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It's back to school for Adver news editor
This year, Kingsdown School is celebrating its 75th anniversary. Adver news editor and former student STEPHANIE TYE joined other past pupils on a trip down memory lane IT WAS as if the past 12 years had rolled back and I hadn’t been away a day.
Standing in a classroom being praised for the batiking I’d just done (‘That’s really good, everyone needs to do theirs like that’) I felt as though I was still a student at Kingsdown School – all was missing was my red prefect tie, school council chairman badge and jam-packed schedule of extra-curricular activities.
Yes, I was a massive swot at school as anyone who was in the Class of 2000 can confirm.
Yesterday, I was one of nearly 100 former students and staff members from across the decades who took part in tours of the school to see the changes that have taken place since our departure.
From the moment we walked on to the grounds our group was buzzing with memories of who used to teach what in which classrooms, questions as to when buildings went up and wondering if any former teachers were still sharing their knowledge with youngsters.
Among our little group was former science teacher, and my old tutor, Bob Pixton, a family outing of a father (who also happens to be a governor), his two daughters and sister, and two old school chums.
The school’s Virtual Learning Centre was the first stop on the tour, before walking along the corridors of C Block, A Block, a quick nosey in B Block and the highlight of the tour, D Block.
Here guests were fed (thanks to the lovely food tech students who made the rock cakes) and everyone also got to try their hand at batiking (which I excelled at, as we have already discussed).
I can’t speak for anyone else but to me, the school still smelt the same and had the same atmosphere as it did back in 1995 when I first walked through its gates.
Reminiscing over tea and cake at the school’s new sports centre (formerly the Premier Club), governor John Peters, who attended the school between 1956 and 1960 and has been a governor since 1985, said he’d enjoyed the morning.
“As I am a governor I know the basics and have seen the changes,” said the 67-year-old, of Stratton. “It’s nice to see the different generations here. The biggest change to the school since I was a pupil is the expansion – the number of pupils has certainly grown. In my day there was only 600. Now there are about 1,300.”
His youngest daughter, Georgina Attwood, a student from 1989 until 1994, said she’d been interested to see how the school looked today.
The 34-year-old, of Upper Stratton, said. “It doesn’t feel as if it has changed much since I was last here, although the teachers have changed and there has been some building work. It’s been nice to see some familiar faces though and I’ve really enjoyed looking around.”
Assistant headteacher, and tour guide for the day, Matt Amey, said he had enjoyed listening to tales of the school from yesteryear.
“We wanted to provide the opportunity for people to come back and see how things have changed.
“Much like education itself, things move and develop and we wanted to show past pupils and staff how the school is now.
“It’s been great to hear what the visitors have had to say about their time at the school and hear them revisit past memories.”
From 11am until 4pm today, the school is opening its new sports centre, the former Premier Club, to the community. Everyone is welcome to attend and there will be sporting displays, five-a-side football, a barbecue and more.
l See Monday’s Adver for pictures from today’s event.