Downlands Community School was delighted to welcome HRH the Duke of Gloucester to officially open the first part of the school’s new building project.
On Monday (October 2), the Duke was joined by Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex Susan Pyper, county council chairman Lionel Barnard and the chairman of Mid Sussex District Council Bruce Forbes for a tour of new facilities at the Hassocks school.
He was also joined by the chief executive of Mid Sussex District Council Kathryn Hall and Diana Hunt, the chair of governors at Downlands.
During his tour the Duke visited a Year 9 Samba Band lesson, a computer science lesson with Year 8, a French lesson with Year 11 as well as meeting member of the pupil voice committee and the eco committee.
He officially opened The Rose Hetherton Building named in honour of the school’s former headteacher.
Downlands headteacher Mark Wignall said: “Mrs Hetherton who retired as headteacher in 2016 has been helping coordinate the new build and we are delighted to have this lasting tribute to her dedication and enthusiasm for the school.
“I am delighted to have welcomed HRH The Duke of Gloucester and the Lord Lieutenant Mrs Susan Pyper to our school – the first time in our 67 year history that we have had such an honour.
“The students were very excited and proud to show the distinguished guests around our new facilities which include state of the art music rooms, IT suites and new classrooms for the Modern Foreign Languages department.
“It was a lovely morning for the students and staff at Downlands.”