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British School of Gran Canaria 50th anniversary

October 4, 2016
The British School of Gran Canaria 50th anniversary mug

Oh, we do love a birthday party at Gran Canaria Local. And we recently attended a very special one on the island. As in the British School of Gran Canaria 50th anniversary bash.

We named and famed the British School of Gran Canaria in our guide to Gran Canaria education. They’re one of only 15 Spanish members of the prestigious Council of British International Schools. As well as being the only COBIS school on the Canary Islands, the BSGC is one of the select seven accredited members.

  1. British School of Gran Canaria 50th anniversary: remembering the past
  2. British School of Gran Canaria 50th anniversary: celebrating the present
  3. British School of Gran Canaria 50th anniversary: looking towards the future

1. British School of Gran Canaria 50th anniversary: remembering the past

Although the 50th anniversary was celebrated within school throughout September, there were two open days which extended the party invitation to a wider audience. The 50th anniversary ceremony took place on Friday 30th September with headmaster Mr Clark explaining to the students of the historic importance of 1966, with the England football team winning the World Cup for the first (and as yet only) time. One of the guests of honour was Ann Miller, one of the school’s co-founders who revealed that she was looking for an alternative to the only English-speaking school on Gran Canaria at the time (Miss Wakefield’s where 10 children were educated in one classroom).

The original British School of Gran Canaria was housed in a former bodega in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria’s Tafira Alta. There were classrooms and accommodation for the first headmaster, his wife, and their daughter. At the time, the BSGC was a primary with students aged from four to eight.

Friday’s 50th Anniversary Ceremony featured a fashion show with infants wearing the styles of the swinging 60s, walking down a catwalk to the sound of Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots Are Made for Walkin’. An orchestral group featuring students, senior teacher Ms Clarke, and music teacher Ms MacDonald performed a symphonic version of The Beatles’ Eleanor Rigby. Before the school’s talented female vocalists gave a Pitch-Perfect rendition of The Fab Four’s With a Little Help from My Friends.

2. British School of Gran Canaria 50th anniversary: celebrating the present

The second open day was the British School of Gran Canaria 50th anniversary party on Saturday 1st October. The new Agora building housed displays the children had put together. These included video interviews with current teachers and past students.

Outside, food stalls ran by current students and/or parents reflected the fascinating cultural make-up of the children attending. We enjoyed tasting our way around the world, from the arepas of Venezuela to the samosas of India and on to the toad in the hole from the UK. Washed down with Henley-style Pimms and Tropical lager brewed on the island.

3. British School of Gran Canaria 50th anniversary: looking towards the future

One of the most symbolic parts of Friday’s 50th anniversary ceremony was the burying of a time capsule near the school’s iconic rubber tree. This was a message to future students, showing them a snapshot of what life was like for their early 21st century predecessors. Included in the capsule were references to today’s popular culture, with a copy of Patrick Ness’ More Than This amongst other memorabilia of tomorrow.