1867 was an exciting year for Arkholme. It saw the construction of both Arkholme Primary School and of the Furness and Midland Joint Railway line, putting
the rural village well-and-truly on the map. The Primary School opened its doors to its first pupils from local farming families in June, 1868.
The 150th year of Arkholme Primary School was celebrated in style, with an event each month to mark this momentous occasion. Details of our fantastic year are below.
It began with a meeting, local residents, former pupils, parents, staff and friends gathered to share their memories and ideas to mark this historic occasion. The opening of the school was in the same year as the opening of Arkholme Railway Station (now a private home), this therefore changed the village a huge amount in that year. It was decided to mark each month with a different event, tied to the history of the village or the school.
The year began in September with a blessing of the School’s Foundation Stone, Rev Michael Hampson came and performed the blessing. The children in year 6 had written stories from the point of view of children who started school on that first day of their brand new school. They read them to the gathered crowd. There are log books which were kept by the Headteachers dating back to the 1800’s, extracts were read from them by the children. The school and the community gathered to pray for a year of joy and celebration and it certainly has been, with more to come!
In November, there was a Remembrance Day Service during which we planted bulbs in the shape of a huge 150 at the front of school.
Children and local residents were invited to come and plant a bulb in memory of a loved one. They planted the bulb alongside a small flag with the name of their loved one on, the flowers were beautiful when they bloomed in early spring, bringing a lovely splash of colour.
December’s events were many… one of which was the whole school visit to The Judges Lodgings for a ‘Very Victorian Christmas’ All the children, staff and volunteer helpers came in full Victorian dress and had a wonderful day.
In January, recognising the rich history of willow weaving here in Arkholme, school had a visit from WillowPool. They came and helped the children build a willow dome, each child from Nursery, right up to year 6 and all the staff members, planted a willow stick. The dome has grown and blossomed and is now covered in beautiful green foliage, it is used as a quite reflective space by the children at playtime.
In February school contacted as many past pupils, parents and families as they could and invited them for a trip down memory lane. Photographs from our archives were gathered and people sent us their memories and created a fantastic display. It was really well attended and wonderful memories were shared.
In March the children travelled to Ashton Hall to perform in the Annual Music Festival, many parents and some grandparents of the children remembered performing in the same festival when they were at school. A great event and a wonderful celebration of music. March also saw the official opening of our new School Library, the conclusion of a huge amount of effort, fundraising, decorating and building of the whole school community. The children all entered an Easter Egg decorating competition and then took to the Village Hall field for some Egg Rolling.
April was a short month due to the Easter Holidays so the April event was moved into May. We held a street party to celebrate the Royal Wedding, the whole school came dressed in either Wedding guest attire or in red, white and blue. The tables were set, the children gathered, waved their flags and enjoyed a delicious picnic lunch in the playground. The same day we invited members of the local Lunch Club and other local residents for Afternoon Tea, the children in year 5 worked hard to make sure they were served a beautiful selection of cakes, sandwiches and tea and coffee.
In June there was a dedication of a Peace Pole in the school grounds. Carnforth Rotary Club kindly donated a Peace Pole, which is a square pole with the words ‘May Peace Prevail on Earth’ in a different language on each of it’s four sides. Parents, families, members of the Rotary, the Deputy Lieutenant of Lancashire and local residents were invited to come and share the dedication with us. The School Sports Day was also held in early June, a very longstanding tradition.
In July, there was the annual school production, this year it was ‘Pirates of the Curry Bean’ a swashbuckling tale of fun and shenanigans. Finally our celebrations were rounded off with the Summer Fayre.
The 53rd Arkholme Rose Queen was crowned. The crown is passed on by last year’s Rose Queen in a tradition dating back 53 years. She officially opened the Summer Fayre and we enjoyed games, food and lots of fun.
In July Mrs Whitaker and Mrs Ingram traveled to London because Mrs Ingram was nominated, shortlisted and subsequently WON the title of Personal Finance Teacher of the Year in a National Awards Ceremony by Moneywise!
At the heart of this has been our wonderful school community. The children, teachers, PTFA, families and friends. It has been an extremely busy year and everyone has thoroughly enjoyed it.In amongst all of this have been some fantastic sporting and academic successes. Wins in Athletics, swimming, golf, tag rugby and cross country to name but a few. One of our year 4 pupils, Thomas Wilson won ‘Young Engineer of the year’ in the L&M education Awards.
Class 3 took an overnight trip to High Borrans outdoor activity centre and Class 4 to Ford Castle in Northumberland, stopping off at Alnwick Castle for Wizard lessons on the way back!
The new academic year has been launched with a completely new school uniform which the children are very proud to wear to mark the long history of our school.