Town says fond farewell to Stowmarket Middle School

Stowmarket Middle School held a farewell open evening on May 22. The school is due to close at the end of the academic year ANL-150526-121559001
Stowmarket Middle School held a farewell open evening on May 22. The school is due to close at the end of the academic year ANL-150526-121559001
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Stowmarket Middle School was a hive of activity at its farewell open evening on Friday (May 22) as hundreds turned up to say goodbye.

The school, which is set to close its doors for good at the end of the term, was bustling with hundreds of current and former students, teachers, staff members and parents.

Stowmarket Middle School held a farewell open evening on May 22. The school is due to close at the end of the academic year ANL-150528-102119001

Stowmarket Middle School held a farewell open evening on May 22. The school is due to close at the end of the academic year ANL-150528-102119001

Exciting displays, performances and workshops were set up all over the school with games and sports at the town’s recreation ground next door.

Mark Bartholomew, assistant head teacher, said: “I have never seen as many people here before and I have been at the school for 18 years.

“It has been absolutely fantastic - we didn’t envisage anything like this.
“It is a bit like a wake really - a celebration of the school’s life.

“The school has never looked better and that’s a real credit to everyone involved.”

Kate Kingsford-Bere, acting head teacher, said: “It has been lovely to see so many old pupils. It has been fantastic - the response from everybody has been overwhelming.
“We are here to give the school a send off really, we are here to say goodbye.
It is very sad that it is closing but this is a chance to celebrate the ethos of the school and everything it has achieved.”

Mervyn Evans, who was a PE teacher at the school for 35 years, said: “I didn’t expect anything like this - not this number of people. It’s wonderful to see everyone here.”

Stowmarket Middle School first opened its doors in 1971 although there had been a school at the site since 1862.

In February 2013, Suffolk County Council made the decision to close Stowmarket, Bacton, Combs and Needham Market Middle Schools to move towards a two-tier model of schooling. A decision has yet to be made on the future of the Stowmarket middle school site.

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