During the week beginning 11th June, we are celebrating 50 years of education at Park Mead. The Infant school opened first with 36 children as the estate was being built and the older pupils transferred to the Junior school to form their first intake of 99 pupils. Over the years, many changes have taken place; transition to first and middle schools, Grant Maintained and Foundation Status and the schools’ rapidly expanding pupil population peaked at just under 950 in the late 1970s. Class numbers in the high 30s was not uncommon and the largest recorded was 44. This in the days before the advent of Teaching Assistants and support staff! In September 2003, the Primary School opened as an amalgamation of the Infant and Junior Schools.
In the build-up, there will be a fiftieth anniversary Scarecrow Trail. From Friday 11th May to Monday 21st May, entrants can visit all the scarecrows around the village, complete the puzzle and vote for their favourite to win a fabulous prize. Maps can be purchased from the school, Manns of Cranleigh’s toy department or from our sponsors, Cubitt and West.
The week promises to be an exciting one, packed with activities and events for past and present pupils, staff, parents and grandparents. School meals will be served in the manner of menus of the 1960s, culminating in a street party on Friday 15th June. The curriculum will incorporate historical events of the time, music, art and how Cranleigh itself has expanded. We may even study pre-decimalisation measures in mathematics!
Past pupils are welcome to take part in guided tours of the school to see the changes in the buildings and layout during the mornings of Tuesday 12th, Wednesday 13th and Thursday 14th June. Please contact the school office on 01483 274315 or for more details. A more formal tea-party event for past and present staff is planned for Tuesday 12th from 6.00 pm. Our current School Council will prepare a time capsule for future generations and on one evening we hope to host an 80s style Roller Disco.
The week will culminate in the annual summer fair with a ‘Fabulous at Fifty’ theme and entertainment will be provided by staff and pupils. There will be refreshments, raffle, tombola, games, bouncy castles, fun in the nature garden, glitter tattoos and much more. Take a look around our Park Mead museum to view photos of what the school was like over the decades. The fair will take place on Saturday 16th June between 3 and 6 pm on the school field. Entry is free and all are welcome.
A lasting feature will be a monument comprising a mosaic of painted pebbles by all current pupils and staff. Former students and staff will have the opportunity to paint their pebble at the summer fair.