Pupils past and present are invited to celebrate a school's 150th anniversary by sharing memories of their time there.

Pupils at Symondsbury Primary School have been busy planning an 'unforgettable' event which will involve art, a collective poem, history booklet and 'living museum' displays in each classroom.

To prepare them, the children have been finding out more about the people and life at their school in the past - from a charismatic headteacher with a pet kangaroo, the Second World War and a 'much-loved' swimming pool in the sunny Seventies.

One of the more in-depth interviews they undertook was with village resident Morris Barns, aged 92. Mr Barns shared his memories of coal fires and high ceilings, tough discipline and wartime adventures.

Deputy headteacher, Lisa Jenkin, says her class was fascinated to learn about school life in the 1930s,.

'It's been so stimulating for the pupils to hear directly from someone who once studied like them in this classroom so long ago and to then think about how to tell their story," said Ms Jenkin. "The project has also been a great way to strengthen the valued links we have with our local community."

On May 17, the school enjoyed a one-day residency with local writer and storyteller Martin Maudsley. Mr Maudsley spent time in each class hearing what the children had learned about different eras and carried out a workshop on ideas and phrases which resulted in the creation on a poem entitled 'The Life and Times of Symondsbury School'.

Mr Maudsley said: "I used an approach I like to call 'imagineering', encouraging the children to combine what they had learnt about the past with empathy for the experiences and feelings of those earlier pupils. Together we could then write - in the first person and present tense - descriptions that would bring key scenes to life."

Mr Maudsley's poem, along with highlights from the historical research, have been included in a booklet to mark the anniversary, along with pupils' art work interpreting Colmer's Hill which was painted with the support of visiting artist Colin Bentley and a whole school photograph that re-creates one taken in 1918 for its 50th birthday.

Headteacher, Emma Roberts, says she is as excited as the pupils about the anniversary tomorrow, June 8. Mrs Roberts said: "We've all been extra busy this year getting ready for our school's special celebration and can't wait to share it with the Symondsbury community, past and present. We're having a morning service at St John's Church with readings and songs by the pupils, followed by refreshments and the chance to visit our 'living museum' of displays about different periods in each classroom. Marking this moment has inspired some stunning work by the children."

Any past pupils and staff wishing to join the event are invited to contact the school office on 01308 423502 to notify the school that they would like to come.