Former pupils and staff helped celebrate the 40th anniversary of Urchfont Primary School at its current site.

The school moved from a Victorian house in the High Street to its site in Cuckoo Corner.

The old school was small and closed due to the facilities being outdated. When the new school opened in 1974 the pupils picked up their desks and chairs from the old school building and carried them to the new school.

Dozens of guests were at the 40th birthday party on Friday on the school field including Jackie Holton, who was headteacher for seven years until 2009.

Mrs Holton, who lives near Devizes, became acting head on a part-time basis while she worked at a school in Trowbridge, but in her words she became “hooked” and applied to become the permanent headteacher.

She said: “It’s a magical place where the children are a delight and there has always been a family feel here. Everybody gets on well together and the staff work really hard to the best for the children.”

Elizabeth Milner, of High Street, Urchfont, has been involved with the school for 15 years including six as governor.

She continues to go in once a week to read to Woodpecker class on a one-to-one basis, supporting the class teacher.

Mrs Milner said: “The school is like an extended family and it’s a very calming place to be in. The children are all willing to learn.”

Current headteacher Carol Talbot, who has been at the school for three years, told the guests: “It’s a special place to work and a really special place for the children to attend. We are able to lead children to realise their potential and we are very proud that former pupils want their children to attend here.”

Everyone sang Happy Birthday before some of the pupils released balloons into the sky.

Joan Barnett, chairman of governors, thanked the following organisations for providing food and drinks for the birthday party: Planks Farm Shop, Icleand, Morrisons and Marks & Spencer, plus Tesco and Sainsbury’s for the tableware.