Children danced and clapped at a party to mark the “historic” merger of their two schools.

Pupils of St Josephs Infant and St Josephs Junior schools cut a ribbon to celebrate the newly formed St Josephs Primary School, in Watford Way, Hendon, yesterday.

Teachers and governors announced plans to unite the schools to help ease the transition to secondary school.

During yesterday’s celebrations, the pupils sang hymns and mingled with their new classmates in the playground.

Deputy headteacher Adam Vincent said: “The opening was wonderful, the sun shone on our historic day.

“Children mingled with each other and then went back to class to do some learning. It was a great way to start the day and everyone enjoyed themselves.”

Year 1 pupil Jasmine and Year 3 pupil Zoe were selected to cut the ribbon during the celebrations and Hendon MP Matthew Offord also dropped in.

The school is 130 years old and the infant and junior school have been separate for the past 65 years.

Last year, Ofsted dropped the school's rating from ‘good’ to ‘requires improvement’, but new headteacher Irene Ciapryna vowed to be a “fresh pair of eyes”.

Mr Vincent added: “This will help children work more closely with each other, as the older pupils will set an example for the younger ones. It will give them all a bigger and brighter future.”