, high achievement, good behaviour and kindness, for providing a richly creative curriculum and offering an abundance of engaging learning experiences."

This week, each pupil will receive a golden ticket which entitles them to free entry - as well as popcorn and candyfloss - to a traditional fair at the school on Saturday.

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Activities are set to include hook a duck, hoopla, tin can alley, coconut shy, bouncy castle and crazy golf.

Over at the junior school, people with a connection to the school community - whether past or present - will be welcomed between noon and 3pm on Saturday for a peek at some old photographs and a tour of the school. This is a ticketed event, so email if you wish to attend.

Giving an insight into the school, deputy head Louise Jones said: "It is extremely inclusive. Our ethos is strongly rooted in the concept of equity, in that we believe each child should have what they need in order to thrive. We understand this may be different for each child and we work hard to make that happen. We also support the children to understand this concept too.  

"We follow The Leader in Me programme, which provides a holistic approach to education, rather than focusing solely on academic measures. The core value is that everyone can be a leader. The programme empowers children to become leaders of themselves, be self-reliant, take the initiative, set goals, prioritise their time and so much more.

"I believe our staff make Giles incredibly special. We have a team of adults who are passionate, committed and always go above and beyond for the children in their care, as well as their colleagues."

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