PICTURE SPECIAL: This event was Strictly a celebration - Haddenham school marks 150 years

Brendan Cole was the guest of honour at Haddenham St Mary's celebration event - image: haddenham.net
Brendan Cole was the guest of honour at Haddenham St Mary's celebration event - image: haddenham.net

Haddenham St Mary’s School celebrated their 150th anniversary on Friday April 27 with a fun-filled afternoon featuring pupils singing and dancing.

Ballroom dancer Brendan Cole, a familiar face as part of BBC TV’s Strictly Come Dancing programme, was the special guest.

Brendan Cole and staff at Haddenham St Mary's enjoy a dance to celebrate the school's 150th anniversary

Brendan Cole and staff at Haddenham St Mary's enjoy a dance to celebrate the school's 150th anniversary

Former headteacher Pauline Woods, who was at the helm when the school transferred in 1981 from its original home in the Victorian building now known as St Mary’s Centre, provided a touching recollection of that dramatic improvement in the school’s accommodation.

Pauline also paid tribute to the further development at the school in the form of the four new classrooms that have been added to the east side of the school, increasing the space and enhancing the facilities.

Pupils spoke of their delight at the new learning space before Pauline cut a ribbon to declare them officially open.

Pupils celebrate with an enthusiastic rendition of “The Bare Necessities” dance from the Jungle Book.

Pauline Woods cuts a ribbon to mark the opening of new classrooms at Haddenham Community Junior School

Pauline Woods cuts a ribbon to mark the opening of new classrooms at Haddenham Community Junior School

Teacher Alice Gilbert Scott then spoke about the time capsule which she and some pupils had been preparing.

This was buried to mark the school’s 150th anniversary with items including some selected writings and drawings by pupils, plans of the newly built classrooms, “diamonds” used as rewards for good work and effort, a current edition of a newspaper aimed at young readers, a school lunch menu for the week, a ‘Star of the Week’ pupil reward certificate, a photograph of some pupils participating in a drum workshop, and a school sports T-shirt bearing the school’s badge.

Celebrations continued with pupils demonstrating a high tempo dance routine before guest of honour Brendan concluded proceedings by cutting a cake.

Brendan then took the opportunity to thank staff and pupils for the invitation to join them at this historic event and to encourage them in continuing their hard work to achieve their future goals.

Teacher Alice Gilbert Scott with Haddenham St Mary's time capsule

Teacher Alice Gilbert Scott with Haddenham St Mary's time capsule

This was followed by some further words of encouragement from Aylesbury’s deputy mayor Mark Willis.

Guests then went to the new classrooms to enjoy a slice of the anniversary cake and to see a display of the school’s history.

Images courtesy of haddenham.net.

Brendan Cole cuts the celebration cake alongside Haddenham St Mary's headteacher Karen Collett

Brendan Cole cuts the celebration cake alongside Haddenham St Mary's headteacher Karen Collett

Pupils from Haddenham St Mary's enjoying the school's 150th anniversary celebration event

Pupils from Haddenham St Mary's enjoying the school's 150th anniversary celebration event