GENERATIONS of pupils swapped stories about lining up outside the head's office to be caned, revisited their childhood youth club and argued over where exactly home economics had been based at a school reunion with a difference.

Nearly 800 former students at King Alfred's east site in Wantage – or Icknield which came before it – went back to school one last time this weekend at the building's 'farewell party'.

Visitors got to sift through hundreds of photographs, press clippings and albums, and toured the Springfield Road site visiting old haunts.

The event was held as King Alfred's gets ready to leave east site once and for all on December 15 and move down to a two-site model on centre site and west site.

Event organiser and long-serving teacher, Jonathan Smith, said: "We were delighted to welcome our visitors this weekend.

"Story after story entertained us all, included several stories from those who had lined up to be caned outside the head's office in decades gone by.

"Generally, most of the memories were extremely happy ones."

Mr Smith and others had compiled a list of suggestions from ex-students and teachers on how to keep the Icknield name alive, and how to use memorabilia from the site for fundraising for the school.

Visitors over the weekend were treated to a dancing display from Wantage's own Icknield Way Morris Men, founded by Icknield School pupils in 1958.

They also got a chance to pore over the plans for King Alfred's west site and centre site, which are now set to be massively expanded to take the pupils moving across from east site.

Current sixth formers gave guided tours and heard from their tour parties how pottery classes used to be held in the current modern foreign language block.

Headteacher Jo Halliday said "It was such a privilege to meet the many different people whose lives have been influenced by their education here.

"It will be, of course, an historic moment for the town when east site closes its door to students on December 15 and the bell rings for the last time; we don't underestimate how difficult that will be for many of us.

"However, what we can look forward to are buildings and a school that are fit for purpose for the next generations of children in Wantage, Grove and the villages."

King Alfred's is selling east site to Bovis Homes, which will next year begin demolishing the old school to build a 150-home estate.

The sale of east site will fund expansion –including a new home for the Sweatbox youth club – at the school's centre site on Portway and west site on Challow Road.

From January, the 650 pupils in Years 7 and 8 will be based at west site, while the 1,200 teenagers in Years 9, 10 and 11 and the sixth form will be based at centre site.