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Staindrop School holds 50th anniversary celebration
A FARMER whose family has ongoing links with his former secondary school was among guests celebrating the establishment’s 50th anniversary.
John Walton, from Little Park Farm, in Newsham, joined past and present staff and pupils at Staindrop School on Tuesday, 50 years to the day since it opened, to mark the milestone occasion.
Mr Walton’s three children also attended the school, which opened as a secondary modern in 1963 before becoming a comprehensive school and, most recently, an academy.
His grandson is due to start next year, and his daughter, Davinia, joined the school as a learning support assistant, in 2009.
He said: “I’m honoured to be invited, it’s brought a lot of memories back.”
Staff and pupils spent several weeks organising the event, which featured numerous old photographs and news articles.
An editorial team comprising year ten and eleven pupils Oliver Rodgers, Miles Armstrong, Ashley Fox, Imogen Hawgood, Ruth Dinsdale, Lucy Bedford, Melissa Arkley, Jacob Crow, Alex Copeland, Connor Smyth and Ellie Harland worked with deputy headteacher Alyson Carr and temporary English teacher Jackie Barningham to produce a commemorative newsletter.
The document featured interviews, photographs, school news and history and was presented to every pupil, staff member and guest as a memento of the anniversary.
Headteacher Andrew Flint said: “It’s a matter of pride to be able to take the reins of a school like this, which serves the community so well.
“We became an academy in 2011, which changed the structure of the organisation. There is no standing still in education.”
Former teacher Derek Nicholson, who taught RE for 41 years before retiring in the summer, also attended the event with his wife Pauline, who formerly worked in the school’s pastoral office.
He said: “Two things the school does particularly well is put on shows and support charitable organisations. There have been numerous things over the years which have all been very well supported and that still continues now.”
Ken Dodd, vice chairman of the governors, added: “This is a true celebration and it is lovely that there is past and present staff members here and I can see the delight on people’s faces as they reminisce, tell stories and remember things. It has been a splendid effort.”
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