School's half-century celebrations can finally begin
St Augustine of Canterbury head teacher Mark Hilliam and assistant head Sara Allen with the school's Year 6 leavers this summer
A DOWNEND school is launching its 50th anniversary celebrations this month, after having to delay them because of the pandemic.
St Augustine's Catholic Primary School opened its doors to pupils in September 1970, having had its foundation stone laid the previous December.
The half-century celebrations were originally scheduled for 2020 but had to be postponed because of covid restrictions.
Now the school has announced plans to enable children, staff, parents and the rest of the community to mark the landmark anniversary with some special events.
First up is a visit from Happy's Circus on September 22, which has been organised by the school's parents, teachers and friends association.
Gates open from 4pm and the circus will perform two shows, at 4.30pm and 6.30pm.
All are welcome to attend the shows and tickets can be bought online at www.pta-events.co.uk/ptfastaugustinedownend, where more details can be found.
Anyone who is not currently a member of the school can register and buy tickets using the 'friend of St Augustines' option.
On the morning of September 29 Bishop of Clifton Declan Lang will visit for a mass to be held in the next door church, followed by a tour of the school and a ceremony to plant a commemorative tree.
Children and staff will be selecting items for a time capsule to be buried by the tree, and each pupil will receive a commemorative prayer card to mark the occasion.
Head teacher Mark Hilliam said: "This 50th anniversary marks the chance for us to commemorate half a century of Catholic education in Downend.
"The pandemic has delayed our festivities but we are delighted to be back with a range of events to celebrate our wonderful school and its successes at the heart of the community."
The school is encouraging former staff and pupils to share their favourite memories from their time at St Augustine's, by sending comments to email@example.com.
For more details about the school visit the website at www.staugustinedownend.org.uk.