Party in the Hightown Park

Thomas Howard 3 and Oliver Howard 6 show off their hats in the Best Hat competition at High Bank School, Party in the Park, Hightown, Liversedge.
Thomas Howard 3 and Oliver Howard 6 show off their hats in the Best Hat competition at High Bank School, Party in the Park, Hightown, Liversedge.
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School’s out for pupils at High Bank School in Hightown – but not before they enjoyed lots of fun and games at a Party in the Park.

The event on Saturday, for the whole community, was also a fun way for headteacher Kath Benetis and bursar Christine Hunter to mark their retirements.

Caitlin Gateley 4 and Tayler Gateley 5 enjoy a ride on donkeys Teddy and Robbie at High Bank School Party in the Park, Hightown, Liversedge.

Caitlin Gateley 4 and Tayler Gateley 5 enjoy a ride on donkeys Teddy and Robbie at High Bank School Party in the Park, Hightown, Liversedge.

There was live music, donkey rides, games, competitions and face painting.

On Tuesday a final assembly was held in school for the year six leavers, and Mrs Benetis, who has been at the school for 10 years, and Mrs Hunter, who has been there for 26, were presented with gifts, flowers and cards.

Governors’ chairman Graeme Sunderland said their contibution to the school had been enormous.

“We are losing an outstanding leader in Mrs Benetis, who has assembled a successful team and raised High Bank from the precarious position when it was threatened with closure due to falling rolls of around just 60 pupils, to the present number of more than 130,” he said.

Mia Sheard age 1 had her face painted at at High Bank School Party in the Park, Hightown, Liversedge.

Mia Sheard age 1 had her face painted at at High Bank School Party in the Park, Hightown, Liversedge.

“It has now become a thriving school and we hope we can increase our admission numbers because we don’t want to be in the position of having to turn pupils away.”

Mrs Benetis, who is moving to Spain with her husband Arunas, said she was grateful for the support of parents, staff, pupils and governors.

“Parental support has been essential in the children making progress and helping them achieve their full potential,” she said.

“The staff here are hand-picked and the best I have ever worked with. And what can I say about the children? They are the reason I went into teaching and they have been absolutely wonderful – they reach for the stars!”

Emma Allatt 5 and Amber Scarborough 7 meet up with Roger Ram from Dewsbury Rams, at High Bank School, Party in the Park, Hightown, Liversedge.

Emma Allatt 5 and Amber Scarborough 7 meet up with Roger Ram from Dewsbury Rams, at High Bank School, Party in the Park, Hightown, Liversedge.

Mrs Hunter, who began as a lunchtime supervisor, said: “It’s been like being part of a big family and I will miss it. I’m planning on spending more time with my family and I expect I’ll be doing some travelling because they’ve told me I have to get a passport!”