Summer of events to celebrate Hastings school’s 400th anniversary

Students will celebrate the 400th anniversary SUS-180723-144444001
Students will celebrate the 400th anniversary SUS-180723-144444001

Students from a Hastings academy will celebrate their school’s momentous history with a summer of celebrations.

To mark Ark William Parker Academy’s 400th Anniversary year, the school will host a cricket match at 2pm on Sunday, July 7 for alumni, current students and staff. Should you wish to participate, email John Read at jl.read@btinternet.com.

Students will then enjoy a week of activities, where each subject they study in their classes will have an element exploring the history of their school. The celebrations will culminate in a special event on the last day of term, which will bring the William Parker boys and Helenswood girls together to perform and present their work.

A time capsule will be buried on the William Parker site, containing memorabilia from the school’s past and present – including a film produced by the students.

As part of this documentary, Ark William Parker students would like to interview former students about their memories of William Parker, or as it was previously known, Hastings Grammar School for boys.

Get in touch with Ed Clarke at eclarke@arkhelenswood.org to be involved in the film.

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On Friday, November 22, the Bishop of Chichester will lead a commemorative service at All Saints Church.

This will be followed by a reunion event on the same evening, bringing together past and present pupils, to be held at the Academy in Parkstone Road. If you would like to register your interest in attending the reunion event, email 400@arkwilliamparker.org.

Yvonne Powell, executive principal, said: “This is a significant year for William Parker and it is a wonderful opportunity for us to bring together old friends of the school to celebrate our quatercentenary. We hope that many of our former students will join us in our special events to mark this notable anniversary.”

Gareth Bendon, chairman of the William Parker Foundation, said: “The trustees of the Foundation are very pleased to join with principal, staff and students in celebrating William Parker’s bequest to the people of Hastings, which has offered transformative opportunities to so many young lives over centuries.

“The school has seen many changes over the 400 years since his death and is still changing today. In November the Foundation will mark the quatercentenary by publishing a second volume of the history of William Parker’s school to bring the story to the present day.”