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School’s new building officially opens following £1m project

PUBLISHED: 10:00 04 October 2020

The official opening of the Pendall Building at Smithdon High School, Hunstanton. Picture: Ian Burt

The official opening of the Pendall Building at Smithdon High School, Hunstanton. Picture: Ian Burt

Ian Burt Photography

A school’s new building named after a long-serving teacher has officially been opened following a £1m project.

The official opening of the Pendall Building at Smithdon High School, Hunstanton. Picture: Ian BurtThe official opening of the Pendall Building at Smithdon High School, Hunstanton. Picture: Ian Burt

One of the most significant names in the history of Smithdon High School became part of its future as the Hunstanton school’s extensively refurbished buildings were unveiled.

The Pendall Building, named after former English and Geography teacher, Eddie Pendall, was formally opened by his widow, June, and their daughter Hilary Clark on Friday.

Mr Pendall played a hugely important role in school life from its founding in the 1950s through to his retirement in the 1990s, as well as being a pillar of the local community.

The official opening of the Pendall Building at Smithdon High School, Hunstanton. Picture: Ian BurtThe official opening of the Pendall Building at Smithdon High School, Hunstanton. Picture: Ian Burt

And now his legacy will continue on after the new art and ICT suites were dedicated to him.

Mrs Pendall said her husband would have been thrilled to know his name was now part of the fabric of school life.

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Smithdon headteacher, John Hirst, said: “He sounds like a great character whose energy, I for one, envy.

“I think Eddie’s values of dedication, community and creating opportunities for young people are those shared by the leadership and staff of Smithdon today.

“It was a little nail biting to get the building finished in time for the students’ return, but that was achieved and the impact on the learning and wellbeing of all who use it has been truly transformational.”

The official opening of the Pendall Building at Smithdon High School, Hunstanton. Picture: Ian BurtThe official opening of the Pendall Building at Smithdon High School, Hunstanton. Picture: Ian Burt

Already a place of architectural interest due to its bold post-war Brutalist design, Smithdon now boasts a host of new rooms designed for art, food tech, ICT, meetings and exhibition spaces.

The school’s sports hall also underwent a makeover during lockdown as part of a project that cost around £1m in government funding.

The main teaching block opened in 2000 has, meanwhile, been renamed the Shaw Building after then-headteacher Catherine Shaw, while the building housing maths has been named after Chris Holt.

The official opening of the Pendall Building at Smithdon High School, Hunstanton. Picture: Ian BurtThe official opening of the Pendall Building at Smithdon High School, Hunstanton. Picture: Ian Burt

MP for North West Norfolk, James Wild, who was also present at the opening ceremony, added: “The improvements the school has made both through these buildings and the progress of students is impressive.

“Investing in education will help create more opportunities for young people at Smithdon to realise their potential.”


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