Century surprise for Hellingly school

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Pupils and staff at Hellingly Community Primary School were overjoyed to receive a cheque for hundreds of pounds as they marked a special birthday.

This year the school, based in North Street, turned 100-years-old.

To mark the occasion local firm Waitrose sent representatives along to hand over a cheque for £365.

This has gone towards a special mosaic the children made to celebrate the milestone.

Earlier this year head teacher Kyra Ward said the year had been a very special one for the school with the birthday also falling in the same year as the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Referring to the cheque presentation, Mrs Ward, who has been head teacher at the school since January, said, “It’s a donation from the local branch towards the centenary mosaic that the children made and which was unveiled earlier in the year by Dame Vera Lynn.

“I would like to thank the school and Waitrose for their continued support.”

Dame Vera Lynn visited the school, which has 209 pupils on roll aged four to 11-years-old, at the end of June to mark its centenary.

While there the Forces sweetheart cut a special birthday cake and the children sang to their special guest including one of her famous songs The White Cliffs of Dover.

There was a display of artworks and an exhibition of photographs of the school throughout its history.

There was a photograph of Dame Vera during a wartime visit to Burma where she is pictured with a great grandfather of one of the school’s pupils.

Dame Vera met the great grandchild, with the photograph, at the celebrations.

The community also got involved in the celebations and following the visit by Dame Vera tea and cakes were laid on for more than 200 past and present pupils, staff and parents and a celebratory supper.