Norfolk’s smallest primary school closes its doors for the last time
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016
As the school term ends most youngsters will be looking forward to spending their free days with friends.
But for pupils at Brockdish Primary School, near Harleston, the last day of term was tinged with sadness because the school will not reopen its doors in September. The future of Norfolk's smallest primary school, which started the year with 12 pupils, had been uncertain for a number of months before its permanent closure was confirmed at Easter.
However staff and pupils were determined to celebrate their last day at the school and create happy memories to take away with them.
The youngsters watched a film, enjoyed the sunshine in their playground and were thrown a party in the afternoon. As a parting gift the pupils, who are aged between five and nine, were given farewell presents.
Jacqui Sydney, head of school, said: 'At the moment it is still quite surreal. It is a sad day, but it is a celebration of the children here. They are fantastic.
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'There are a lot of positives; it is a new adventure for them. And socially they will benefit from a larger range of children to interact with.'
The eight pupils who finished the last term at Brockdish primary will be going to schools in Harleston, Pulham Market or will be home schooled.
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Sports equipment, books and resources from the school will be going to other schools in the area.
Mrs Sydney, who has been at the school for three years, praised its family atmosphere and 'nurturing' ways.
'I have never been to a school where the children are so loving and well behaved,' she said. 'When we take them out it is always an absolute joy. We have had emails saying how beautifully behaved they were.
'We know all the children so well. Everybody that walks through the door say what a wonderful place and how happy the children are. They are nurtured here.'
The school will officially close on August 31.
A consultation was launched by Norfolk County Council earlier this year regarding the school's closure. Councillors said all avenues to save the school from closure had been exhausted.
The number of pupils attending the school had not risen above 35 in the past decade.
The school which was once a workhouse
The school was originally a workhouse.
When a work house was built in Pulham Market the Rev George France bought the building for £100 to £150.
He opened it in 1845 as a primary school to educate the children of Brockdish.
A record book kept by the school reveals some interesting information about the small and rural school:
Children were taken out blackberry picking on October 10 1918.
In 1920 there were 66 children recorded as attending the school.
During the Second World War the school had a number of evacuees attend.
On June 23 1941 there were 58 local children on the books and 26 evacuees.
In 1954 there were 91 children who attended the school.