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Englefield primary looks back over 150 years

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Around 450 people, including past and present staff, parents and pupils, gathered to look back at the 150 years since the school first opened.
An exhibition displayed photographs from the school’s long and proud history .
The school’s current youngest pupil, four-year-old Josie Pinkhardt, then touched the hearts of the many guests by presenting a bouquet of flowers to the school’s oldest former pupil, 92-year-old Olive Payne.
The guests were joined by local dignitaries including former pupil and Newbury MP, Richard Benyon, and the chairman of West Berkshire Council, Keith Chopping.
As part of a week of celebrations to mark the event, pupils also enjoyed a Victorian Day at Reading Museum.
Headteacher of three years, Joanna Leach, said that it had been fascinating to learn more about the school’s history.
She said: “It was amazing to find out about the past 150 years. We found out how the old infant classroom cost 76 pounds, seven shillings and tuppence to build in 1883.
“The Queen Mother also visited the school back in the 1980s, so it has a very rich and proud history.”
Mr Benyon said the school had a special place in his heart and that he was proud to be associated with its history.
“When I first started there were only a few pupils at the school and it is incredible to see how much the place has grown. It’s absolutely thriving,” he said.
“They have looked after me and my family and it was an honour to be part of such an historic event. I hope that it will continue to develop and to inspire people for at least another 150 years.”
The school now hopes to unveil a stone sculpture of a boy wearing Victorian robes alongside a girl in current school dress to represent its 150 years.
The garden party was followed by a church service led by the Bishop of Reading and a tree planting ceremony.

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