Harrogate High School turned 50 years old on Saturday 29th September 2012 and we held a celebration event to run alongside our annual Open Day. To celebrate we invited back ex-staff and students from over the school´s time. The event was a success, with the main hall packed full of old and new faces.
On display we had display boards full of old school photos, press cuttings and memorabilia put together by long-time friends of the school Jean Lane and Ada and John Shorter who have all had an affiliation with the school for over 40 years. Jean, now vice chair of governors, was chosen to give a speech and have the honour of cutting the cake with Ada and John by her side – this was greeted with a huge roar by everyone in the hall.
The cake itself was created by students Joe, Sam and David McCabe´s mother, Alison McCabe, recreating the Harrogate High School badge in a wonderful piece of architecture.
The Mayor of Harrogate, Cllr Robert Windass, visited the school with his wife to take part in proceedings before we heard a speech from Principal Andrew Bayston reiterating the school´s motto of ´Learning First´ and informing those who didn´t already know about the plans to build a brand new school, a new tennis facility in association with Spa Tennis Club and the recent conversion to Academy status.
Andrew Bayston said:
This school is on an upward trend, our GCSE results have grown and grown in the last five years with our most recent record breaking. But we are a school with a vision and are still making the changes; our new building and academy status are examples of this. However we will not change how we learn, we already put learning first, and that is already a winning formula.
This was capped off with two final speeches from Year 11 students Alia Khalid and James Nicholls welcoming people and talking about the school today.
Alia Khalid said:
When I first arrived at Harrogate High I was scared, it was a big place. But now I realise I did not have to worry, I have made lots of friends and the staff are always around. It is a warm and happy place – don´t worry about coming here.
To end, everyone got a piece of cake, time to catch-up and reminisce, and see the school at its very best throughout the day.