2018 is a milestone in the 400 year history of Barrow 1618 Church of England Free school and as the current school goes from strength to strength and stretches out its arms to share best practice, the school have just celebrated their 400 year anniversary which London Speaker Bureau contributed to.
There has been a school, in the small hamlet of Barrow, near Broseley, Shropshire, providing education to the local community for 400 years this year. The School has had many manifestations – opening its doors in the 17th century “as a schoolhouse for the free teaching of 20 poor men’s children thereabout”, it has been an Estate School, a Church School, a State School and now the first and, currently, only Primary Free School in Shropshire. Over 400 Barrow alumni have been identified – living as close as 200 metres from the school and as far as 12,000 miles away with ages ranging from 13 to 93.
The aim of the fundraising is both to offer a community event gathering previous Barrow alumni with present pupils and staff in order to celebrate the school’s success over the past 400 years (the council tried to close it 5 years ago but parents and governors successfully applied for Free School status) and to ensure its continued success for the next 400 years.
The school aims to create a fund to allow to extend our classrooms inside (the school is oversubscribed each year) as well as develop the school’s ever increasing outdoor facilities which currently include an outdoor learning classroom, Forest School area, kitchen garden, a smallholding with pigs, ducks and chickens as well as playing fields and other outdoor areas for different year groups. The free school curriculum allows the school to teach in a very broad and inclusive way with great results and happy children but funding is always a challenge in these times.