RUBY was the colour of choice for a Littlehampton school celebrating its 40th anniversary.
Pupils, teachers and parents united to mark the special occasion for St Catherine’s Catholic Primary School, which this year celebrates 40 happy years at its site in Highdown Drive.
Children took the afternoon off from lessons to enjoy party games and a picnic on the school’s field.
Deputy head teacher Ann Ramiz, who has been at the school for more than 17 years, said: “It’s been a really wonderful day and it’s been so nice that the sun has come out, too.
“The school has been through many changes over the years but one thing that has been a constant is the community.
“It’s a really friendly happy school and it’s such a nice achievement for us to be celebrating our 40th anniversary at this site.”
It wasn’t just a special day for the school but also for young Ruby Ringwood, five, who was celebrating her last day at St Catherine’s before moving to pastures new, in Lancashire.
Mrs Ramiz said: “It was a bit of a coincidence that the ruby anniversary of the school was on little Ruby’s last day.
“So we decided to make it a little party for her.”
The school moved to Highdown Drive from its old site in Irvine Road, Littlehampton, in 1973, with hopes of expanding its pupil base.
Now, after four decades, St Catherine’s has almost 170 pupils on its roster – a figure which looks set to increase, following the completion of two new classrooms over the summer.
Head teacher Gill Howell said: “I came in 2006 and since then we have had 60 more children enter the school. We’ve got 168 pupils at the school now.
“These new classrooms mean we can have more children than ever before. We’ve employed two new teachers.
“We’ve gone from being an open-plan school to having more closed classrooms, with separate year groups in.
“So it’s a very exciting time for us right now.”
Members of the school’s parent teacher association HOPE created a special display in the school hall of pupils past and present.
There was also a cream tea for parents of current youngsters at the school to enjoy, in the afternoon.