by Des Foxon, Headteacher at St George and St Teresa

On Wednesday 19th September 2018, we marked our school Golden Jubilee year with a whole-school Mass.

We were joined by The Worshipful the Mayor of Solihull, Councillor Mrs Flo Nash, who, at the end of the Mass, spoke in a most complimentary way about the love she had found in our school community.

It was a great honour and privilege to also have in attendance the High Sheriff of the West Midlands, Chris Loughran Esq and his wife Jane.

Also present were members of the governing body and the Headteachers of our local secondary schools.

The Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Bernard Longley and involved past pupils and staff, parents, governors, parishioners, members of the adult and the school choir.

During the Mass, we gave thanks to all who have been part of St George and St Teresa School over the past 50 years and prayed for the continuing success of the school.

At the end of Mass, we lit candles on a birthday cake and joined in singing ‘Happy Birthday.’

In his homily, the Archbishop reflected on the significant changes in the world during the past 50 years, but suggested that the core values of our school were still strongly rooted in its Catholic life.

Archbishop Longley wrote to the school after the celebration:
“I want to thank you and the whole school community for the very warm welcome I received when I came to visit you on the 19th September. It was good to be able to see something of the life and activities of St George and St Teresa Primary School community and I was very impressed.”

It was a wonderful celebration.

In a short address to conclude the Mass, Des Foxon, Headteacher, relayed some of the early memories and the most recent success of being placed in the top one per cent of schools in the country, and for achieving first place in the rank of schools in Solihull, for its Key Stage 2 results.

Mr Foxon quoted from the last school Ofsted inspection, in July 2018: “You have ensured that the school provides pupils with the best possible start in life.”

We welcomed back to St George and St Teresa, former pupils and members of staff from across the past 50 years, including pupils of the first intake in 1968.

We were delighted that Mrs Cawley was able to join us, the wife of the second Headteacher of the school, John Cawley.

The school was open to view and visitors very much enjoyed touring the site and rekindling memories of their time here.

It was a wonderful opportunity to meet up with old friends and colleagues as everyone joined together for coffee and homemade cakes.

Special thanks were offered on behalf of the whole community by Liz Moloney, vice-chair of the governing body, to Monsignor Daniel McHugh on his recent retirement as Parish Priest of St George and St Teresa.

Year groups displayed a wide range of historic events from the 60’s - from yellow submarine to oil exploration, via the excitement and colour of 60’s music, fashion and popular culture.

Following Mass the whole school community enjoyed a picnic on the school field.

The beautiful weather added to the wonderful atmosphere of celebration, providing what will hopefully be an occasion living long in everyone’s memory.

Quotes from children in Year 5 from their Class Council meeting following the event:

“It was good to see people who had left the school return for the 50th birthday celebrations.”

“Walking into school that morning was a joy as we walked through the gates there were balloons everywhere.”

“It was interesting to hear about the history of the school and how much it had grown and changed since 1968.”

“We loved holding part of the celebration in church.”

“It was great to have the Mayor of Solihull and our new Parish Priest Father Robert.”

“The activities were great fun.”

“It was lovely that so many invited people were able to attend.”

Photos by Peter Harrington:

50th anniversary at St George and St Teresa Catholic Primary School