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Ipswich School’s first year seven girls invited back for reunion

The four original Ipswich School year seven girls with Nicholas Weaver and current pupils. Picture: IPSWICH SCHOOL

The four original Ipswich School year seven girls with Nicholas Weaver and current pupils. Picture: IPSWICH SCHOOL

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Four former Ipswich School pupils – the first ever year seven girls to be taught there – were welcomed back with open arms at a recent reunion.

Marking 20 years since the lower school started teaching both boys and girls, ex-classmates Kayleigh Grimwade, Alice Ashenden, Rachel Woodward and Jia-Yan Gu were recently invited along for lunch and a tour of new facilities.

Headmaster Nicholas Weaver took them to meet the current year seven pupils, who spoke to the group about their favourite aspects of school life.

They covered topics such as food, uniform and sport – as well as whether the boys at the school had been welcoming.

Mr Weaver said: “Whilst the first girls joined the Ipswich School sixth form in 1974, it was in 1997 that we welcomed our first cohort of year seven girls.

“I was delighted to welcome four of them back to school and to show them how much co-education has changed since they were here.”

The four women also met former teachers, and were given a tour of facilities they had used while they were at the school to see how much they have changed.

The group were then photographed with the headmaster and girls from the current year seven class.

The school, in Henley Road, has taught both boys and girls since 1974 when the first female pupil joined the sixth form to study maths and science.

She was followed by five more girls the following September.

Now, more than 400 study at the school – from the nursery to the sixth form.

This year marks 20 years since the system of co-education was rolled out across all departments.

Education for girls at the school has changed rapidly over those two decades, bosses have said.

Recent major developments include a new uniform, which was introduced two years ago, with a trousers option being offered at the start of this year.

Cricket has also been introduced as a focus sport for all girls in the summer term.

As a result, the school had 10 teams playing a total of 48 fixtures across all age groups and abilities.

Two ‘Super 8’ tournaments were also organised and hosted by Ipswich School for girls’ cricket teams in the area.

The under 18 girls’ hockey team achieved national acclaim when they became indoor hockey champions back in 2015.

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