Double joy for Felixstowe school

GUESTS from the community joined teachers and governors for a special double celebration as a Felixstowe school held a VIP night.Deben High School was officially launched as an arts college while its music department released its new CD, “Seven Years of Jazzin'” by the school's jazz band.

GUESTS from the community joined teachers and governors for a special double celebration as a Felixstowe school held a VIP night.

Deben High School was officially launched as an arts college while its music department released its new CD, “Seven Years of Jazzin'” by the school's jazz band.

The evening was an opportunity for head teacher Terry Ring and deputy head Andrew Salter to explain the way arts status will transform the school in Garrison Lane over the next few years, bringing in hundreds of thousands of pounds for various projects.

It was also a chance to say thank you to the many people who helped the school make its bid - particularly those who contributed to the £50,000 which had to be raised to support the application for arts status, and those who held fundraising events and activities.


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During the evening, port officials presented the school with a cheque for £6,000 which owners Hutchison Port Holdings had pledged towards the bid.

The arts status has already provided a big boost for the school this term, generating a £160,000-plus investment in a state-of-the-art computer system, with 140 new PCs, high-speed connections, plus 15 new inter-active white boards in classrooms, bringing the total to 24.

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Other projects planned include creating a new food tech area, and turning the old area into studios, and then the creation of a 200-seater theatre to be used by the school and the community, providing a much-needed smaller venue for the town's drama groups.

Deben chose to be an arts college - complimentary to Orwell High's technology college status - because of its excellence in the visual and performing arts. However, the extra money will bring benefits across the curriculum.

It was performing arts which were the focus of the evening at the Elizabeth Orwell Hotel in Hamilton Road as the jazz band - around 25 students from all school years - released its CD and performed music from it.

Music teacher Matt Keane said four tracks had been recorded about two years ago and then it was decided to complete the album this year with four more tracks by a new group of students, all recorded at Andrew Rayner's Wendy House studios in the town.

“We are really pleased with the CD and hope it will be beneficial to the school in raising funds and in showing what excellent young musicians we have here,” he said.

“Being in a recording studio was great experience for the students and we hope that with the arts status we will have that sort of equipment and a technician in school so we can do future recordings at the school and enable the youngsters to get involved in the technical side, too.”

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