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Galliard Primary celebrates its 80th Anniversary

Published on:

26 May 2017

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As the sun shone down yesterday, (25 May), Galliard Primary School in Edmonton hung out the banners as they held a huge celebration of parades, dancing, music and displays to celebrate their opening 80 years ago in 1937.

As the sun shone down yesterday, (25 May), Galliard Primary School in Edmonton hung out the banners as they held a huge celebration of parades, dancing, music and displays to celebrate their opening 80 years ago in 1937.

As part of the celebration, the school hosted a ‘Dance Festival’ with other Edmonton schools: West Lea, Wilbury, Fleecefield and St Edmund’s. The children (and a staff group!) performed maypole dances on the school field and sang some traditional songs to guests from the local community, including old pupils from the school.  

There was also be a special celebration of the history of the school with displays in classrooms, special photographic exhibitions and an enthralling 1930s classroom.

Galliard Infant and Junior Schools opened on the 6th March 1937, then in 1985 the two schools joined as Galliard Primary School.

So much has happened to the school during its 80 years.  Two years after the school opened World War Two started and children were evacuated first to Witham in Essex and then to Bicester in Oxfordshire. The children returned home to Edmonton and to school when an underground air raid shelter was built under Galliard’s playing field. When the air raid sirens sounded, the children found protection there.

School life then continued, with Galliard growing in size as new classes were built and an Early Years building was added.

The Headteacher of Galliard School, Penny Sullivan, said “Galliard is a school with a rich history.

“During preparations for our 80th anniversary both staff and children have been fascinated with what they have found out about the education of a child from the 1930s to the present day. It has been especially interesting to talk to old pupils about their experiences as so much has changed in education.

“To the hundreds of staff, governors, helpers, and to the thousands of children and parents who have played their part in the history of Galliard, we would like to send our grateful thanks.”

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Children’s Services & Protection, Cllr Ayfer Orhan, said “It’s difficult to appreciate what life must have been like for children in 1937 who entered school for the first time.

“Compulsory education ended when they were 14, and for the majority, that meant they had to find jobs. Now children are encouraged to continue in education until they are 18, and many of today’s pupils will go to university, something that the first Galliard School pupils would have only dreamed about.

“I was delighted to join in with their wonderful celebrations and I wish them the best for the future.”

On Wednesday 5 July at 4.00pm Galliard is holding an open evening to look around the school and to celebrate their 80 years. If any former pupils can attend, please contact Mrs Berman at the School Office on 0208 443 9539.

There will be a chance to look around the school to meet staff and current pupils and talk to each other over refreshments.