Photo gallery: Wymondham High Academy gets a royal visit to mark 75th anniversary

Wymondham High Academy celebrates 75 years with a visit by the Duke of Gloucester who met students and teachers and unveiled a plaque celebrating the event.
Photo by Simon Finlay. Wymondham High Academy celebrates 75 years with a visit by the Duke of Gloucester who met students and teachers and unveiled a plaque celebrating the event. Photo by Simon Finlay.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014
8:56 AM

Students and staff at Wymondham High Academy also enjoyed a royal visit from the Duke yesterday, after he unveiled a special plaque to commemorate the school’s 75th anniversary.

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Wymondham High Academy celebrates 75 years with a visit by the Duke of Gloucester who met students and teachers and unveiled a plaque celebrating the event.
Photo by Simon Finlay.Wymondham High Academy celebrates 75 years with a visit by the Duke of Gloucester who met students and teachers and unveiled a plaque celebrating the event. Photo by Simon Finlay.

The Duke was taken on a tour around the school’s expanding facilities and met students hard at work in the new science, art and history blocks built last year.

“The 75th anniversary is an opportunity to look back and look forward and to feel that you are providing the right education for your young people here,” he said.

When it opened in 1939, just before the outbreak of the Second World War, the school - then called Wymondham Central Senior Mixed School - housed just 201 pupils and eight members of staff.

Now, the academy is marking the milestone with more than 1,600 pupils and 200 members of staff.

Russell Boulton, principal, said that the school’s strong relationship with the community had ensured it became a well-loved part of the town.

“I think what’s really important is that for the community and for the pupils, they are part of something that’s got history.

“We are quite central within the community. Some of our teachers have taught two generations of Wymondham people,” he said.

Initially the school housed boys and girls under one roof, but it soon split into two single sex secondary modern schools.

Dianne Fernee, Wymondham deputy mayor, attended the girls’ section of the school – which is now the main reception and canteen.

She said: “Even then it was before its time with forward thinking – they had a pre-nursing course which was very unusual. Most secondary modern schools didn’t go that far.”

In 1972, the schools were amalgamated to form Wymondham School and 20 years later the Sixth Form was built, which now holds more than 400 pupils.

Peter Wadlow has been a part of the school for 43 years. He was appointed as a teacher in 1971 – moving up through the ranks to become head of house, senior master, assistant and deputy head teacher, even taking on two stints as acting head.

“It is just a good school,” he said. “Made up of good students, good parents and good staff. The school has it all.”

Can you spot yourself in any of our old Wymondham High Academy photos? Click on the gallery to the right.

Do you have any memories of the school? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk or tweet @EDPLauren

Read about the Duke’s trip to Thetford Academy here and his visit to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital to open the new cancer treatment centre here.

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