Saint Aidan's 60th Anniversary
Saint Aidan’s is 60 years old on the 12th September 2023!
A brief history of the school
As the population of the Over-Wyre area started to rise and the school leaving age was raised, a dedicated body of Over-Wyre parishioners from the so called ’five parishes,’ started to plan for a new school in the area. At this time, children from the Over-Wyre area had to cross the River Wyre to Poulton or Fleetwood or travel to Lancaster or Preston for their secondary education.
After long periods of uncertainty, support and funding from LCC, the local parishes, the Diocese and local benefactors, enabled the whole process to receive the go ahead. Building work on the new school in Preesall commenced in 1962. Saint Aidan’s opened on September 12th 1963, to serve the children of the Over-Wyre parishes.
On the very first day Miss Christine Bennett one of the original staff members recalls the school opened with:
“A whole staff consisting of a headmaster Mr WD Peirse, ten teaching staff, a school secretary, a caretaker, a school cook and a few canteen staff.”
There was only one building which we all now know as Main School. This had twelve classrooms, a series of offices, a dining room, and a main hall. The student body consisted of 168 Over-Wyre pupils organised into four-year groups, of eight forms. Miss Bennett recalls, “we had to make our new school work. There was a complete blank canvas”. “The aims were to make the school a successful, caring, happy and purposeful environment in which students of all denominations could develop and maximise their full potential”. It is thanks to these colleagues that the school’s ethos and identity were clearly established.
Over the next 59 years the school grew from its small initial steps in 1963 to what it is today, a school of 850 students, 10 buildings and nearly 100 staff. The personnel, grounds and buildings have all changed, but the school’s ethos of a friendly, caring, community, where staff and students work together in an atmosphere of mutual respect based on Christian values, has remained constant.
Let us all look forward to a successful next 100 years!
“On the 12th. of September 1963, I was one of the 169 pupils on roll, who walked up those steps, 12 days after my 13th birthday. I had cycled nearly 2 miles from my home, Carr House Farm Pilling… I enjoyed sport, especially netball, being a team member. Both our boys, David and Richard Shepherd, attended Saint Aidans from 1980 to 1988. Now in 2023 , it’s 60th anniversary year, one of our Grandsons is in his final year.”
“I am now a French teacher in Tamworth, Staffordshire and am passionate about teaching languages and everything French. It wasn’t until I had Mrs Hurst as my French teacher from 1986 to 1990 that I realised I had an aptitude for languages. She inspired me to enjoy language learning and made me believe in myself. I think of her lessons often while I’m teaching my own and wouldn’t have the confidence to do what I do now without her.”
“It’s been over 20 years since I left Saint Aidan’s but the main thing I have taken from the school is friendships! 20 years on there are 5 of us who still meet regularly and make the time to see each other despite going in different directions with our careers! We all look back on our time at high school so fondly and have so many great memories, Saint Aidan’s really was a fantastic school.”
“The biggest thing that I took from my 5 years at Saint Aidan’s was an idea of what I want my future to be. Prior to my GCSEs I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. It wasn’t until Mr. Swindley suggested Drama that I realised that I wanted my future to involve theatre and acting. I’m still on that path to this day, in the final year of my university degree studying theatre. Something that wouldn’t have happened had it not been for my time at Saint Aidan’s.“
“I attended Saint Aidan’s between 2017 and 2022. The school always encouraged me to push myself and to do things I wouldn’t imagine would be possible. And I am now living and studying in Portugal and hoping to attend University!
My sisters had also attended the school as well as various other people in my extended family, and we frequently converse about our experiences at Saint Aidan’s and reminisce on the fun times the school provided.
Thank you to everyone involved at Saint Aidan’s for making it such an incredible and heartwarming community to be a part of. I will never forget Saint Aidan’s.”