On 6th September 1955 the school, then known as Crowborough County Secondary Modern School, opened its doors to the first cohort of local pupils.
Up to then students who passed the 11+ exam attended grammar school in Tunbridge Wells while those who did not remained in primary schools such as Whitehill, Sir Henry Fermor and Rotherfield until the school leaving age, which had been raised from 14 to 15 in 1947.
Now these students had a brand new secondary school to cater for their needs. It boasted a curriculum that merged the academic with the practical with Maths, English and the Humanities sitting alongside Rural Science, Woodwork and Domestic Science. The Pig Field really was where the pigs were kept and the area now occupied by Cafe Beech was covered by allotments.
As building work continued throughout the first year it was decided that the official opening of the school would be held on 29th June 1956. On this day, the Minister for Education, Sir David Eccles, visited the school and conducted the opening ceremony. There were speeches, presentations to the various dignitaries and a formal banquet as the town of Crowborough joined in the celebrations.
Save the Date
To mark the 60th anniversary there is going to be an evening of celebration on Friday 8th July from 6 until 8pm, and former pupils and staff are invited.
Although they already have a collection of photos and other materials they are still on the look-out for more. Were you a student at Beacon? Do you still have any photos from your schooldays or memorabilia – your old blazer, school books or reports perhaps. If so will you lend them to the school so they can be part of the exhibition. If the first instance send an email to Beacon60@beacon-academy.org letting them know what you have.
As well as exhibits and photographs from the archive, the evening will also include music and performing arts, the annual “Best of Beacon” Art Exhibition, and 25 Years of the Gambia Experience.
For more information see Beacon Academy’s website.