End of 40-year era for family's children at the same school

FOR  the first time in over four decades Cumberland Infant School will not have any children belonging to a local family on their roll call.

Thursday, 2nd August 2018, 6:38 pm
Updated Friday, 31st August 2018, 5:11 pm
The Singh family outside Cumberland Infant School

 After moving to Portsmouth in 1974 the Singh family have overseen a total of 36 children spread across three generations attend the school.

Grandfather Jaswant Singh has seen five of his own children and seven grandchildren '˜pass through the school gates'.

When granddaughter Sartaj, seven , left at the end of the summer term it represented the first time in over 40 years that no member of the family were being taught at the school. 

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Jhad Sing, sSon of Jaswant and Kalwant Kaur, niece, in 1985

'˜We have a real affinity with the school. My siblings Nelam and Satver were the first to go to the school when they joined at the age of seven in 1975. This year will be the first time since then that there will not be a child from this family at Cumberland School,' explained Mr Singh.

The second generation of children started  at Cumberland in 1981 and between 1978 and 1983 there were '˜at least nine of the family children at the school at any one time'.

Daughter Rajni was part of the second generation of children to attend the school.

'˜Cumberland was a fantastic school to go to. I had two other cousins there with me and we had a really great time and were able to help each other with our work,' explained Rajni.

Grandson Yuvraj, 9, left the school two years ago as part of the third generation of pupils.

Yuvraj said: '˜My experience of Cumberland was great. They helped me get from low grades in my work to really high grades.'

Whilst the family all live within half a mile of the school it is not only geography which has been the deciding factor in children attending Cumberland.

'˜Every child who has attended Cumberland has gone on to be successful and it is all thanks to their educational grounding  . One of my grandchildren is partially sighted and the school have been amazing in teaching him braille,' explained Mr Singh. 

Whilst it may appear to be the end of an era the hiatus will only be temporary with the first member of the fourth  generation, three-year-old Gurveer, set to start at the school in September 2019.