Current and former pupils celebrate Thetford’s Redcastle Family School’s 50th anniversary

Pupils at the Redcastle Family School in Thetford dressed in 1960's clothes for the day. Picture: Ia

Pupils at the Redcastle Family School in Thetford dressed in 1960's clothes for the day. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

It was the year the 747 Jumbo Jet was unveiled and The Beatles’ White Album soared to the top of the charts.

Pupils at the Redcastle Family School in Thetford dressed in 1960's clothes for the day. Picture: Ia

Pupils at the Redcastle Family School in Thetford dressed in 1960's clothes for the day. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

And closer to home Redcastle Family School in Thetford opened its doors to welcome its first pupils.

To mark the 50th anniversary - January 8 1968 - pupils and staff held a day to celebrate the milestone and the decade.

Youngsters came dressed in their retro outfits and even ate the staple foods of the time, including toad in the hole and jam sponge and custard.

Old newsreels were shown, music from the decade was played, and lessons were taught on how school life 50 years ago compared to now.

Staff at Thetford's Redcastle Family School in 2000

Staff at Thetford's Redcastle Family School in 2000 - Credit: Archant


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Year six pupil Logan, 10, said: “I learnt that boys were called by their last names and girls were called by their first names.”

A time capsule containing stamps, music, a school jumper, and a picture of today’s fashion was buried for future generations to find.

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Former pupils and staff were invited to reminisce, catch-up and have a look through old photographs.

Alison Nightingale (née Ingham) was one of the school’s first pupils.

Pupils at the Redcastle Family School in Thetford dressed in 1960's clothes for the day. Picture: Ia

Pupils at the Redcastle Family School in Thetford dressed in 1960's clothes for the day. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

Now a teacher at Garboldisham Primary School, the 54-year-old said it was nice to return to the school she said was “lovely”.

“I have never been back since I left,” she said. “It is lovely and really beautiful.

“I have this vision still of my dad leaning over the gate here with two packets of Fruit Pastilles for me and my sister and telling us we had a baby brother, David James.”

Erica Hobday-Pepper was a teaching assistant from 1991 until 2011 and still volunteers at the school.

Pupils at the Redcastle Family School in Thetford dressed in 1960's clothes for the day. Picture: Ia

Pupils at the Redcastle Family School in Thetford dressed in 1960's clothes for the day. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

She said: “It is a fantastic and lovely place and obviously the staff are very friendly. My son enjoyed his time here and my granddaughters love it.”

To start the day the old school bell was rung.

Acting headteacher Liz Russell said the day was for people to share their memories and to make more memories for the future generation.

She said: “It is important for children to be part of the 50 year celebrations because we are making memories for them and they learn about how things and life has changed since the 1960s.

Pupils at the Redcastle Family School in Thetford dressed in 1960's clothes for the day. Picture: Ia

Pupils at the Redcastle Family School in Thetford dressed in 1960's clothes for the day. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

“It is nice because the community has been invited in.”

Pupils at the Redcastle Family School in Thetford dressed in 1960's clothes for the day. Picture: Ia

Pupils at the Redcastle Family School in Thetford dressed in 1960's clothes for the day. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

Pupils at the Redcastle Family School in Thetford dressed in 1960's clothes for the day. Picture: Ia

Pupils at the Redcastle Family School in Thetford dressed in 1960's clothes for the day. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

Pupils at the Redcastle Family School in Thetford dressed in 1960's clothes for the day. Picture: Ia

Pupils at the Redcastle Family School in Thetford dressed in 1960's clothes for the day. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

Pupils at the Redcastle Family School in Thetford dressed in 1960's clothes for the day. Picture: Ia

Pupils at the Redcastle Family School in Thetford dressed in 1960's clothes for the day. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

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