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[31 MAR 00] MANOR PARK PRIMARY SCHOOL NEWS
Manor Park Primary Celebrates 50 Years
BY ANTONY HOPKER

A Coventry school this week celebrated its 50th anniversary by inviting back former pupils and staff to share old memories.

When Manor Park Primary School first opened its doors to youngsters in 1950, more than 720 children squeezed into the assembly hall and classes averaged 45 pupils each.

It was the first new school in Coventry to be built following the end of the Second World War and a host of civic dignitaries came out to mark the occasion.

Since then, more than 3,500 pupils and dozens of teachers have passed through the gates and been able to marvel at the creation.

The designers of the school capped the creation of new separate junior and infant schools with a large bird of prey at the front of the building to remind people that the site was used for hunting in the manor of Cheylesmore in medieval times.

This falcon is the school’s symbol and has been the inspiration for a week of celebrations for the pupils.

A range of activities have been held to commemorate the anniversary with a bird theme.

Every youngster aged between 3 and 11 has taken part in several activities including story-telling, poetry, music and drama.

For some of them it is a family affair as their parents and grandparents were also pupils at the school.

Many of the old faces met up to mark the golden anniversary of the school in Ulverscroft Road, Cheylesmore.

Among them was teacher Patti Webber, who has chalked up a quarter of a century at the school, and enjoyed re-acquainting herself with many of her former charges and colleagues.

Headteacher Adrian Hewett said the anniversary was a proud occasion for the school as many other schools in the city have been built and closed again since Manor Park opened.

Mr Hewett, who joined the school six years ago when the junior and infants sections merged, said:

"I don’t know how all the pupils got into the hall like that on the first day – we struggle to fit them in now and we have 565 pupils.

"We are lucky in that we have a lot of information and photos from when it opened. The children today feel that it is a part of history."

The celebrations were rounded off on Friday, when each pupil was given a commemorative gift, a birthday cake was cut, a time capsule buried and a photo of the entire school taken.
      

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CWN / Education / Schools / Coventry Primary Schools / Manor Park / 31 Mar 00

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