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Bungay High School celebrates 450th anniversary

Former students of Bungay High visit the current building to help celebrate the 450th anniversary of the school.

Former students of Bungay High visit the current building to help celebrate the 450th anniversary of the school.

© Archant 2015

Bungay High School is celebrating its 450th anniversary this year, and as part of a series of events to mark the milestone former students and teachers have returned to the school to talk about their memories.

History of Bungay High School

1565 - The school was built

1688 - School building was destroyed by fire

1925 - The school moved to new buildings in St John’s Road - it was an all boys school

1961 - The school transferred to Queen’s Road and became co-educational

1962 - More new buildings were added to the school which were dedicated by the Lord Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich

1973 - The school became a Comprehensive and was re-named Bungay High School (previously Bungay Grammar School)

1988 - Dunelm Boarding House closed ending 400 years of boarding

2011 - Bungay High became an Academy

2012 - The school became an 11-18 Comprehensive school and the Sixth Form Centre opened on the old Bungay Middle School site.

The visitors discussed what it was like before the school went co-educational in 1961 and the forms of punishment including the cane.

Media students from the high school will compile the interviews with former students and teachers into a film they’re making on the school’s long history.

Roger Knights from Ditchingham attended the school between 1958 and 1965. The 68-year-old said: “I attended the old grammar school and then when it moved here in 1961.

“I remember when they introduced the girls into the school - that was a bit distracting but good. I had an extremely good education here and some great memories.

Former students of Bungay High visit the current building to help celebrate the 450th anniversary of the school.
Former student Richard Cundy with students Holly Wakelin, Mia Clack and Tilly McLean looking at the old school blazer.Former students of Bungay High visit the current building to help celebrate the 450th anniversary of the school. Former student Richard Cundy with students Holly Wakelin, Mia Clack and Tilly McLean looking at the old school blazer.

“It’s bigger now and speaking to the students, they’re surprised we had the cane.”

Old pictures of former pupils and books from years gone by are on display around the school with associate headteacher Catherine Wiltshire believing it is important the youngsters understand the history of their school.

She said: “To celebrate 450 years is special and it’s interesting for youngsters to understand what school was like years ago and how different it was.”

Pat and Graham May, who live in Bungay, were the Dunelm Boarding House mistress and master from 1977 to its closure in 1988.

“Graham was teaching PE and maths so I ran the boarding house,” said Mrs Graham. “I was mum to 23 boys in addition to my own two children.

“For me as a young mother in 
my 30s it was a bigger responsibility than I initially thought but I 
thought of them boys as my family and we had some interesting adventures.”

The next celebratory event will 
be a summer concert on Wednesday, July 15 at St Mary’s Church. The concert will start at 7pm with tickets costing £4 for adults and £2 for children and concessions.

Tickets are available from the school reception by calling 01986 892140 or email mail@bungayhigh.co.uk.

A tree planting ceremony will also be taking place later this year.

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