ONE of the most successful summer fêtes ever helped a school to celebrate its 40th anniversary year.
Pupils, teachers and parents, both past and present, gathered at Parklands Community Primary School for the Ruby Summer Fair.
“It was a lovely celebration,” said head teacher Alesa Henham.
“We had not just today’s pupils and parents but pupils and parents from the last 40 years, as well as staff and teachers.”
Those visitors included the school’s first head teacher, Mrs Sherman.
“It was a celebration, a reunion and just a gloriously sunny day,” said Mrs Henham.
The event was organised by the Friends of Parklands School and combined the annual fundraising summer fair with the school’s birthday celebrations.
“Our summer fair is always a big celebration towards the ends of the school year,” said Vicky Barkes, from the friends group.
“What made it really special was we had all these people with links to the school and the community as well.
“It had a really inclusive feel.”
One of the most popular activities on the day was a design-your-own-hedgehog competition.
The hedgehog is the school’s mascot because, on the first day Parklands opened, Mrs Sherman arrived to find a hedgehog curled up on the doorstep.
“We had the most fantastic variety of hedgehogs,” said Mrs Barkes.
“The standard was just extraordinary, there had been so much effort put into it.”
Entries were judged on the day by local artist Annie Timothy, with prizes for the winners in four categories – adult, key stage one, key stage two and pre-school.
Other attractions on the day included maggot racing, crockery smashing, stalls, traditional games and refreshments.
“All the children were so proud of their school, they were so chuffed to see past pupils and teachers coming back,” said Mrs Barkes.
“There was a really lovely sense of pride in the school. It has really enthused them for the rest of the term.
“It set the school off on a brilliant footing for the next 40 years.”
The enthusiasm of those involved obviously paid off with the event raising £5,000 for the school – thought to be the most a summer fair has raised.
The money is likely to be used for improvements to the garden and other facilities for the children.
“It is a fantastic sum to be able to do something really positive with for the children,” said Mrs Barkes.
Thanking everyone who helped to make the event a success, she said: “Big thanks to the head teacher and staff, they are so supportive of all the activities the friends do.
“We in turn raise funds for the school, it is a really proactive positive relationship between parents and staff for the benefit of our little ones.”