Past and present students bid farewell to Burnholme Community College

York Press: Burnholme head teacher Simon GUmn and Malcolm Downie, a teacher of 29 years, with staff and pupils, past and present. Burnholme head teacher Simon GUmn and Malcolm Downie, a teacher of 29 years, with staff and pupils, past and present.

FORMER parents and students at a secondary school in York have visited it for the last time before its closure.

Burnholme Community College, which has only 71 pupils, held an open day as a 'last hurrah' for its past and present pupils and staff, before a phased closure is completed this week. The remaining Year 9s have gone to new schools, and the Year 11 students have completed their final exams.

Cathi Shepherd, business manager of the school, said the open day was a great success, while being both a happy and sad event.

She said: "We had more than 700 people turn up which is absolutely brilliant. We didn't know what to expect to be honest because you advertise these things and you're not sure how many will turn up.

"It was a mixture of emotions. A lot of people had happy memories and there was a lot of laughing, and I think the more recent students and current staff have found some bits quite upsetting, now it's finally here and it's hit us that it's finally closed now."

The closure of the school was announced by City of York Council in 2012, despite protests from the local community, and the closure has been phased gradually since then.

A balloon release was held at 1pmon Saturday to commemorate the closure of the school, which will see most of its remaining resources donated to schools in Uganda, and speeches were made by school governors and deputy head Malcolm Downie, who has been at the school for 29 years.

Cathi said: "He said he was absolutely blown away by the turnout and how many people he recognised. I think it could have gone on all day, if we were allowed.

"It's the end of an era. Very sad, but a nice send-off and the memories carry on and hopefully people will take them with them."

Comments (5)

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12:47pm Mon 23 Jun 14

daveyboy25 says...

How can a country thats becoming so heavily populated be closing schools
How can a country thats becoming so heavily populated be closing schools daveyboy25
  • Score: 13

9:37pm Mon 23 Jun 14

Yorkie-Clifton says...

What a shame == I didn't know anything about this event ..
What a shame == I didn't know anything about this event .. Yorkie-Clifton
  • Score: 1

11:04pm Mon 23 Jun 14

Thunderblade says...

I had the misfortune to attend this academy for thugs and bullies from 1963-67, how I wished it had closed down then. There was no distinction between the bullying pupils and a lot of the staff, who loved to wield the cane, slipper and with one guy a piece of rubber hose.
There were some lads who were a bit on the unmanageable side and maybe corporal punishment was thought to be the only way to control them.
However no distinction was made between the "bad lads" and the ordinary pupils all were beaten for the slightest misdemeanours.
One particularly nasty individual would smack pupils (me in particular) around the head quite forcibly for the slightest provocation ie: on one occasion for smudging the page with my grubby hands while attempting a tech drawing. On another occasion said individual smacked another pupil around the head with a Tee square with such force one of my friends heard the crack in the next classroom. Every week I would be greeted with the remark "Ready for your weekly boxing lesson ****** " then I new I was in for another smacking. I know we are living in different times and he probably thought he was just keeping discipline, however if some of the physical assaults carried out by this individual and some of the other teachers were to happen today, most would be doing time now.
Any attempt to report bullying was also a waste a time as the usual response was to say stop being a baby and stick up for yourself. On one occasion when I suffered continuous physical abuse from a pupil much bigger and stronger than myself, I dared to report him, the teacher promptly told him that I'd reported him for bullying, that resulted in a bloody nose.
It's a pity I have nothing but bitterness towards the place, looking back I'm amazed that I actually received any education at all, I must have taken something in so some of the staff must have done a reasonable job. Shame is I can't remember many of the good ones, I do remember the names of the abusers though.
So Burnholme Secondary Modern and the Staff of 63-67 there will be no sentimental RIP from me - more I hope you rot in hell.
I had the misfortune to attend this academy for thugs and bullies from 1963-67, how I wished it had closed down then. There was no distinction between the bullying pupils and a lot of the staff, who loved to wield the cane, slipper and with one guy a piece of rubber hose. There were some lads who were a bit on the unmanageable side and maybe corporal punishment was thought to be the only way to control them. However no distinction was made between the "bad lads" and the ordinary pupils all were beaten for the slightest misdemeanours. One particularly nasty individual would smack pupils (me in particular) around the head quite forcibly for the slightest provocation ie: on one occasion for smudging the page with my grubby hands while attempting a tech drawing. On another occasion said individual smacked another pupil around the head with a Tee square with such force one of my friends heard the crack in the next classroom. Every week I would be greeted with the remark "Ready for your weekly boxing lesson ****** " then I new I was in for another smacking. I know we are living in different times and he probably thought he was just keeping discipline, however if some of the physical assaults carried out by this individual and some of the other teachers were to happen today, most would be doing time now. Any attempt to report bullying was also a waste a time as the usual response was to say stop being a baby and stick up for yourself. On one occasion when I suffered continuous physical abuse from a pupil much bigger and stronger than myself, I dared to report him, the teacher promptly told him that I'd reported him for bullying, that resulted in a bloody nose. It's a pity I have nothing but bitterness towards the place, looking back I'm amazed that I actually received any education at all, I must have taken something in so some of the staff must have done a reasonable job. Shame is I can't remember many of the good ones, I do remember the names of the abusers though. So Burnholme Secondary Modern and the Staff of 63-67 there will be no sentimental RIP from me - more I hope you rot in hell. Thunderblade
  • Score: 2

11:33pm Tue 24 Jun 14

SelseyBill says...

Sad to hear this has happened. As a student from 1952 I think I was a lucky lad. We did Shakespeare in the C form, went to the theatre royal to see The Pirates of Penzance and went on a school trip to Holland. A good school dinner every day and all from a slum kid from layerthorpe. I went on to teach on three continents..just wish I had tried harder at school. Sam shepherd pe teacher filled me with the love of football and I am still a York city supporter via the internet to this day. I think it a sad day that the school is gone. Trevor Keeler. My real name.
Sad to hear this has happened. As a student from 1952 I think I was a lucky lad. We did Shakespeare in the C form, went to the theatre royal to see The Pirates of Penzance and went on a school trip to Holland. A good school dinner every day and all from a slum kid from layerthorpe. I went on to teach on three continents..just wish I had tried harder at school. Sam shepherd pe teacher filled me with the love of football and I am still a York city supporter via the internet to this day. I think it a sad day that the school is gone. Trevor Keeler. My real name. SelseyBill
  • Score: 2

2:39am Wed 25 Jun 14

taximan28320002 says...

was at the school until 1966 Thunderblade described it perfect a few missing points but i did do well at the school even though it was a caning bashing and abusive school from certain teachers and students sad its all ended any students from that period i would welcome a reply from you my emil is taximan28320002@yaho
o.com name is trevor teasdale
was at the school until 1966 Thunderblade described it perfect a few missing points but i did do well at the school even though it was a caning bashing and abusive school from certain teachers and students sad its all ended any students from that period i would welcome a reply from you my emil is taximan28320002@yaho o.com name is trevor teasdale taximan28320002
  • Score: 0

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