28 November 2017

Old school ties

Photo caption: Evergreen at Stockland Green – Alex Brierwood follows in grandmother Helena’s footsteps, pictured with headteacher Marie George and assistant headteacher Lawrie Carey.

Erdington grandmother Helena Brierwood has taken a trip down memory lane (well, Slade Road) to join her grandson at his new school  – 60 years after she was a student there.

Helena revisited Stockland Green School to take a fresh look at the secondary and to share her happy memories with staff and students, including grandson Alex Brierwood, who joined year 7 in September.

Helena (pictured) was among the first students at the original school, which was founded in the 1950s and rebuilt in 2011. She was welcomed back by headteacher Marie George and assistant headteacher Lawrie Carey, and given a special tour by two student leaders.

The visit was arranged after Helena, Alex and family took part in a year 7 settling in evening at Stockland Green. The Brierwoods were among the many supportive parents and families at the well-attended event who were “positive” and “appreciative” of the school.

As part of her VIP treatment, Helena visited the memorabilia room, which contains various items from the school’s past, including photographs. Not only did the grandmother remember the former faces of her teachers and fellow students, but she was able to name each and every one.

In return, the affable alumnus shared her original reports, which reveals her enjoyment of her school days. Helena also took a look at her former headteacher’s punishment book, which details all students who received the cane – fortunately, her name does not appear on the list.

Helena and student leaders

Lawrie said:

It was wonderful to welcome Helena back to share her memories with us and the students were fascinated to hear what school life was like back then. Likewise, she enjoyed meeting everybody and learning more about the new school, describing the student leaders as ‘charming’.

Alex was very proud to see his grandmother and it was a little piece of history to see the pair of them at Stockland Green together. Different generations pass through our school and we see ourselves as part of their extended family – what an honour to be at the heart of this warm and friendly community.

It’s fantastic that Helena has such lovely memories of school from 60 years ago. We want to make sure that present students remember their time here just as fondly when they are grandparents.”