JFK 50th Anniversary Mass
On Wednesday 27th September 2017 we marked the beginning of our Golden Jubilee year with a whole-school Mass. We were joined by members of the Governing Body and the headteachers of our local Catholic primary schools. The Mass was celebrated by Fr. Brendan Seery, a student of JFK between 2001 and 2008. In his homily Fr. Brendan reflected on the significant changes in the world during the past fifty years but suggested that the core values of our school were still strongly rooted in its faith life. He remembered, with affection, his time at JFK and said that he felt extremely privileged to be celebrating this special Mass with the school community.
It was a wonderful celebration and was the first time that the whole school community has come together in the Sports Hall. In a short address to conclude the Mass Paul Neves, Headteacher, relayed some of the early memories of the school received from one of the teachers who was on the staff (of four teachers) when the school opened its doors to 100 students in 1967. These memories showed that many aspects of the school have not changed a great deal over the fifty years. In particular, we are told that the first headteacher, Mr Singleton, ‘was passionate about the sense of community and belonging for children to enhance their self-esteem and develop a proactive approach to their education. The systems he introduced were aimed at reflecting the values of equality, respect and community development.’ Fifty years later those themes are just as important to JFK today.
JFK Golden Jubilee Celebration
The end of the 50th anniversary year was joyfully celebrated on Friday 22nd June 2018 for the current school community. A whole-school Mass was celebrated by Fr Paul McDermott in the Sports Hall and involved student and staff readers, the Music Liturgy Group, led by Mr Ridout, and our newly commissioned student Eucharistic Ministers. During the Mass we gave thanks to all who have been part of the JFK over the past 50 years and prayed for the continuing success of the school. At the end of Mass we lit candles on a birthday cake and joined in singing ‘Happy Birthday’. The cake was then ceremonially cut by the Head Boy, Deputy Head Girl and the oldest JFK student in the congregation – Teaching Assistant Mr Reeve, who joined JFK as a student in 1970. Following Mass the whole school community enjoyed a picnic on the school field and the use of ‘inflatable’ apparatus including a huge assault course, bungee races and sumo wrestling together with nerf gun battle zones. Hundreds of photos captured the events of the day, including fantastic aerial images taken by two drones that were brought in for the day. The beautiful weather added to the wonderful atmosphere of celebration, providing what will hopefully be an occasion living long in everyone’s memory.
On Saturday 23rd June we celebrated with a school reunion. We welcomed back to JFK former students and members of staff from across the past 50 years, including members of the first intake in 1967. The school was open to view and visitors very much enjoyed touring the site and rekindling memories of their time here. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet up with old friends and colleagues as everyone joined together for a drink and a barbecue on the school playground. Special thanks were offered to Heather Houston (Chair of Governors) and Eva Final (PA to the Headteacher) for their hard work over many months in preparation for this event.
JFK Golden Jubilee in the Media
Click here to view our 50th Anniversary Mass Publication
Click here to view our 50th Anniversary Publication in the Westminster Recorder November 2017