Kingsleigh Celebrate the Big 50

Kingsleigh Primary School in Bournemouth is celebrating 50 years since the Junior School was founded. To commemorate the occasion, the school has been working with students from Bournemouth University to put together an archive of memories, including photographs and soundbites from people in the community who have attended the school.

The celebrations culminated in a Year 4 Assembly, in which pupils looked back on the last 50 years and how the school has changed since the 1960’s. Pupils (and attending parents) were then invited onto the school playing field for an overhead photograph to record the occasion. And finally there was an exhibition of displays and photographs for pupils to show their parents, in a trail leading back to their classrooms.

The students from the University were also on hand at the Assembly to display the results of their work. Alongside year 4 pupils, the four History students – Jimmie Lydon, Elena Bailey, Glenn Ford and Ollie Dickin – have spent the last 6 months archiving photographs from the school and talking to ex-pupils in order to document how the school has changed. The project will be part of their final year degree course. Jimmie commented:

It has been a great project to work on and something really different. We have really enjoyed working with the Kingsleigh pupils, and hope everyone at the school and the wider community will find our results fascinating.”

The students have also developed an online archive that pupils will be able to access later in the year, along with their parents.

Kingsleigh Primary School has changed significantly over 50 years, not least in the new buildings that have been developed. Natalie Collinson (nee Dalton) was a pupil from 1985 to 1987, and her overriding memory of the school was how much smaller it was. She says:

The new buildings have made such a significant difference, and can offer pupils so much more. My daughter Lauren is currently at the school, and my son has just left, and the number of extra activities that are on offer to the kids is great. We love this school and it is brilliant to see how it has developed over the years.”

Fellow ex-pupil Mandy Newton, who now works herself at Kingsleigh, also remembers how the school has changed:

There used to be a huge mound of earth with a tunnel underneath and climbing frame over the top in the playground. Also, we had wooden desks and used to get told off if we dropped our pencils because of the lead. It’s all a lot different nowadays but it’s still a great school

Headteacher Richard Gower comments:

The whole week has been so hectic leading up to the year 4 Assembly, but I am thrilled with the final results. We have been planning this for over 6 months, and the University students have been great to work with, and I think their results speak for themselves. The school won’t stop developing as we strive everyday to make it better, and I for one am excited to see what the next 50 years will bring!”