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One of Warwickshire’s smallest schools is marking its 150th anniversary

FORMER teachers and pupils will join the current staff and children tomorrow (Friday) for a celebration of 150 years of Loxley Community Primary School.

One of the county’s smallest schools, it was created in 1840 opposite the village church – St Nicholas – but was moved brick-by-brick to its current location, opposite the Fox pub, in 1874 after land was donated to the school by Mr Upstone.

The school, which originally cost £170 to build and was supported by public subscription, has changed over the years but has remained a central part of the Loxley community.

That will be reflected tomorrow at the anniversary celebrations which will include stalls, games, dancing and singing, food and drink as well as the chance to tour the school.

A class photo from 1897.
A class photo from 1897.

A new artwork, featuring thumb prints of everyone who attends the event, is also being created to commemorate the school’s 150th year. It will be turned into an installation by artist Kate White.

Headteacher Claire Woolley told the Herald the event, which runs from 2.30pm until 5.30pm, is for the whole community and will include visits from former headteachers.

“I am immensely proud to be head of Loxley CofE Community Primary School, it is a wonderful place to be with its warm and friendly atmosphere, enthusiastic children and supportive families,” Claire said. “We are proud to be the smallest school in Warwickshire because we can provide the very best educational experience for our children.

“We are like one big, happy family. Everyone knows everyone and the oldest pupils are fantastic role models for the youngest.”

She added: “The school has changed a great deal over the last 150 years but we are so proud to be continuing the great work of educating the leaders of the future, just as they were back in 1874.”

The school in the 1990s.
The school in the 1990s.

Many of the changes at the school – alongside key events – can be found in the school’s logbooks, which have been kept by Loxley headteachers since 1927.

Claire explained: “These reveal fascinating insights into the running of the school as well as into significant world and local events in history.

“Current pupils have used these historical accounts to learn about both the First and Second World Wars. They were fascinated by accounts of the bell, currently hanging in the school hall, being used to welcome evacuees to school each morning during the Second World War.”

Those wartime logbooks, updated by headteacher Miss Rose (1929-1961) detail how land girls were billeted at the school in August 1943 and how the number of evacuee children attending Loxley steadily increased and eventually outnumbered the village children.

In 1944, the children also raised an impressive £54 during the ‘Salute a Soldier’ week – that would be worth about £3,000 today.

One thing which had changed is that children no longer have to collect coal from the coal scuttle and place it onto an open fire in the hall. That stopped in 1988.

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