Earl Spencer in St Albans to open school extension

EARL Spencer visited a St Albans primary school today, to officially open an extension that has been named in honour of his famous family.

The Earl and his wife Karen mingled with governors, staff and students at Bernards Heath Junior School, Watson Avenue, where he officially opened its new extension, the Spencer Building, on November 9.

It has been named after the family because the original school was built on land donated by it.

The Spencers are one of Britain’s aristocratic dynasties and its most famous member was, of course, the Earl’s sister, the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

Earl Spencer said: “It’s a really impressive school and the children are so polite and engaged.”

The school extension, which includes three classrooms, a music room and an ICT suite, was undertaken as both Bernards Heath Infant and Junior Schools increased pupil numbers from 60 to 90 per year group – two to three form entry – because of a shortage of primary places.

Earl and Countess Spencer attended a commemorative assembly, at which children sang a song composed for the occasion by music teacher Denise Erlandsen,

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Bernards Heath School opened in Sandridge Road in 1906, and was expanded until the late 1940s, when it became apparent another building would be needed to accommodate all the pupils.

The site for that new school building was on about five acres of land off Watson Avenue, donated by the Spencer family.

In January 1950 pupils from the junior department of Bernards Heath School transferred over the road to the new linked junior school, originally known as Spencer JM School. It subsequently changed its name to Bernards Heath Junior School.