Homewood School celebrates its 70th Birthday
Over 150 alumni – one even travelling from the USA – and representatives from the local community attended a party to celebrate the school’s 70th Birthday on Saturday 22 June. Special guests included Ashford MP Damian Green and the Mayor of Tenterden, Cllr Mrs Jean Curteis, and her consort Mr David Curteis who are both former Homewood pupils.
Alumni were treated to coffee and birthday cupcakes in the school’s Balcony restaurant, prepared by the school’s catering students, while they re-connected with old classmates and former teachers.
They also spent time viewing an exhibition of photos and memorabilia from the school’s archives which are being painstakingly sorted and catalogued by the Homewood Archive70 project team, with the help of the Tenterden Local History Society. The team includes three current Year 12 Homewood students – Eva, Jacob and Theo – who are all taking A level history.
The exhibition included a challenge for alumni to help identify those pictured plus the events and year concerned. A number of alumni brought back their own photos and memorabilia to share, including a model of a steam engine made for a 1968 science event by then sixth-former Michael Hook – an original photo of which was featured in the exhibition.
Current students and staff also took groups of alumni on tours of the school – particularly the Mansion (previously known as the House) which held many great memories for the oldest students as this was the core of the school when it first opened.
The culmination of the morning was an official 70th birthday cake cutting ceremony in front of a packed Sinden Theatre, by Damian Green MP, the Mayor and the Principal Mrs Sally Lees who also spoke to alumni: “It is wonderful to welcome back so many former students and staff to Homewood. Represented here are past students of Homewood who have gone on to achieve success and contribute to their community in many different ways.
“Ours is an amazing school and I hope you can see that many of the things which make Homewood so special have their roots back in its history. Whilst the school site may look very different since you were here, our ethos and aims remain as they have always been since the school was opened 70 years ago: Learning – Respect – Belonging. Those three words underpin the educational experience for our current students as much they did for you, whenever you were here.
“Our involvement with the wider local community of Tenterden remains of vital importance to us and I am delighted to see so many representatives of our community here today. We are sharing the day today with local primary school children and their parents who are here for our Open Morning. So we can truly say that Homewood today is welcoming students past, present and future. We all join together in celebrating our wonderful school.”
The event also officially launched the school’s online alumni community which is growing week by week. Former students who were unable to attend the event but would like to re-connect with the school can join the community by clicking here.