Walking back in time – Celebrating our Tercentenary

Our school is one of the oldest primary schools in Hampshire.  It was founded by a local man called Thomas Andrews who, in November 1719, left an endowment of money in his will for a school to be built in the village of Holybourne.  Although it is believed that the school building was not actually purchased from the endowment until a few years later, November 2019 marked the 300th anniversary (or Tercentenary) of the school’s foundation.

Andrews’ Endowed C of E Primary School celebrated its Tercentenary in November 2019.  The whole school dressed in Georgian costume for a procession to the church, where we celebrated our 300th birthday in style.  We stopped first in front of the School House, where the school bell was rung three times, once for each centenary.  We all said the school prayer together, facing the school house.  Our Christian values certainly shone through.

This is our School.  Let peace dwell here.  Let joy surround us.  Let love abide here.  Love of one another, love of mankind, love of life itself and love of God.  Let us remember that, as many hands build a house, so many hearts make a school.  

Then we walked to church, carrying our posies of flowers.  Family and friends lined the street to watch us.  The service included presentations by every class in the school, and we sang a mix of traditional hymns and more modern favourites.  We even changed the words of one song to give thanks for Thomas Andrews.                                                                                                                                       

We took posies of flowers with us, and the House Captains dressed the tomb with flowers, ready for our traditional final blessing outside by the pond.  Because it was a very special occasion, the bellringers came to ring the Church Bells for us.  

To mark the occasion, we planted two trees – one at the Church, and one just inside the entrance to the school – to symbolise the strong link between the school and the church.  

We had huge purple number balloons, a cake in the shape of the school house, and house shaped biscuits to eat when we got back.  

We had a BBC South Film Crew visit us, and we made it on to the news that evening, which was a lovely way to round off our special day.  

We had grand plans for all sorts of other celebrations over the course of our Tercentenary year.  Unfortunately, we hadn’t imagined that there would be a global pandemic … so our year took rather a different turn.  

We think Thomas Andrews would have been delighted to know that his school is still thriving, 300 years later, and that his name and his endowment to the school is still commemorated each year.  We wonder what he would have made of the events of the year 2019/20 and beyond if he had been here to witness them?

Our school is historical: it’s been around for 300 years!  Although we may not be the biggest school with the largest classes, we get to develop stronger friendships dur to the number of children here.  I like that our school has many activities and clubs to try, meaning that there is something for everyone.  Andrews’ is very supportive in all aspects of our learning!