A GARSTON school is appealing for former pupils, parents and staff to say goodbye before it closes at the end of the 2005 summer term.

Alban Wood Junior School in Newhouse Crescent will be merging with Alban Wood Infant School and Nursery to form a single primary and nursery school opening in September, 2005.

More than 4,000 pupils have attended the school during its 50 year history and it is hoped many will get in contact to say goodbye before it finally shuts its doors.

Building work is underway at the infant school site on new classrooms in readiness for the influx of pupils in the coming academic year.

At the end of May, some of the junior students visited the building site that will become their new classrooms.

A spokesman for the school said: "They were all excited by the visit as they liked dressing up in hard hats and high visibility vests.

"The contractor gave them a health and safety assembly before they went."

The closure of the junior school coincides with the retirement of its headteacher, Keith Sampey.

Mr Sampey was appointed as headteacher in January 1989. Prior to this, he undertook senior positions at schools in Camden. He began teaching in 1968, unqualified, in West Riding, Yorkshire, before training for four years in London.

His career began in earnest in the classrooms of Deptford and New Cross in London.

Mr Sampey said: "I have thoroughly enjoyed my career in teaching and although I look forward to retirement and a move to Devon, I have no doubt I will miss the Alban Wood community.

"I have had the privilege to work with some wonderful and talented colleagues and many great children and supportive families.

"The children, parents and staff can now look forward to a new, superbly equipped school with a seamless primary education that will be first class."

Mr Sampey said that many former pupils and parents at the school have spoken with the school community about their desire to celebrate the life of the school.

He said: "I recognise many people will be sad to see the junior school closing, although they will also be looking forward to the new school.

"I would really love to see some of our old pupils again before we close."

Governors and staff, past and present are invited to attend the school on Saturday, July 16, 2005, to celebrate the life of the school, share memories and say goodbye.

Former parents and pupils are invited to both an open day on Monday, July 18, 2005, and a special farewell assembly on the morning of Wednesday, July 20, 2005. For more information, telephone 01923 672090 or visit www.albanwoodjm.herts.sch.uk.