Lowestoft school may be closing but it has left its mark

COME July, its classrooms and corridors will fall silent after 30 years educating local youngsters.

But pupils at Kirkley Middle School have been turning back the clock and researching the history of their school before it closes for the final time this summer.

Along with other middle schools in the Lowestoft area, Kirkley will close as part of the move to reorganise the town's education system from a three tiers to two. From September there will only be primary and high schools in the Lowestoft area with pupils staying at primaries until they are 11 years old.

Determined that Kirkley Middle's proud past is not forgotten, head teacher Jo Ryder and other staff members have helped pupils produce a book about the school which will be presented to the Lowestoft Record Office.

Youngsters have been able to put in their own words what they think about the school.

Joanna Dack, of class 8DD, said the book would be dedicated to everyone who had studied at the school since it opened as a middle school on September 1, 1981.

'For 30 fabulous years she stood strong through thick and thin. Nothing can beat our spirits. You are more than a school in my eyes.

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'As we go through life, we will remember where we spent four important years learning, meeting friends and sharing. We will never forget you Kirkley,' she writes.

Pupils were also able to study some of the school logbooks which go back to the time it was a primary school in the 1920s.

'Some of the photographs were really funny. When looking at the photos they showed some of our teachers when they were children,' said Abigail Schuurman, of class 8DB.

Year 8 pupil Megan Draper was pleased that parents had been invited to the school to share their memories.

'Photos were displayed around the classrooms and in old photo albums there were pictures of the old building and construction work.

'Kirkley Middle has dramatically changed over the years and the days that the pupils, staff and parents had, really showed the true colours of Kirkley Middle School,' she said.

Marianna English, of class 8DB, said: 'Everyone in the school took part including teachers, office staff, helpers and the librarian. We all had a brilliant time.

'Most of all we all had great fun writing and learning about the school when it was first around,' she said.

What are your memories of the Lowestoft middle schools which will be closing at the end of the school year in July? Write to: Postbox, The Journal, 147 London Road North, Lowestoft NR32 1NB or email lowestoft.journal@archant.co.uk