Hornchurch school celebrates past 82 years as pupils and staff prepare for big move

Pupils past and present turned up last Friday to look at pictures and artefacts on display.

Pupils past and present turned up last Friday to look at pictures and artefacts on display. - Credit: Archant

Pupils past and present went on a trip down memory lane as a primary school prepares to wave goodbye to a building which has stood for 82 years.

An artist's impression of the new building for Suttons Primary School. The school's plans are set to

An artist's impression of the new building for Suttons Primary School. The school's plans are set to be discussed by Havering Council's regulatory services committee. Picture: Suttons Primary School - Credit: Archant

Suttons Primary School, Suttons Lane, Hornchurch, is set to move into a new modern building next month in the first ever move since 1934.

On Friday, past and present governors, staff, volunteers and pupils were invited to re-visit the school.

Those in attendance got to read through old school records, headteacher diaries and scan through pictures and artefacts which were on display in the school hall.

The event was to mark an end of an era for the current school building, which was intended to only last 20 years.


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Students are set to enjoy a special two-week half-term holiday as teachers spend a week moving everything into the new building for November 7.

Headteacher David Unwin-Bailey is excited for the move and believes it marks a big point in the school’s history.

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He said: “It’s going to be sad to see the building go as you do become attached to it.

“But this move will bring far more learning opportunities for pupils and we foresee a bright future for everyone moving forward.”

Former teacher Elsie Palfreman, 90, was one of those who attended on Friday and remembers first walking through the school doors as a pupil back in 1936.

She said: “It was such a delightful little school that I loved coming to.

“Everyone was so nice and I still remember the most wonderful music teacher who used to play lovely tunes to us.

“I moved from inner London so I loved the green countryside which surrounded the school.”

Patricia Edwards, also taught at Suttons between 1951-74 and said the school hasn’t changed much.

“On my first day I called a register of 49 names and took them off to the classroom.

“Those children were in all day and for the whole week but the children were good and seemed to enjoy school.

Vivien Adams who first came to the school in 1961 was also happy to be back.

She said: “It feels exactly the same as when I first came, I’m just a bit taller this time!

“It’s great to be back and being here brings back great memories.”

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