A relative of a leading campaigner for women's votes who set up a pioneering north London school was among guests at its 125th anniversary celebrations.

The great-great-great niece of Victorian suffragist Millicent Fawcett, Fenella Dernies, visited The King Alfred School in Golders Green last week to reflect on more than a century of progress made at the school and in society,

“This point in time reflects on the school’s journey so far and inspires our future,” head-teacher Robert Lobatto said.

“Millicent Fawcett was independent, determined and courageous, qualities that The King Alfred has always sought to nurture and it’s fitting that she set the process in motion.”

The Fawcett Society paid tribute to the milestone to the work of their founder, who set up the school near the north end of Hampstead Heath in 1898 to promote equal education for all children.

Former staff and students known as ‘Old Alfredians’ from as far back as the 1930s joined today’s pupils for a photoshoot on the sports field using a high-tech 21st-century drone high above to record the historic gathering.

Paul Davis, a 90-year-old Old Alfredian who was a pupil in 1937, said: “The school holds a special place in my heart. The education has had a lasting impact on me and the same is no doubt true for the thousands who have come here over the decades.”

An exhibition of the school archives was put on in the Sixth Form building, with images and artefacts documenting its history. These included a snapshot of the headmaster in 1911 taking his young scholars on a hike through Hampstead Heath — which was re-enacted with present-day pupils in May.

Youngsters in the Lower School created 125 clay models of King Alfred, one for each year of the school, inspired by past parent Antony Gormley’s ‘Field’ arts installation. They hid the figurines around the school grounds and challenged people to find them.

Other pupils and Old Alfredians gave musical performances at the Treehouse which became an entertainment space for the day.

The school even brought the old ‘Fives Court’ ball game back to life. It’s similar to squash and involves two or four players hitting a ball around a walled court — but using only their hands!