Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Alford celebrated a major milestone last week, marking 450 years since the institution was opened.
The official anniversary of the school’s establishment took place on Friday, March 18, and it was marked in style by pupils and staff members through a variety of activities and celebrations.
I think that it meant a lot to the pupilsMiss Angie Francis
The school was founded in 1566 by Francis Spanning, a rich merchant, and was originally thought to have been based above the porch of nearby St Wilfrid’s Church.
Lord Burghley, William Cecil - who was the Lord Treasurer of England and the most powerful man in the country - made representations to Queen Elizabeth I in 1576 and a free grammar school was officially instituted.
The big day itself was celebrated with a small production on the life of Queen Elizabeth I, which was performed by 16 pupils.
A banquet lunch was held in the hall, accompanied by Elizabethan music performed by the school’s chamber choir.
The school also buried a time capsule, which is to be opened on the 500th anniversary in 2066. Items inside the capsule include present day material from the school such as prospectuses and photographs, and gadgets which are likely to be obsolete in 50 years time - such as video tapes and USB memory sticks containing short films created by the pupils.
The time capsule also contains journal entries from current pupils about their hopes and dreams for the future. Pupils will be welcomed back in 2066 for the unearthing of the capsule to see if they achieved their goals.
Artistic cutouts of Queen Elizabeth I were designed by four pupils - Ciara Hickinbottom, Monty Radford, Rosa Smith and Sarah Tutt - and have been displayed around the school.
The artwork was inspired by the Baron’s Trail in Lincoln, and head teacher Angie Francis hopes that more will be created and placed around the school in the coming months.
A large ‘450’ art piece, containing the names of all current pupils, was also made to mark the occasion.
Miss Francis told the Leader that the school had celebrated in style to mark the incredible milestone, and that it had instilled pride into all current pupils.
Ms Francis said: “I think that it meant a lot to the pupils, who were very proud of the school’s historical connection with Queen Elizabeth I.”