Staff and pupils celebrate tenth birthday of new Harton Primary School building in South Shields - with help from Joe McEldery and Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall

Staff and pupils have celebrated the 10th anniversary of a primary school’s new home – with the help of some big names.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 3:28 pm

Harton Primary School marked ten years since its new building opened with a special birthday party.

South Tyneside celebrities also sent birthday wishes, including singer Joe McEldery and Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall

Head teacher Karen Ratcliffe, said: "Our staff and children have worked hard during the national lockdown and their dedication has continued now the school is open to all pupils.

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Children and staff partied at Harton Primary School to celebrate the tenth birthday of their new building, with some famous faces helping mark the occasion.

"I’m so proud of the positive attitude of our pupils and felt that a party was a wonderful way of commemorating our school's 10th year.

"It was a fantastic day and I am sure that this very special event will be remembered by the pupils for many years to come.”

Children dressed up in their party clothes for the fun day with a range of activities, including party food, games and dancing.

The nearby Sainsbury’s branch in Prince Edward Road also donated kits so children could decorate their own biscuits, and the school’s our cook made every child a celebration cake to take home with them.

Some of the children decorating their biscuits.

Mrs Ratcliffe led a special assembly in the morning, with children awarded prizes for hard work, good behaviour and attendance, as well as having the chance to learn about the history of the school.

A celebratory video was screened, which included photographs of the old school buildings and clips of some familiar faces who sent their best wishes to the staff and children of Harton Primary School.

The video also included governors and previous pupils of the school, who talked about their memories of going to Harton Primary.

There was a quiz with fun questions about the school’s history, including a ‘baby picture’ round in which pupils had to guess which baby picture belonged to which teacher.

Some of the children with their cakes.

Governor Laura Moore said: “Many of our staff – including myself – are former pupils of Harton Primary School. Watching the celebration video and looking through pictures of the old school building was very emotional and brought back so many good memories.”

Lee Forster, the Year 5 teacher responsible for creating the quiz and video, said: “It was a really special day for all our staff and children and it was lovely to see the smiles on the children’s faces.

"It really made their day to see the video sent by Jade from Little Mix, they were gobsmacked.”

Harton Primary School opened in 1939. At the time, it consisted of two buildings, which separated boys and girls.

One of the special celebration cakes

Later on, the buildings became Harton Infants and Harton Juniors.

In 2010, a new building was constructed which joined the two schools together.

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Some of the children with their cakes
Some of the children decorating their biscuits.
One of the decorated biscuits
An image of the old school building being demolished
Joe McEldery send his best wishes
Jade from Little Mix sent her congratulations.
Former pupil David Wilson, who went on to play rugby for England, also sent a message for the school's birthday