A LOT can change at a school in 40 years. Staff and students come and go, technology moves forward and the look of the school evolves. But at Gomer Junior School, the passion for technology, community spirit and drive to learn have been mainstays ever since the school opened in 1978 – and have been celebrated at the 40th anniversary celebrations. Pupils, parents and teachers from past and present gathered at the Gosport school to celebrate with a tea party and the planting of a time capsule. Headteacher Georgina Mulhall says that preserving the school’s history by sharing it with current pupils is incredibly important to her
She said: ‘I think it’s really important to celebrate 40 years as a school and reflect on our history. ‘There has been a real buzz around the school about doing this and a sense of excitement about having the former Gomer students coming back – it gives us the chance to reflect on that community foundation. ‘The students have been making cakes, models, posters and much more that shows off the essence of what Gomer Junior School has always stood for and the children have a much greater understanding of what that represents.
‘This is a very special place and regardless of when you came here, there has always been that sense of community.’ Dr Graham Crosby, 83, was the first headteacher at the school, taking the reins when Gomer Junior School was still being built in 1976. He said: ‘It was a building site when I took the job – but it was an opportunity that only comes around once in a career. ‘It was our job to build the heritage and reputation of the school, and with a focus on learning to learn and on technology, we managed to build something that was really quite special.
‘It is a real privilege to come here and a pleasure to meet the current students, who all have a real passion for STEM subjects and for their community.’ Ros Foley, 48, was part of the first cohort of students at the school. She said: ‘I absolutely loved it here – it felt special to be here because it was our school and it felt like we belonged at Gomer. ‘A lot has changed on the outside, and obviously the technology has changed so much with smart boards and computers – but it still feels like the same school underneath all that. ‘That family feel that was so important to us when the school first opened is still there, and that is incredibly special to me.’
Head boy Oscar Mellers, Year Six, said: ‘Today feels quite special – it’s great to experience the 40th anniversary during our time at the school.’ Amy Labour, also Year Six, said: ‘It’s very exciting. ‘We’re used to seeing Mrs Mulhall around in school, but it was a really nice surprise to have the first ever headteacher here.’ Fellow Year Six pupil Scarlett Duff said: ‘We’re having a picnic lunch and a STEM science show in the afternoon to celebrate – it’s all been really fun.