STAFF at a Bury school have marked the 10-year anniversary of the founding of their school which arose out of the ashes of a controversial closure.

Celebrations took place at St John with Mark Primary School to recognise a landmark year in its history after the two schools were amalgamated.

Both St John’s Primary and St Mark’s Primary were officially closed in July 2003, and a new school was reopened in September at the site of St John’s in Athlone Avenue.

Three new classrooms were built, and the computer suite and library were refurbished to make room for the extra pupils.

Headteacher Janet Moore said: “Ten years ago there was a great deal of sadness as two communities mourned the loss of schools which were dear to them. How things have changed!

“We are all filled with pride at what we have achieved for our children and families in the last 10 years.”

A week-long celebration was held at the school during the last term, including a ‘Travelling By Tuba’ assembly, with workshops for the children, as well as an anniversary picnic with the playground being transformed into a giant picnic area.

There was also a performance from the school choir and a number of musicians.

In addition, the school held a coffee morning to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support, which generated more than £800 and was organised by teaching assistant Debbie Kabanni.

She said: “The Macmillan event was a huge success and is something which is close to all our hearts.

“Coinciding with the school’s 10th birthday it was a wonderful celebration which brought together the whole school community.”

The students also enjoyed marking their anniversary, and Year Six pupil Kelsie Buggie said: “It was a very exciting day. The choir did a fantastic job and we raised a fabulous amount of money.”

St John’s has a long history, with St John’s Charitable School being opened as far back as 1770, and housed in a cottage in the Burrs area of Bury.

In around 1870, St John’s Church then decided to open a school which was built on Hornby Street, after receiving money from the Manchester Diocese.

It was not until 1972, when the old building was deemed to be unsafe, that a new school was built.