PUPILS were reaching for the skies as a city school celebrated a milestone.
Staff and youngsters at Sunderland High School held a day of events to mark the 130th anniversary.
Pupils made the shape of 130 in the grounds of the Mowbray Road school and released 130 balloons in the school colours of red, white and blue to mark the occasion.
Dr Angela Slater, headteacher, said: “It’s an amazing achievement to celebrate 130 years, the pupils were very excited about it.
“We combined the day with our pentecostal service and went along to St Ignatius Church in Hendon on the morning before the balloon launch.”
The balloons all had celebration messages attached to them and it is hoped people who find them will get in touch to say how far the balloons have travelled.
As part of the celebrations a huge cake, in the shape of 130 was made and the school’s chosen flower, Lily of the valley, was on show.
Dr Slater, said: “A couple of years ago we re-introduced an old tradition of every member of school getting an iced bun, with a St Cuthbert’s cross on it, to celebrate the school’s birthday, and everyone enjoyed them.”
Founded in 1883 as an independent school for girls Sunderland High School is the longest serving independent school in the city.
It was founded by The Venerable Archdeacon Robert Long and opened in a property in Park Terrace with just 16 full time pupils.
As the school grew it moved to bigger premises and in 1992 it merged with Tonstall School, a long established boys’ school, which led to the school becoming entirely co-educational.
Dr Slater said the school still embodies the same values, including enthusiasm, determination, ambition, creativity, respect, confidence and being united in learning, as it did 130 years ago.
She said: “I think if our founders could see us now they would recognise the school for the same ethos and values it has always had, but I think they would be very surprised by changes such as interactive whiteboards and the range of subjects taught today.”