Chew Valley 60th Celebration

On the 6th October despite a grey and miserable day outside, inside the lower school block and the Sixth Form, things were warm and welcoming. On this day we celebrated the fact that Chew Valley School was in its 60th year and welcomed students and staff – past and present – to join us to reminisce.

The celebrations had started in school assembly the previous week with our Heads of House sharing some photographs of the school when it was first built, and explaining how the curriculum had changed over the years. The students were fascinated by the beehive built into the classroom so that students could see a hive in action, or that many lessons had a rural theme or perspective. In fact, the photo archive also revealed goats on site that were milked by students and students plucking chickens; not something we do today with the residents of Cluckingham Palace. Not only have the lessons changed but the site has too. Our alumni discussed the swimming pool, now under the Music block, and the mini golf course on the quad in the middle of the school.

Whether it was sitting in the Main Hall eating scones or scrutinising the old photos on display, the atmosphere of humour and fun that Chew Valley School has given to its students was evident. One very happy memory for old students was the annual House reward trip to Weymouth, and the first tastes of independence with trips abroad or away from home such as to Simonsbath. But we discovered that these fabulous adults may not have been the best behaved students in the world when at school. Stories of “dap or dig” punishments or the horror of detentions were discussed with glee and shame! Many past students also talked about their teachers and how influential they had been in building the people they are today.

What we were reminded about was not only what a lovely community we have around us at Chew Valley School, but also that teaching young people is one of the most important and rewarding jobs we can do. Thank you for sharing your history with us – see you in 10 years for the next one, but please keep in touch.