New junior school building opened in Saffron Walden

GOVENORS, staff, students, parents and guests gathered to celebrate the official opening of a new junior school building at Friends’ School on Friday.

Heidi Thomas, award-winning writer of the series Cranford and more recently Call the Midwife, officially opened the new Gibson building and unveiled the mosaic last Friday.

Ms Thomas, who has a son in Year 11 at Friends’ and is an attender at the local Quaker meeting, said: “I first came to Friends’ School when I was looking for a nursery for my son Dominic. I knew straight away that there was something really special about the atmosphere in this school.

“Over the years I have seen, again and again, the positive effects that this nurturing celebratory environment for children has on their development. Looking at this beautiful building, I can’t think of a more positive message to send out to our children about their own value or the value of education.”

She added: “It is an utter joy to unveil this mosaic and declare Friends’ Junior School’s new Gibson Building open.”

The building, named after George Stacey Gibson, a local Quaker and banker who gifted the land to the school in 1876, accommodate infant classrooms, a purpose built nursery, an ICT suite, library and art room as well as a new assembly hall.

The Watson Hall was also officially opened on Friday by Tony Watson, named after him in recognition of his contribution to Friends’ School as pupil, parent and governor.

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Andrew Holmes, head of Friends’ Junior School, said: “It is absolutely fantastic that our children now have the first class facilities to match the excellent all round education, inspirational teaching and special atmosphere we have here at Friends’.

“I am very excited to see the pupils learn, grow and develop in such a light, airy and beautiful environment.”