Sixty years old but school still rocks

DIAMOND CELEBRATIONS Former students and long standing members of staff join the children of Elm Academy to celebrate the school’s 60th (sixty) birthday. From left to right: Former pupil and school cleaner, Marion Dominey; Elm teacher for 30 years, Sylvia Traynor; Acting Principal, Jo Fish; Elm TA for 30 years, Diane Lockwood; former pupil and Elm TA, Sam Boyd; former pupil and Elm TA for 30 years, Elissa Dade. Back row: former pupil David James.

DIAMOND CELEBRATIONS Former students and long standing members of staff join the children of Elm Academy to celebrate the school’s 60th (sixty) birthday. From left to right: Former pupil and school cleaner, Marion Dominey; Elm teacher for 30 years, Sylvia Traynor; Acting Principal, Jo Fish; Elm TA for 30 years, Diane Lockwood; former pupil and Elm TA, Sam Boyd; former pupil and Elm TA for 30 years, Elissa Dade. Back row: former pupil David James.

A Bournemouth school turned back the clock to jive and rock its 60th birthday celebrations.

Current and former staff and students came together for a 1950s themed party to celebrate the diamond anniversary of the Elm Academy.

Elm began life in 1956 as West Howe County Primary School.

Since then its name has changed a few times but there are still many of the recognisable faces of those 50s and 60s heydays still on the scene.

In fact not one but four members of staff are former pupils from back in the day.

And for the celebrations the school welcomed back one of its very first pupils David James who travelled all the way from Shropshire to be there for Elm’s special day.

He said: “My dear old mum saw me off from the front gate this morning just like she did 60 years ago – although it took me a bit longer to get to school this time!”

On this special 60th anniversary staff and students dressed as 1950s rock n rollers.

Throughout the day there were special activities for the children focussing on the decades through the past 60 years.

Then the whole school came together for a party in the afternoon where they were joined by former staff and pupils.

A giant cake was made for the occasion by Elm’s PFA (parents and friends association).

Acting principal of Elm, Jo Fish, said: “It was wonderful to welcome back so many people to our school.

“The children have thoroughly enjoyed learning about decades gone by and getting a taste of what life was like for their grandparents.”

The day of celebration also focused on the many people who have dedicated much of their lives to Elm.

These included teaching assistants and ex-pupils Sam Boyd, Diane Lockwood and Elissa Dade who between them have worked at the school for 71 years.

In addition there are six other members of staff who have notched up 115 years between them.

And the traditional links between ex-pupils and school looks set to continue with four ex Elm students joining the staff as new TAs and apprentices.

Executive principal of the LeAF Academy, Gill Blanshard said: “Being part of the Elm Academy is being part of one big happy family, which is why so many former pupils are still connected to the school to this day.

“It has been a diamond 60 years and I am sure there will more diamond years to come.”

 

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