TWO Eastbourne schools have closed their doors and will reopen in September as Heron Park Community Primary School.
Staff and pupils from Highfield Junior School, which first opened in 1949, and the 100-year-old Hampden Park Infant School were celebrating the end of an era this week as they broke-up for the summer holidays.
The two school have merged and all pupils will attend the Highfield site in The Hydneye in September.
The School Adjudicator approved the creation of the new school in May this year.
The scheme had been backed by both schools and a large majority of people signalled their support in council consultations among parents and the community.
Karen Bye, head teacher at Highfield, said, “As we celebrate all that was good about Highfield and Hampden Park we look to the future of Heron Park. “It is exciting to be part of creating a new school for the children and families of the Hampden Park area.
“The children are looking forward to being together with their brothers and sisters as part of one school. Staff are also excited by the opportunity that the new school creates.
“Having more children on one site will be of great benefit to families.”
Mrs Bye said both schools were looking forward ‘uniting’ to become Heron Park Community Primary School when they returned from the summer holidays in September.
She added, “I am proud to be the first head teacher and to be a part of the success story that I know Heron Park will be as it builds on the strengths of its predecessors.”
Past and present pupils from both Highfield and Hampden Park have been celebrating this week.
An open day with old photographs and an 100-year timeline was attended by 200 people at Hampden Park.
The oldest guest was 93 and the youngest was five.
All children from both schools have been presented with a commemorative mug and they will each receive their free new sweatshirt and book bag in the new school colours and logo.
By 2014/15 the school will operate at full capacity for which a small extension of three classrooms will be required.