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Hundreds help school to mark centenary

WH 040714 Worthing High School Centenary Reunion. L tyo R Maureen Hyde, Iris Baker, Shirley Wright, Beryl Chatfield, and Millie Collins. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-140707-100900001

WH 040714 Worthing High School Centenary Reunion. L tyo R Maureen Hyde, Iris Baker, Shirley Wright, Beryl Chatfield, and Millie Collins. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-140707-100900001

MORE than 300 people turned out to help Worthing High School mark its centenary.

The South Farm Road school organised the day-long event on Friday, July 4, to mark 100 years since the school moved to the purpose-built site.

The former girls school has its roots as a small private establishment in 1905, which was taken over by the local education authority in 1909 when it was attended by 30 to 40 pupils.

By 1914, the numbers had grown to 113 and the school was moved to accommodate 150 pupils.

From 1944 to 1973, the school served as a grammar school, before becoming a comprehensive school in 1973.

With further reorganisation of education within the county in 1982, Gaisford High School for girls merged with Tarring Secondary School for boys to become fully co-educational as Worthing High School. Today, the school has around 900 pupils.

Teacher Phil Klemenik organised the day, which saw the school’s past and present students come together to share stories and memories.

He said: “Everybody that attended had a tour of the school which people found really interesting.

“A lot of the alumni that attended had people that attended the school during the Second World War so they could really see the changes that had been made.

“This was a great opportunity for our former students to get together and have a natter while meeting those who were their school friends. We put up display boards for the various year groups so that people were able to recognise one another.

“Although the building itself has not changed a great deal, a lot of the rooms within it have changed as well as items in the classroom, such as interactive white boards that have replaced black boards.

“Students were acting like little news reporters by telling the alumni what school life is like now.”

Mr Klemenik said the school had already received a number of thank-you letters and emails about the day.

“People seemed to have a really good time,” he said, “And there were lots of comments about how school dinners had improved.

“One lady told me how she used to have two pockets in her coat, one for money and the other for cabbage from lunch that she used to hide rather than eat.

“It was great to hear lots of tales from the past and our current students gained a lot from it too. Some of them even showed round their grandmothers and it was really nice to see the family connections.”

 

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