On Tuesday July 14, children, parents and teachers of the iconic Itchingfield Primary School in Barns Green celebrated the closing of the old school with a grand finale of fun filled activities, which including the burial of a time capsule to mark the momentous occasion.
The historic primary school, which was the last remaining split site school in West Sussex, has been present in the village for over 160 years with more than 3,500 pupils passing through its gates under the leadership of eight head teachers.
It is being replaced by a brand new school built by Berkeley Homes, whose award winning development, The Ashmiles, has created 69 new homes in the village. The new school premises will officially open in September, providing an inspirational and stimulating environment for the children of the village and beyond.
The focal point of the day was the filling and sealing of the time capsule with contributions from current pupils to mark the transition from the old to the new school. A pupil at the school has already been chosen to have the honour of excavating and opening it in 50 years’ time, in 2065.
The privilege of lowering the capsule into the ground was given to Mr Simon Simmons, Headmaster of Itchingfield Primary School, assisted by pupils.
The capsule contained:
n A video of the children entering the new school building for the first time
n A tile and brick from the old building
n A current school jumper
n A copy of The History of Itchingfield School book
nA selection of current school work
The school’s Parent Teacher Association generously hosted a fantastic afternoon of fun and entertainment for the whole school, including the cutting of a special celebratory ‘Time Capsule’ style cake complete with decorative bunting.
The pupils created an amazing huge tiled mosaic, which was designed by a local artist to recreate the school’s old lime tree logo, which will be hung in the new school building. As well as taking home party bags, the pupils also took home new skills as they were taught circus tricks by a circus entertainer.
Simon Simmons said: “Itchingfield Primary School holds a special place in the memories of pupils, parents and staff both past and present. It was important to celebrate its closing and our move to a brand new school in a memorable fun way. The burial of the Time Capsule seemed the most fitting way to capture the transition. It will house many memories and remind those in the future of the special history this iconic school has.”
Ben Annetts, Sales & Marketing Director, Berkeley Southern comments: “It was a privilege to witness such an historic day in the village. We are delighted to have played a key part in the development of Barns Green, the new school will significantly improve the educational services available to children in the locality for many years to come and our award winning new houses will provide much needed new homes in the area.”
Report and pictures contributed by Itchingfield Primary School.