50th Anniversary

Celebrating 50 years of Kirk Hallam Community Academy!

1973 - 2023

During 2023 we have been celebrating our 50th anniversary and recognising the amazing journey the school has been on over the last half a century. With average year groups ranging from anything from 100 to 250 children, many thousands of students would have graduated from Kirk Hallam over the last 5 decades.

As part of our celebrations we have reconnected with our history, reached out into the local community and reflected upon how the school has developed and changed over the years.

This section of the website will outline for posterity some of the wonderful activities that have been arranged by staff, students and community members throughout this academic year.

"What great memories... " Mel Lawson, Chair of Governors

Installation of Jubilee Flagpole

Our 50th anniversary started with the installation of a flagpole at the front of school, so that students, staff and users of the facilities outside of school times walk or drive past daily.

The flagpole provides a focal point and allows us to celebrate key events within our community and in the national calendar. Throughout the 2022-23 academic year, we will be flying the flag with our 50th Golden Jubilee logo displayed proudly.

A day in the life of Kirk Hallam in 1973

Staff and students at Kirk Hallam Community Academy went back in time as they celebrated their Golden Jubilee.

The day began with assemblies by ‘Headmaster Turner’ where students learned more about how much life has changed over the 50 years that Kirk Hallam has served its community, since the opening of the school in 1973. Students considered how local industry has changed and the evolution of the built environment, looking at aerial photographs from the decades before. We explored how our own school site has changed and developed with the addition of the Atrium, the car park, the Sports Hall and the Lakeside building.

In art lessons, collaborative artwork was produced to create a large display piece. Geography focused on the changing face of Europe in the 1970s and in ICT, students learned about 1970s computers. At lunchtime there was a traditional school canteen offer of chicken stew with dumplings and a sausage dinner with cornflake tart and custard.

Mr Turner, Headteacher, said ‘part of our 50th anniversary is about reconnecting with our history and the local community and it has been great to see students engaging with our past today. Many of our students parents and grandparents may have attended Kirk Hallam over the last five decades, and enabling our current students to understand how school would have been back in 1973 has been a wonderful experience.’

The finest fashions of the 1970s were showcased by staff including trendy flares and printed shirts, sports kit, office wear and disco outfits.

There are further events planned to involve the wider community with an exhibition at Erewash Museum from 1st July, a display at Ilkeston Library over the summer break and a family fair on the school grounds on Saturday 15th July.

Drone technology

As part of our 50th Golden Jubilee, over 400 of our key stage 3 students have taken part in a large-scale aerial photo using the latest drone technology and a HD camera to mark this special anniversary. The children and staff came together to mark out the number 50 on the school field with the drone camera capturing some incredible in-flight images.

Students enjoyed participating in this unique experience with many speaking individually to the photographer about the process of capturing the image and the technology that was used.

KHCA intends to use this image and others collected throughout the year to celebrate the occasion in school.

We are sure you will agree the final result looks stunning and this image will provide a lasting memory for many years to come.

Alumni event

In early May, the senior team at Kirk Hallam Community Academy held a buffet tea for former staff and alumni to celebrate their continued relationship with the school community and thank them for their service over the years.

"[We] enjoyed it enormously and it was so lovely reminiscing and seeing some old faces again." - Mrs Mason, ex-student of 1973

Chris Turner, Headteacher, said ‘we were delighted to welcome former staff and students to the academy, some of whom had taught or studied at the school when it opened in 1973.

Over the course of this academic year we have thought deeply about our place within the community, the history of the organisation and our core purpose as a school. It was wonderful to reconnect and meet with so many people who are just as passionate as us about the school’s rich history. We also had the opportunity to share news about our exciting future as we begin to plan for the new build project. It was lovely to hear so many personal stories from staff and students about their memories of how the school has developed and changed over the years. Students asked a series of questions of our visitors and it was intriguing to hear the opinions of such a diverse group of people, all of whom were so passionate about their time at Kirk Hallam.’

Time capsule

School exhibition at Erewash Museum

On Friday 30th June 2023 a reception was held at Erewash Museum to conclude the events that have been held to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Kirk Hallam Community Academy. The reception also launched the schools’ summer exhibition housed at the Museum, where the local community can visit to see memorabilia and images celebrating the rich history of the school.

Local dignitaries including Maggie Throup MP for Erewash and Mayor, Councillor Frank Phillips attended and enjoyed browsing through artefacts including handwritten admissions registers, flyers for events held in the Community Lounge, and various trophies and medals accumulated throughout the last fifty years.

The very first headteacher of ‘Kirk Hallam Community School’ (as it was, in 1973!) Mr Peter Worrall was in attendance, and commented that all attendees had a ‘rewardingly cheerful evening’. We were pleased to also host Mr Shaw, Headteacher from 1984 - 2005, and associates from Big Kirk Hallam and the KHCA Governing Body.

The exhibition was arranged by decade, starting with the architect’s drawings from before the school was built, up until the present day. Mr Worrall was particularly delighted by the exhibits from the 1970’s as ‘by chance I flipped open a staff intro for September 1974 – starting with a letter from me!’

We encourage the local community, parents and carers to visit Erewash Museum over the summer holidays as they have an exciting programme of summer events planned, and, whilst there, enjoy our exhibition which will be in place until September.

70's school quiz

Summer Soirée

Thursday 20th July 2023

Our summer concert was held on Thursday 20th July in our Lakeside Hall. The evening comprised of a variety show of performances by staff and students. Drama was represented in a short version of 'Oliver' and both sixth form and main school bands performed songs from across the decades.

A group of very enthusiastic staff rounded up the evening by showcasing their musical talents to the sound of Elton John. An enjoyable evening was had by all and we look forward to this becoming an annual tradition as an event in our calendar.

Big Kirk Hallam's Summer Fair @ KHCA

Saturday 15th July 2023

Big Kirk Hallam’s Summer Fair was held at Kirk Hallam Community Academy on Saturday 15th July to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Kirk Hallam Community Academy.

The local community and families were undeterred by the changeable weather and enjoyed activities both indoors and out, including hula hoop workshops, performances by circus skills and stilt walkers, as well as craft and creative activities. Exhibitions were enjoyed by all, particularly the display of classic cars and emergency service vehicles. Attendees were treated to music by local band Pigeon Pie throughout the day, and the musical attractions ended in style with a touching performance by the Dementia Choir.

Big Kirk Hallam is a scheme which intends to spend £1 million pounds over ten years on community projects and is paid for with lottery money. Their vision is to help make Kirk Hallam an even better place to live through fostering community spirit and increasing companionship, improving the opportunities available and the environment of Kirk Hallam.

Kirk Hallam Community Academy Headteacher Mr Chris Turner stated that ‘we are thankful to the organisation Big Kirk Hallam for all their efforts that went in to organising this event to mark an important milestone in the history of Kirk Hallam Community Academy. Our links with the community are so important to us and we have been so proud to welcome local residents and families to our school during the course of this year.’

April 2024


View the calendar in full

Latest News

View more news stories