Budleigh Salterton 100 year old gives birthday gift to her old school

ST Peter's Primary School s longest surviving pupil has marked her 100th birthday with a gift to the youngsters.

ST Peter's Primary School's longest surviving pupil has marked her 100th birthday with a gift to the youngsters.

To mark great-grandmother Kathleen Gooding's milestone birthday, her family bought four engraved bricks to add to the school pool's Warm Wish Appeal.

This week Kathleen and her family were invited to the school to see the bricks which have been engraved with her and late husband Ted's name - who was also a pupil at the school - the dates they attended St Peter's and also the date of Kathleen's 100th birthday.

Kathleen, who reached 100 on November 19 2009, said the school had changed a great deal since the days when she and Ted were pupils, from 1914 until 1923.

In those days the school was little more than a 'corridor'. Boys and girls were segregated and the youngsters used to pass notes to each other through the fence at playtime, she said.

"I left school at 14. It was a good school. We had three teachers and they had to know everything." said Kathleen.

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"My worst subject was arithmetic. I couldn't do decimals - I never knew where the dot had to go.

"I was kept after school for about half an hour trying to work out where this dot went. "Miss Bond, the headmistress, said 'how far have you got?' I said 'not very far' so she said 'you'd better go home then'. I was a bit of a rebel!"

Kathleen's birthday bricks make up part of the ongoing Warm Wish Appeal and engraved brick scheme.

Funds raised from the project help maintain and pay for improvements to the school pool, which is used by pupils and also the wider community.

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