St Mary’s is celebrating its 150th Anniversary in September 2023.
The school officially opened on 30 September 1873 under the reign of Queen Victoria when Amersham’s population was just 3,000. It would be a further 19 years until Amersham station opened as part of the extension of the Metropolitan Railway. The original school consisted of two large classrooms at the east and west of the building housing girls and boys separately with a smaller infants room in the middle. The school cost £1,275 to build and was funded by subscriptions from residents and grants from the Diocese of Oxford.
Staff, pupils and governors are excited to reflect on the school’s history since then through the curriculum and special events. These will include:
· Study of the school’s and community’s history since 1873 by every child in Years 1-6, culminating in displays in the Amersham Museum front window and in school (Summer and Autumn terms).
· School tours led for past pupils and staff (pre 2010) where children will seek to find out more about the school’s history. There will be an opportunity to meet other fellow ex-pupils at an afternoon tea planned for Friday 30th June. Please email the school office at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in joining us for a tour and/or the afternoon tea.
· Alumni Talks will take place in June and July, where some ex-pupils will share more about their careers since leaving St Mary’s. We would like to hear from more of our past pupils in this regard, so please email the office (email address above) if you would like to be involved.
· Appeal for old school photos, memories and memorabilia to become part of an exhibition hosted in Amersham Old Town and becoming part of a new book currently being written to celebrate the anniversary.
· Recreating the opening ceremony, procession from school to St Mary’s Church and a celebratory church service, due to take place on Friday 29th September.
· Crowd sourcing of a time capsule showcasing Amersham in 2023 to be buried at St. Mary’s with instructions to open again in 2173.
· In addition, we also aim to create a positive legacy for the school and wider Amersham community for the next 150 years.
These legacy efforts will focus on boosting the sustainability and biodiversity of the school and will be achieved by:
· Securing Eco School status, creating new pupil Eco Champions and making the school and its community more sustainable.
· Creating a new fruit tree orchard of rare and heritage varieties and wildflower meadow to increase the biodiversity of Old Amersham and planting further trees on the school grounds to provide homes for wildlife.
· Planting a new ‘Class Tree Library’ providing an area for children to seek shade, relax and read.
· Creation of a herb garden, which will be looked after by the children, for use by all families.
· Educating the children about biodiversity on the school grounds and involving them in the care, observation and maintenance of our natural environment
· Restoration of the historic school bell originally housed in a 60ft high bell turret and decorative features of the original school building.
Please see further details about our ‘Every Living Thing’ Biodiversity Project proposal attached below.
The school governors, in partnership with the Friends of St. Mary’s (FOSMs), have committed to an ambitious fundraising target of £150,000 for the year.
Fundraising planned or underway includes:
· Funds raised from the feature brick pathway for Rectory Meadow, Celebration Gala Event and other donations from the community.
· Sponsorship of the Class Tree Library with seating areas on Rectory Meadow.
· Sponsorship by Wild Amersham through BBOWT, Amersham and Villages Community Board and Amersham Revite Group.
If you are interested in helping out with these efforts, have special memories of your time at St Mary’s or would like to make a sponsorship donation then please be in touch.