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Aveland school visit brings back memories

Former pupils, now mums but will not be able to send their children to Aveland School, from left - Dawn Crick, Sarah Bentley, Jodi Crick, Claire Wilkinson and Sandy Chapman. Photo: 340SB-1

Former pupils, now mums but will not be able to send their children to Aveland School, from left - Dawn Crick, Sarah Bentley, Jodi Crick, Claire Wilkinson and Sandy Chapman. Photo: 340SB-1

PAST pupils and staff revisited their old secondary school as it prepares to ring for the end of lessons for the last time.

St George’s Academy is set to close its Billingborough site is set to close at the end of term, to focus on its sites at Ruskington and Sleaford.

The school was officially opened by the Earl of Ancaster as Billingborough Secondary Modern School on May 21 1963, although it had opened to pupils in the January, later becoming the Aveland High School.

Around 200 people came last Wednesday to see how the school has changed since they attended and view displays of work by the 19 year nine pupils - all that remain after older pupils finished exams and younger ones have already relocated.

On show were old class photos, news cuttings, an old prospectus, awards evening programmes, the punishment book and a school newspaper.

Susan Kettle and her sister’s parents donated a shield for achievement in sport which they were now allowed to take back. Sue said: “It is a shame to see the school go but it is wearing at the edges.”

Former pupil Dawn Crick was sad to see it go. “Our grandad helped build it and my mum and some of her family were the first children here. Now we will not be able to send our children here.

“It has not changed a lot and it still smells the same.”

Sarah Bentley agreed noticing even the clocks in the staff room were the same, but the computer room was new to some.

Vice-principal Tina Briggs said it shows the affection with which people still hold the place: “We became part of the academy in January 2011 but the decision to close had already been made.”

Over the last two years the school has shed 33 members of staff, leaving just a skeleton team in place with specialist tutors coming in from other sites.

Of the remaining few students Mrs Briggs said: “They are the nicest bunch of young men and women you could wish to meet.” She admitted the place did seem a bit eery, but was proud of her staff for keeping morale and standards high.

The school has set up a website as an Aveland School archive that anyone can visit at www.theaveland.org to see material from their scrapbooks and photo albums, but people can contribute more to it as well.

 

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