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/ 14 June 2012

Pimlico school awarded medal for community service

The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, has visited St Barnabas C of E Primary School in Pimlico to bless the school’s newly unveiled mezzanine floor, as well as surprise staff and pupils by awarding the school the St Mellitus Medal for 165 years of service to the local community.

St Barnabas has raised over £400,000 over the past four years for the development of a third floor for their building, which provides the school with two new classrooms, office space and a library.

The blessing was celebrated by a display of country dancing and a performance by the school’s choir. A large number of attendees gathered for the event, including parents, representatives from the London Diocesan Board for Schools, local business representatives, councillors and representatives from Westminster.

The Bishop of London presented The Order of St Mellitus and the St Mellitus Medal to Head Teacher, Ann Townshend for the school’s service to the community for the past 165 years.

St Barnabas has been in need of more space for some time due to the small size of the classrooms in the Grade II listed building. Now, with more space for teaching, the two new classrooms will accommodate Year 5 and Year 6 pupils, with an extra spare room, creating a better learning experience for St Barnabas’ 160 pupils.

While the building works took place, the school’s morning assemblies moved to the nearby church, St Barnabas. Although the school now has space for the assemblies to move back, the closer relationship between the church and the school has been so beneficial that assemblies will remain there in future.

Head teacher of St Barnabas School, Ann Townshend, said:

"It was a huge surprise and a great honour to receive the medal and certificate on behalf of the school. I cannot praise enough the support and commitment from parents, staff, school governors and our pupils in ensuring we build a lasting legacy in shaping this school. Of course, the building works have caused some disruption, but the staff and pupils have really come together and got on with it. We can now provide a far higher standard for both teaching and, most importantly, a high quality learning experience for our students. We will carry on working towards other developments we have in the pipeline, ensuring that we’re always striving to improve."

The medal is named after St Mellitus, the Bishop of London who re-founded the Diocese in AD 604, and is awarded in recognition of substantial contribution to the Christian life of London.

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