East Bergholt High School
Head Boy: Jake CesareoHead Girl: Jess Dorling
East Bergholt High School is a selective public secondary school in East Bergholt, Suffolk, 11 miles (18 km) north of Colchester, Essex, and nine miles (14 km) south of Ipswich, Suffolk. It has 880 students. The current headteacher is Mr Colin Turner.
The school opened on its present site in 1957 as East Bergholt Modern School. It replaced a Victorian-built school at Burnt Oak, East Bergholt, at the junction of Flatford Road and White Horse Road.
East Bergholt Modern School took children aged 11–16 from East Bergholt and surrounding villages, including Brantham, Bentley, Capel St Mary, Copdock, Washbrook, Raydon and Holton St Mary. Many of these villages had their own primary schools. These children would not have passed the 11+ examination; children who passed that exam went to grammar schools in Ipswich, Colchester or Stowmarket. The school's focus at the time was on technical rather than academic ability, with a leaning towards rural and domestic science.
The original school building - still in use in 2015 - has a hall, library, kitchens and about ten classrooms. Originally, two of these were especially equipped for cookery/needlework and science/rural science.
A second building opened in 1971, with a ceremony performed by Margaret Thatcher, then education minister. This building was largely open-plan with the exception of the music and art/craft rooms. A new science section on the northern side of the first floor had three rooms, again open-plan. The school roll at the time was 350.
A sports hall opened at the same time. Between 1972-75, a campaign led by villager Jan Watts led to an open-air heated swimming pool being built to the north of the sports hall. The sports hall was extended in 1997, and its facilities, including a fitness studio, gym, hard courts and grass pitches, are shared with the community.
The school has 20 acres (81,000 m2) of grounds which included a youth club to the west of the original school and a caretaker's house on the frontage. The original tennis courts at the front of the school are now a car park, and new sports courts have been built on the east of the site.
In the late 1970s, the school became a comprehensive (taking children of all abilities) and changed its name from "modern school" to "high school". It became a specialist science college in 2004, and was designated a high-performing specialist school in 2009.
As of 2010, its catchment area remains the same as it was in the 1950s, although the school's reputation for academic achievement has led to children from north Colchester and Manningtree choosing to go there. Also as of 2010 the school has consisted of four blocks as the swimming pool was filled in and was turned into an extra playground and "D block".
The school's original building is called "A block" and consists of the hall, canteen, 18 classrooms one containing kitchen facilities, music practice rooms and small offices. The second block to be built is "B block". It consists of a library, the school's office, 13 classrooms including science labs and ICT suits."C block has 12 classrooms including science labs ICT suits and technology rooms. The newest "D block" has 3 classrooms and small examination room used for language GCSE speaking exams.
During 2013 work began on the extension of the original dining hall which has made extra room for eating areas. Solar panels have also been put on top of B Block roof.
Travelling to school
In the 1950s, many of the children were leased bicycles to use to ride to school. By the early 1970s, school buses ran from the fast-growing village of Capel St Mary, and minibuses ran from Higham and Stratford St Mary. In the early 1980s, a proposal to withdraw school buses for some children in Capel St Mary, on the other side of the A12 trunk road, sparked a campaign led by Capel resident Derek Hurley. This involved mass walks alongside the A12 road and national television coverage. The proposal was eventually scrapped. Most children nowadays are brought to school by bus or car, with the exception of a few children who live nearby in East Bergholt.
The school's first badge showed a lamb; this sought to maintain a connection with East Bergholt's first school, opened in 1594 by the lawyer Edward Lambe, and intended "for the instruction of poor boys". The Lambe School building still stands in The Street, and is used as a community hall. The current badge is a "shark's fin" of three blue stripes.
People of note
The schools music teacher in the 1970s, Geoff Hannant, was the organist for the 1973 wedding at Westminster Abbey of The Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips. Hannant went on to record Twelve East Anglian Organs.