A POPULAR York school is all set to celebrate its 80th anniversary in style.

This year marks 80 years since Joseph Rowntree School opened in the garden village of New Earswick on the outskirts of the city and the school has a Summer or celebratory events planned.

The school's current head teacher, Dave Hewitt, said: “We will be celebrating the anniversary with a series of events in the summer term, all leading to an open afternoon and official celebration on Thursday, July 7, 80 years to the day since the official opening by politician Rab Butler in 1942.

“The afternoon will include a tree planting ceremony, music performances, a fun run organised by the student leadership team and the opportunity to visit areas of the school.

“There will also be various displays of past documents and artifacts and all visitors will be invited to enjoy an afternoon tea in the street and hub area.

“The event is open to everyone in the local community to attend.

“As part of this, the school are putting together an online alumni book of photos and memories from past students and staff.

“If you, or any family or friends attended or worked at The Joseph Rowntree School, then they want to hear from you.

“Please contact the school on its email address, contact@josephrowntree.york.sch.uk sending any comments, memories, old photos etc, and their Media team will be collating all of this to be displayed on the open afternoon, as well as on our website.”

The school opened to pupils in January 1942, but it was officially opened by the then President of the Board of Education and future Conservative Minister Rab Butler, on July 7 the same year.

Like the village of New Earswick and its primary school before it, the secondary school was part of the vision of Joseph Rowntree and then his son, Benjamin Seebohm Rowntree.

At the time of its opening, the school was seen to be a model for the future, a precursor to the secondary modern and comprehensive schools that were to come, as it offered agricultural and vocational courses as well as academic subjects.

Since then, thousands of pupils have passed through its corridors and the school is now a large comprehensive serving an area including New Earswick, Haxby and Wigginton.

In 2008 building work began on a £29 million reconstruction project which would see a whole new school building erected on the playing fields behind the original school.

In early 2010 the new school was finished, and staff and pupils moved into the new building which houses the school today.