Call of the old school bell in Bonnybridge

Anne has been at Bonnybridge Primary since she was five years old
Anne has been at Bonnybridge Primary since she was five years old

The story of a village school that celebrates its 50th anniversary today can be told in the remarkable career of one teacher.

Anne Jack has been attending Bonnybridge Primary, first as a pupil and then as a teacher, since 1962 - the only break being when she attended Denny High and Callendar Park teacher training college in her teens.

In total, she’s been associated with the school for a staggering 43 years.

It’s a record that’s unlikely to be matched by any other teacher still working in Scotland.

Bonnybridge Primary was officially opened by Councillor David Mann on April 26, 1962.

Among those in attendance that day was a young Anne, then a primary two pupil.

Fast forward exactly 50 years and she is now the school’s depute head.

This week, Anne told The Falkirk Herald about her long career and her affection for the hundreds of children she has taught over the years.

“Kids often say to me, ‘you taught my mum’. I’ve always joked that the day one says to me ‘you taught my gran’, it will be time to retire,” she said.

Anne can still remember the old village school which was demolished to make way for the current Bonnybridge Primary.

“I remember how cold it was. We were amazed at how warm and bright the new school seemed in comparison,” she added.

During her career, the 56-year-old has witnessed some big changes in the way children are taught.

Pupils could still face corporal punishment when she began teaching, although Anne says she never needed to use the dreaded belt on any of her pupils.

“I never felt comfortable with it. You should be able to control a class with your personality. And some pupils will always misbehave, regardless of the punishment.

“Overall, I think schools are now a much more positive place for both pupils and teachers.

“I think kids today have far more educational opportunities. But the number of employment opportunities just now is very worrying.”

Anne’s has worked under four headteachers at Bonnybridge and serves on the PTA.

She has been happy to spend her career at the school due to its positive ethos and the relationship between parents and teachers.

“My children went here, it’s a good school and I’ve enjoyed my time here very much.

“I’m frightened to retire - I think my car will still drive into the car park every morning.”

Bonnybridge Primary will mark its anniversary with concerts on May 2 and May 9.