FORMER pupils and teachers returned to a Portchester school to join in its 50th anniversary celebrations.
Former members of staff and governors of Wicor Primary School were invited to a VIP reception yesterday morning.
And last night saw former pupils come back to their old school in Hatherley Crescent, to perform on the fields in a festival named ‘Wicorfest’.
Deputy headteacher Sue Keeling said: ‘It’s a milestone. It’s a chance for us to celebrate all the things that are fantastic about our school and the way we have grown over the last 50 years.
‘It was a junior school when it started and now it’s a primary school with 430 children.
‘It’s a really integrated part of the local community.
‘This is a good opportunity to celebrate with the community past and present.
‘We have explained what’s going on to the children. They are very excited.
‘This event is saying thank you to all who have contributed significantly to the school over the years. It’s lovely to see people around who haven’t seen each other for years and pick up where they left off.
‘It’s a gathering of old friends really.’
As part of yesterday’s celebrations, pupils at the school gave tours to former members of staff to show how the school has changed over the years.
Lewis Kent, a retired teacher who taught at the school for 12 years, said: ‘It was a very nice celebration.
‘In the time that I worked at the school there were vast improvements not only to the environment of the school but also the education.’
Liz Kempster, who began teaching at the school on a supply basis 28 years ago and is now retired, said: ‘It’s marvellous.
‘It gives people a chance to see how much the school has come on.’
Headteacher Mark Wildman said: ‘It’s remarkable that we have got such a collection of different people here.
‘The school is such a success in so many ways.
‘For me the real success here is the number of people who try and get out into the community.’
There was even more reason for the school to celebrate yesterday.
Portchester councillor Roger Price is giving £1,000 from his personal fund as a county councillor towards work on the school’s play trail.