Chichester MP Gillian Keegan and local councillors joined the founders of Chichester Free School, staff old and new, pupils and original volunteers to celebrate the school’s successful first year in its new home at the former Carmelite convent in Hunston Road.
The area’s only all-through school for pupils aged four to 19 was praised by Ofsted inspectors earlier this year for its high standards of teaching, gaining a resounding ‘Good’ across all areas.
Last week’s event was an opportunity for principal-designate, Louise New, who takes over in September, to celebrate its success with everyone involved with the school from when it first opened in 2013 on a temporary site at Vinnetrow Road.
Founding principal, Guy Martyn, and his wife, Lara, the school’s former drama and English teacher, were among the guests, along with founders Helen Humphry and Nadine Hubble; Stephen King, founding chairman of governors; Jenny Clough, interim principal and Howard Oyns, chairman of governors.
Boys and girls from the school’s Combined Cadet Force braved torrential rain to attend to the guests’ arrival. Everyone was given a tour of the school as well as being entertained by a concert from singing teacher, Charley Bolton, and her talented pupils. A huge birthday cake, made by admin assistant, Sue Moon, was a huge success with everybody, too.
Chichester Free School was created in 2013. The school is non-profit-making, independent, state-funded, free to attend and is not wholly controlled by the local authority.
Since its sixth form opened in 2018, it is Chichester’s only all-through school, with capacity for more than 1,200 boys and girls from aged from four to 19.
Jenny Clough said: “I would like to thank all the parents and volunteers who made our dream of delivering a first-class education to pupils of all ages and abilities a reality.
“This event has been a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the many dedicated people involved in our journey over the years to create a successful school where many hundreds of children enjoy learning and achieve their potential.”
For more information about Chichester Free School, visit: chichesterfreeschool.org.uk