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Nostalgia for former pupils of Stockton school

Former Grangefield School students reminisce before new academy is built in its place

Posted by Stephanie Broad | August 08, 2015 | Facilities & buildings

As staff and students at the Grangefield Academy eagerly anticipate the completion of their brand new school building next year, a special day of tours around the current school was held recently for former pupils to reminisce over childhood memories before bulldozers move onto the site.

The Grangefield School and technology college first opened its doors in 1951 as separate boys’ and girls’ grammar schools.  Since then, the school has gone through a number of changes, most recently in January 2014 when it converted to an academy, sponsored by the Northern Education Trust. With the demolition of the original buildings, Grangefield Academy is now set to see another transformation.

Sadly, the existing buildings could not be saved due to their structural condition; however several features will be displayed outside the new school as a memory of former times.

The school can lay claim to educating some well-known names, such as Hollywood directors Ridley and Tony Scott who have produced popular films such as Top Gun, Blade Runner and Alien. Pat Barker was also a pupil at the school and she has since become a successful, award-winning author, winning the 1995 Booker Prize.

Over 650 people turned up for the tours around the school and the chance to meet former school friends, before ending with a display of old photographs. Almost 300 signed up to become official alumni of the school so that they can continue their association and keep up with future developments.

The Grangefield Academy has been successful in gaining funding for a total new building under the government’s Priority Schools Building Programme and the construction of the new school is now well underway. It will open its doors in April 2016 and will also be available for use by the community on weekdays and weekends.

Nikki Gibb, head of the academy, commented:  “We are so excited to be getting a brand new, purpose-built school that although the event we organised for former pupils is undoubtedly full of nostalgia for some, for those who are teaching and learning in these buildings, it is really like reaching the end of a well-read chapter in Grangefield’s life. 

“I am certain that many more memories will be made at the new academy when it opens its doors in April 2016 because it will provide a fantastic climate for learning and development – not just for our students - but for the community too, and then, the next exciting chapter in Grangefield’s life will begin.”    

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