A Coventry school has welcomed former staff members – including its very first headteacher – for a special event to mark its 50th anniversary.

St Gregory’s Catholic Primary School has held a day of celebrations to mark half a century of delivering education to children in the city.

The school, part of the Romero Catholic Academy, welcomed special guests including a number of former staff members and their families, as well as its very first headteacher Richard Carson.

The Most Reverend Bernard Longley, the Archbishop of Birmingham, held a Mass for children, staff and governors, colleagues from across the Academy and guests.

He then blessed the school’s newly-refurbished hall which has been named ‘The Robert Wright Hall’ in memory of its parish priest and school chaplain Father Robert Wright – better known as Father Bob - who passed away in March last year.

Guests were then treated to canapes and refreshments before taking a tour of the school which included displays of photos taken across the 50 years while the children enjoyed a special lunch.

The children also had a visit from an ice cream van and were given commemorative bookmarks and sweet cones to take home.

Paul Madia, Executive Principal at St Gregory’s Catholic Primary School, said: “It has been wonderful to reflect on 50 years of delivering Catholic education in Coventry and celebrating everything the school has achieved during this time.

“It’s been fantastic to welcome previous leadership and staff members from across the years and also welcome the Archbishop of Birmingham who delivered a Mass and paid tribute to much-missed Father Bob.

“The children had a wonderful day celebrating and sang so beautifully during Mass, and of course enjoyed the visit from the ice cream van!”

Richard Carson, who retired from his position in 1999, said: “It was brilliant to come back to St Gregory’s Catholic Primary School once again to celebrate such a milestone.

“When the school opened, I was the youngest head in Coventry at the time at just 29-years-old.

“I chose the colours of the uniform which are still used today and so have many fond memories from across the years.

“It was excellent to share these memories and catch-up with former staff members, and it was a lovely way to also remember Father Bob who I knew very well.

“It was a very fitting celebration to mark the occasion and I am extremely proud to have been part of it.”