School centenary to unite Brandon community

Brandon was a very different place one hundred years ago but for one school the past will catch up with the present when it celebrates its centenary.

Forest Academy began life in 1912 across two sites with just 200 pupils as Brandon High Street Council School.

The building, recourses and teaching were a far cry from today’s standards and students from the Bury Road school will find out more when they begin a week-long series of activities on October 8.

These include researching each decade the school has been in existence, with talks from former teachers, and will culminate with an exhibition open to parents and the nearby community at the end of the week.

Principal Maria Curry said: “Much has gone into creating a successful school and we want the community to be as involved as possible because it takes a lot of people to make a good school.

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“We are very proud of Forest Academy and all we have achieved over the past few years which has resulted in us being consistently one of the top three primary schools in Suffolk, and want to take this opportunity to celebrate the history of the school.”

On October 1, 1912, pupils were given half a day off from their reading, writing and arithmetic as the foundation stone of the infant school was laid, something which can still be seen today.

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Since then the building the has undergone an extensive programme of refurbishment and extension and became an academy in 2010.

Reception class teacher and history and geography co-ordinator, Wendy Marsh, who has organised the pupil’s activities, said: “We sent questionnaires to parents and they told us what they remembered and we’ve got ex-teachers coming in and if anyone in the community has any photos they’re welcome to get in touch.

“The children are looking forward to it and they’ll be looking around the building, because the brickwork looks very different to the new part, and each class will take a different decade to focus on.

“They’ll be very excited.”

Anyone with historic information or photos they think may be useful to the school’s exhibition should contact Mrs Marsh on 01842 810 309 or

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