This academic year is our Year of Challoner, to commemorate our Platinum Jubilee year. The school first opened its doors in 1953 and in planning our celebrations it has been a joy to look back through artifacts and photographs from the school’s rich history. 

Below is an extract from the original headteacher of the school, John Welford, from our first ever Bishop Challoner magazine:

July 1958: First Issue of Bishop Challoner Magazine

This history book of yours records events in the life of our school and you can see for yourself how varied and interesting they are. But of course, a great deal of history has gone before to make possible this latest event. It is difficult to realise now that for a long time we were confined to a few of the upstairs rooms – nothing downstairs: how, through Fr Kelly’s help, three classes were accommodated in St Dunstan’s Church and Club room: how we had no playgrounds, no hall, no gym and so on.

But I want you to know that, even prior to this, there was a long story before Bishop Challoner School came into being – a long, long story of hard work and self-sacrifice by many people. They did this because they wanted you to have every chance of growing up to be a first-class citizen. Those good people didn’t expect our thanks, of course, but, in fact, we do owe them a very great deal. If you asked them what you might do in return, I think they might rightly expect you to always try to give “Praise to God”, as they have done. Hence of course our school motto “Laus Deo” below the Challoner coat of arms.

The magazine goes on to provide details of superb sporting achievements in football, netball, archery, swimming and athletics. It tells the story of the school visit to Belgium in 1958. It lists some of the clubs and activities within the school, art club, Scottish dancing, Film club, the Record Circle, Gardening club, the Soli House retreat, Ballroom dancing and the South Birmingham District Choir.

We will aim to share as much of our history with you as we mark this momentous occasion for our whole school community, and will of course keep you updated with the many ways in which we intend to celebrate.

Related Blog Posts