The sun was shining last Saturday (30th June) as Kingsmead celebrated 50 years since opening in September 1967 as the first comprehensive school in the borough of Enfield.
Over the past year, Kingsmead staff have been collecting and curating memorabilia for a wonderful display showing the school through the decades. This included key moments incluing: headteachers receiving prestigious awards and visiting Downing Street and Buckingham Palace; the school receiving an Outstanding rating from Ofsted; the reality show 'Hairspray the School Musical'; the Prime Minister's visit and the international Kingsmead Singers. It also honoured our amazing alumni who have gone on to have varied careers from senior police officer, top lawyers, doctors, actors and an animal rights campaigner. A call out on Enfield social networks asking former students to share favourite memories was met with offers of items to be displayed. Even the original cane used in the late 60s featured in a short play presented during the afternoon.
The afternoon programme started with an "open house" during which current students acted as guides showing former pupils and staff around the school. Each department offered a display showcasing what we do now and work from previous decades. This was followed by a spectacular school show in the Kingsmead Theatre which highlighted the school's performing and visual arts status with performances of dance, drama and music following on from the superb display of artwork in the art department's gallery. Among the performances, the school orchestra gave a delightful rendition of Max Steiner's 'A Summer Place' and this was preceded by a play especially written by staff where current students impersonated former teachers and pupils in a hilarious skit cleverly showing the school journey through the decades whilst reinforcing the mission of the school to help all students achieve a university place or a professional career. The Chair of Governors, Headteacher and Head Girl addressed the audience which included a previous headteacher and the wife of the second headteacher, Mr Davies who was in charge in the 70s and 80s.
There was laughter and tears as Kingsmead alumni came together to celebrate. Ex-pupils had travelled from as far as Anglesey and Devon to be here. Many students from that first cohort commented on how impressed they were at how far the school had come and the positive relationship between staff and students.
Kingsmead welcomes strong relationships with its alumni and encourages them to get in touch.
Among the messages received after the day:
"I Just wanted to thank you for a great event on Saturday, I really enjoyed chatting to former teachers and reminiscing about wonderful times at Kingsmead. A very well organised event."
"We were given a personal guided tour of the school by Maddison and Charlie and these two young people are a credit to the school. They were polite, confident and informative and acted as fantastic ambassadors for Kingsmead. We thanked them on the day but I would like something on record as we were very impressed."
"Kingsmead put on a really good show for the afternoon and I was impressed with the display boards they set up, a lot of work had been put into them. It was nice to see the old photos of the staff from 1967; I could name quite a few of them. I was impressed with the show that was put on. The school scene play was very close to how it was and seeing the cane brought back memories; some of the staff back then were quite handy with them. The performance of "A Summer Place" was really good, a lot of effort had been put into this. If this is the standard of the school, it has come a long way from when I was there”
"A much needed reminder of happy school days"
“I would just like to say a big thank you for the organisation behind the 50th year Kingsmead reunion. It was a fantastic day, in which meeting my old maths teacher Mr.Fernando, and Geography teacher Mrs young were just a couple of special moments.
I'm a very good friend of Andy Gannon, my former Kingsmead woodwork teacher and he felt like a celebrity, being asked to have his photo taken with former pupils.
Thanks again for a great day and all those who were involved behind the scenes.”
Click Here to view some images of the day.