Friday 10th June 2022 brought the St Barnabas’ CE Primary School & Nursery, Westminster, community together to celebrate the school’s 175th anniversary. St Barnabas’ School has sat proudly on the corner of Pimlico Road and St Barnabas’ Street since 1847 and has a rich and vibrant history that was captured in a range of events throughout the day.
A special service in St Barnabas’ Church with The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Sarah Mullally, Bishop of London began the anniversary events. Every class was present at the service, along with parents, staff and governors – the church was full! Bishop Sarah spoke about showing compassion and kindness to one another and then blessed commemorative anniversary mugs that were presented to every pupil and member of staff.
Children in each year group produced work to contribute to an anniversary exhibition that is currently on display in St Barnabas’ Church (www.stbarnabaspimlico.com). Children’s artwork, historical research, geographical comparisons (based on maps from 1850 to now) as well as a 3D model of the school have been displayed proudly alongside memoirs of St Barnabas’ alumni. Pupils who were taught at the school since 1930 shared their memories, photographs and even pieces of needlework for the school to display at the exhibition. Rachel Jewitt (Executive Headteacher) and Lauren Castle (Head of School) have been thrilled with the contributions from pupils past and present. Log books and diaries from the 1850s were displayed and gave a snapshot of life at the school during the Victorian period.
As the sun shone during the afternoon, every class walked across the road to Orange Square for an afternoon of English traditional dance performances. The hanky dance, garland dance, sword dance and Maypole dancing delighted the audience of parents, local residents as well as the diners in the nearby restaurant and cafe! Violinists from Years 5 and 6 played a range of pieces and were supported by their teachers from Music Masters (https://musicmasters.org.uk) who have a strong partnership with the school. The new Lord Mayor of Westminster, Cllr Hamza Taouzzale and MP, Nickie Aiken watched the dances and performances and spoke to parents and staff about the day’s events.
At the end of the afternoon, children and parents made their way back to school to enjoy a fabulous St Barnabas’ Day fair. Fairground games, a tombola and raffle helped raise funds for the school. Parents, staff and members of the Royal Hospital Chelsea helped run the stalls, and local businesses and organisations donated some wonderful prizes for the raffle.
The day’s events encapsulated the core values of the school’s vision – Serve With Hope and Encouragement to Learn and Love. Pupils will surely remember this special event for years to come as we celebrate the life of St Barnabas’ in the past, present and future.