PAST pupils and staff gathered at Oaklands Junior School to kick-off its Golden Jubilee celebrations.

More than 65 people attended the Butler Road school's picnic and barbecue on Friday, July 5, enjoying the sunshine while marking its 50th birthday.

Parents and siblings from the neighbouring Oaklands Infant School - which was built four years after the Juniors - joined the crowd of former pupils and teachers too, which included the first appointed teacher who joined in 1963.Entertainment was in the form of singing, dancing and a performance by the bellplates ensemble.

Year 6 pupils also escorted guests on guided tours of the school and the media club took photos and carried out interviews.

Headteacher Sue Charnley said: "It was lovely seeing so many friends and colleagues, past and present, all together enjoying a picnic and celebrating with us. My thanks to the staff and governors for making it a truly delightful day."

She added the weather was ideal and commended the school governors' hard work in cooking hundreds of sausages and beef burgers on the barbecues.

The school will officially reach the three-decade milestone in September.

Oaklands Junior School was originally built as a primary school in 1963 but staff quickly found the facilities were not big enough.

To expand the space, they built Oaklands Infant School in 1967 and turned the main building into a junior school.

On Monday last week, youngsters at Oaklands Infant School proved they could have hours of fun in the sun too with their Year 2 fun afternoon.

Fifty-six pupils from the school will move up to the junior school in September.

To bid them farewell, the PTA organised an afternoon packed with activities, from crosswords and picture games to physical activities.

Well-known images, which the children had to identify, included those of the Eiffel Tower and Andy Murray.

Julie Sheppard, headteacher at the infant school, said: "It was absolutely brilliant, the children thoroughly enjoyed it and were full of enthusiasm - everyone had a whale of a time.

"The PTA worked really hard, it was so hot, so my huge thanks go to them."