Archway School’s diamond anniversary celebration took place this afternoon, Saturday.
The comprehensive school in Paganhill, Stroud, welcomed its first pupils in 1961, though the official opening took place the following year, as headteacher Kieron Smith explained: “The Friends of Archway School organised the diamond anniversary celebration of the school officially opening in March 1962. Of course, some students arrived in September 1961, but officially it was 1962, so that’s why we’re celebrating now – and Covid also got in the way to delay our plans.”
Some of the pupils from the first intake at the school visited the event, which included burying a time capsule, displays of photographs and newspaper cuttings from the past six decades, and music performed by Archway students.
“It’s lovely to see so many old boys and girls from Archway School going right back to the early days,” added Mr Smith.
“It’s just great to get everyone together and reminisce a bit and talk about the old times – and think about the future as well with this time capsule, and where we are going to be in 40 years’ time.”
The time capsule includes letters from former staff members and headteachers, as well as photos and memories from current students and staff members. Plans are to dig it up in 2062, the school’s centenary year.
Archway opened its doors to a generation of post-war children and was one of the first comprehensive schools in Stroud. The sixth form opened in the 1980s and the school now has 1,000 pupils on its roll.
One of the visitors was Julie Brindle, a teacher who retired from Archway last year after teaching PE, Art, and Design Technology.
“The community amongst the staff, and the sense of fun, made it feel like a very happy, family-based community,” said Ms Brindle.
“Archway was my fourth school and in previous schools I’d never experienced such a community and the care and consideration shown here.”
See our gallery of photos below: