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Deal: Goodwin Academy holds closing ceremony for old building before demolition

By Eleanor Perkins

Deal’s only secondary school, Goodwin Academy, remembered decades of learning when past pupils attended a farewell ceremony.

It marked the end of an era in the town’s educational history just a few days before the school closes its doors for the final time at the end of term.

Past pupils of the school, under the guises of Elizabeth Carter, Deal Secondary, Castle High and Castle Community, attended to refresh their memories of the building which housed them for their schooling years.

Ex pupils arrive for the closing ceremony presentation

Ex pupils arrive for the closing ceremony presentation

One of the long corridors within the old building

One of the long corridors within the old building

Former head teachers, including David Barnes (from 1989-99) and Les Craggs (from 1987-89) also paid a visit.

In September pupils will start their lessons in a new building – what is known as a super school, designed to house all of Deal’s secondary aged children, and sixth formers.

It was paid for with government money, having been pledged in 2009 under Labour’s Building Schools for the Future scheme.

The guests were toured around the building, checking out old haunts and seeing how things have changed.

Head of humanities Daisy Bradford said: “It was truly heart-warming to talk to staff and students of old about their experiences within the walls of Mill Road, the japes that were enjoyed, the stories of teachers and their quirks.

The presentation had old photographs of the original building

The presentation had old photographs of the original building

Principal Simon Smith outside the entrance

Principal Simon Smith outside the entrance

“Most of all what really stood out was the fondness the community holds for what is more than just a building, it is a part of the life of individuals as well as Deal as a whole.

“One student was able to draw together the history of the place and present to all those who attended the closing ceremony with images of times gone by.

“Arran Powell is currently in Year 13 and is about to leave the school, but dedicated time and effort to ensuring the legacy is not forgotten. All who saw his presentation alongside his many artefacts were rightly impressed.

"So as the doors close for the final time this July, the Mill Road site enters in to another guise. It is not a closing of a school but just a continuation of what has gone before.”

The footprint of the old building will remain as gardens as a lasting legacy.

For more pictures, pick up this week's East Kent Mercury - out now.

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