Academy celebrates 40 years with parade and party

Official opening in 1977- Alan Burnage, Chair of Governors, Rt. Rev. Robert Runcie, Bishop of St Albans, David Hines, 
Head Teacher, and Rev. Sidney Ashfold, Vicar of Henlow.

Official opening in 1977- Alan Burnage, Chair of Governors, Rt. Rev. Robert Runcie, Bishop of St Albans, David Hines, Head Teacher, and Rev. Sidney Ashfold, Vicar of Henlow.

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A summer of celebrations are being planned at Henlow Church of England Academy which is marking its 40th anniversary.

The school, formerly Henlow Voluntary Controlled Middle School, opened in September 1976 with the official opening and dedication ceremony taking place in May 1977, conducted by the Right Reverend Robert Runcie, the Bishop of St Albans.

The school have planned a number of exciting events to mark and celebrate this momentous occasion.

On Thursday, June 16, Joan Vernon, the original cook, will help prepare and serve a 1970’s style school lunch. In the evening, there is free entry to a slideshow and talk on The Story of Henlow’s Schools, where the audience will find out about the changes and developments that have taken place in the village during the past 200 years.

On Friday, June 17, children will spend time researching events of the past 40 years, have a picnic lunch and take part in a village parade and a whole school photograph on the playground in the formation of 40 years. In the morning, there will also be a special anniversary assembly with all the former head teachers and several past pupils attending, along with special guest, the Right Reverend Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans.

On Saturday, July 9, there will be an open afternoon where all past and present pupils, staff, parents and governors are invited to visit the school and view the classrooms as they are today. There will be lots of photographs, displays and memorabilia from across the 40 years and a flypast by a Lancaster bomber. In the evening, a large marquee on the field will be the venue for a anniversary party with a barbecue, licensed bar and live entertainment from Two And A Half Men, a band consisting of former pupils and a parent.

Caren Earp, head teacher, said: “We are very proud of the quality of education that this school has offered to young people in the past, and continues to do so today. I do hope that everyone in the community will wish to join us in celebrating the 40th anniversary, by supporting the planned events and purchasing a copy of the book, Celebrating Forty Years, which has been specially written by former head teacher, Ray Payne, to tell the history of the school.”

Tickets for the Grand Social Evening, and copies of the book, can be purchased by contacting the school office on 01462 813733. Further information is also available on the school website at www.henlowacademy.co.uk