Halifax school celebrates 140th birthday with fun day of activities

A Halifax school recently celebrated its 140th birthday with a fun day of activities linked to the school's past and an exciting dive into the local area's history.

By Tom Scargill
Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 11:11 am

Bowling Green Infants School, in Stainland, first opened its doors in 1882, so say the log books shared with children during the anniversary and also the sign above one of the school's entrances.

"We knew we would have to mark the special occasion', said Jamie Stuttard, school principal. "Our children loved stepping back through time through photographs and recordings about what school was like in the late 1800s and early 1900s."

Combining the 140th birthday party with the Queen's jubilee, the children wore red, white and blue for part of the celebrations and party clothes for a birthday disco in the evening.

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Celebrating Bowling Green Academy's 140th birthday

Children learned some traditional school songs and played playground games popular when the school opened its doors for the first time, such as Croquet, Quoits, Skittles and Bex Ladder. One of the most popular games during the birthday celebrations was Cup and Ball, which the children concentrated on immensely.

Noah, aged eight, said: "It's great - I'm obsessed! It looks so easy but it's really difficult."

The children also looked at photographs of the local area from different decades, including Stainland's role in the industrial revolution and the tram line that some children may have taken to school.

The oldest photos of children in the school were thought to be from the early 1900s, a group of well-dressed girls in the school's hall.

Celebrating Bowling Green Academy's 140th birthday

"Their clothes were so different to what we wear today', said Imogen, aged 11. "It's amazing to work out where in school these pictures are and think about what it looks like today. Bowling Green has changed so much, like boys and girls being taught together, the lessons and the classrooms."

Children explored log books from headteachers and guests, old curriculums and, with great interest, an old record of corporal punishment.

"The children were fascinated by the cane," said Tom Andrews, History Leader and Assistant Principal. "The children were punished for behaviour such as truancy and fighting, but also for careless work. When I asked them if they would prefer to go to school then or now, most said now - they certainly didn't want the fear of four rounds on their 'seat'!"

Finally, the children looked to the future by making video diaries to explain for future generations what school is like today and share their best memories of Bowling Green in the year 2022.

Bowling Green Academy

"We had a brilliant day celebrating our wonderful school', added Jamie. "The children have had a great time learning about our local past and by celebrating Bowling Green Academy and Stainland. We have so many amazing and thoughtful children here - we knew this day would be a success. It is a school and community worth celebrating so here's to the next 140 years of Bowling Green."

Bowling Green Infants School opened in 1882. The Headmaster at the time, John Taylor, wrote about the school's small teaching staff and pupils positively. Later, it expanded to include a woodwork centre for boys from around the local area and eventually became Bowling Green Junior and Infants Primary School for children aged between 4 - 11. In 2019, it became Bowling Green Academy, a one-form entry school at the heart of its community.

Celebrating Bowling Green Academy's 140th birthday
Celebrating Bowling Green Academy's 140th birthday
Celebrating Bowling Green Academy's 140th birthday
Celebrating Bowling Green Academy's 140th birthday