STAFF and students at Weaverham High School have bid a fond farewell to headteacher David Charlton who has retired after 18 years.

Mr Charlton took up his post in January 2000 and recalled how different things were at that time.

He said: “The school had not really entered the digital age.

"There was only very limited internet access and no broadband, no school email address or official website and the old paper-based register books were used to record that pupils were in school.”

The Weaverham buildings have changed significantly over the past two decades.

New office facilities have been built as well as new design and technology facilities, an art block and maths classrooms and the school has recently completed a £1.5 million expansion programme including additional science labs and a new languages and geography block.

This has helped the school respond to the increasing number of pupils and the challenge of keeping the curriculum relevant to pupils.

Mr Charlton has seen nearly 4,000 pupils pass through the school while he has been headteacher and he said it is their achievements that make him most excited about his time at Weaverham.

He said: “It never ceases to amaze me what the pupils of Weaverham High School can achieve.

"This is not only in their GCSE examinations but also in sport, in music and in activities like the Duke of Edinburgh awards.

"Seeing young people achieve far more than they ever thought was possible gives me a real buzz."

He added: “Weaverham High School has been a massive part of my life. Our own sons attended Weaverham so it has been a big part of our family life as well. I am sure the school will continue to thrive and get even better under its new headteacher, Clare Morgan."