70th Anniversary (1952 – 2022)
On 5 October 2022, William Farr Church of England Comprehensive School celebrated its 70th anniversary with a landmark ceremony at a packed Lincoln Cathedral. More than 2000 students, staff and special guests attended the event to mark the special day. Students, ferried to the cathedral in 24 coaches, along with VIPs, including former headteachers, staff and Governors, heard a series of readings and musical performances from the school choir and soloists.
Headteacher Jonathan Knowler told the assembled crowd that the school had survived for 70 years because of the core values “cementing our foundations. The friendship, compassion, perseverance, wisdom, respect and responsibility, which allows you all to live our vision on a daily basis and prepare you to leave school with the skills and confidence to be able to take your place in the world as well-rounded, educated and respectful individuals with a strong moral and ethical compass,” he said. “This is why we have stood the test of time.”
The school was opened in 1952 - the same year Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne - when the Rev William Farr spent his life savings on buying land for a new school. The school, built on the site of the former World War Two bomber station RAF Dunholme Lodge, was named after the Welton clergyman when he died in 1955. It still maintains a RAF Book of Remembrance, which honours those stationed at the base who served and died during the war. In 1996, the Queen and Prince Philip visited the school to open the new Humanities building and in 2004 additional facilities for Mathematics were opened by Prince Edward. In 2018 and 2019, the school was recognised nationally for being in the top 20% of non-selective schools for attainment based on data from the Department for Education and Ofsted.
After the ceremony, Mr Knowler said it had been an immensely proud day for the school. “To see our whole school community, past and present, assembled to honour the school’s history, progress and achievements was a very special moment,” he said. “The school has had an incredible journey from its early days to the thriving school community it is today and so many people have played an important part in that journey.
Today was about honouring those people and our heritage. But, as always, we look to the future and will continue to create a school which strives for excellence and to provide all members of the school community with the opportunities to engage with ‘life in all its fullness’ (John 10:10)."