It was a case of deja vu for some visitors when a New Forest school opened its doors to grandparents.
Among the many proud granddads and nans who were at The Arnewood School for its annual ‘grandparents’ day’ were two former students.
Christine Vibert and Elaine Cawley were the first of three generations of their families to attend Arnewood and were given the pleasure of seeing their Year 7 grandchildren follow in their footsteps.
But when Elaine went to Arnewood back in the 1960s it was known as the Gore Road Secondary School and a lot different to how it is today.
She recalled: “The school is now about three times bigger. In my day it was just one main block plus a little tiny block which was the cookery centre.
“But of course the biggest change has to be the technology because in my day just everything was paper and pen – now it’s all screen based.”
Elaine was visiting Arnewood along with her husband Graham, accompanying their granddaughter Jessica Cawley.
Jessica is now the third generation of Cawley family Arnewood students, with her dad and uncle both attending in the 1980s and 90s.
“It was lovely to be back at the school, we really enjoyed ourselves,” Elaine added.
Meanwhile Christine Vibert, who also heralded the start of three generations of Viberts-Princes attending Arnewood, was accompanying her grandson Hayden Prince for this special day.
Christine attended the school during a momentous time in its history – when in the early 1970s the Gore Road School merged with other secondary schools in the area.
She went from being at Ashley Secondary to Arnewood – often having to travel to lessons by bus between the two sites.
“Things have changed so much since my day and even since my children’s days at school,” Christine reflected.
“There are so many more choices and chances for children and far more support, I think it’s wonderful.”
For the grandparents’ day Year 7 students were able to invite their nans and granddads to spend a morning with them at school.
The grandparents participated in lessons, including French, German, drama and a taste testing session in catering.
They were also introduced to the technology their grandchildren are familiar with, including 3D computer-aided design.
Headteacher Nigel Pressnell, said: “It was fantastic to see so many grandparents come to our school.
“We know what a big part grandparents play in supporting their families and this is our way of saying thank you and showing them what school today is like.
“It’s particularly pleasing to see former students come along. Arnewood is like one big family and we’re proud that generations come to stay.”
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