On 16 January 1842, nine-year-old Lucy Endall became the first pupil to register at Sibford School near Banbury.
History tells us that Lucy arrived at the school in Sibford Ferris by carrier cart from Banbury, bringing with her everything a young school girl might need including a straw bonnet, a cloak, two gowns, two linen pinafores, two nightgowns and night caps, two pairs of strong coloured stockings and two pairs of stout shoes.
175 years later to the day, current nine-year-old Sibford pupil Sofia ~ the 8924 pupil to register at the school ~ stepped into the shoes of Lucy Endall to mark the school’s official birthday.
Sofia is pictured, along with other current nine-year-old Sibford pupils, cutting a special birthday cake.
Head of Sibford School, Toby Spence, said: “It’s very exciting to think that the school welcomed its very first pupils this day back in 1842. We will be holding events to mark the 175th anniversary throughout the year when we look forward to celebrating with pupils both past and present, but today was too good an opportunity to miss.”
The cake, made by school caterers Thomas Franks, was shared by pupils at lunchtime.
It is interesting to note that the first pupils to arrive at Sibford School in 1842 were all girls. The boys, including Lucy’s brother Alfred, who was three years her senior, didn’t join until the February and by the end of the year the school boasted 22 girls and 26 boys. Today, the school has 413 pupils, 169 girls and 244 boys. Meanwhile, the Admissions Register shows that a total of 9342 pupils have so far registered at the school.