Aerial shot of students holding outstanding sign



Words of Little Red Cap by Carol Ann Duffy

Poet Laureate opens new English and Languages Centre

Godalming College was delighted to welcome Dame Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate to open its new English and Modern Foreign Languages Centre on Friday 23rd September. Students and guests were treated to a performance by Carol Ann accompanied by musician John Sampson, who toured with her Shore to Shore Tour in June and July this year.

Carol Ann Duffy has been a bold, original voice for more than 30 years, as a poet, a playwright and writer and her work is part of both the GCSE and A level curriculum. She has won every major poetry prize in the UK and her collections have sold more than one million copies worldwide. She is the first Scottish and first female Poet Laureate in its 400 year history and was made a Dame in the 2015 New Year’s Honours.

As she opened the new building she said she had been very impressed with the students that she had met and congratulated the College on being a “joyous and happy place”.

The new English and Modern Foreign Languages Centre at the College is the completion of a major building and refurbishment plan which has put in place an improvement in facilities for all subjects. It is due to the vision of the previous Principal, David Adelman and previous Chair of Governors Hugh Pile and to the tenacity of Director of Services, Martin McCarthy and current Chair of Governors, Brenda Jenner who have seen the project to its conclusion. The building was part of a project that also involved the acquisition of land for new sports pitches in Ashtead Lane, new netball courts, a new media suite and new student centre.

The College would like to thank: Architects, Macallan Penfold, Surveyors Michael Edwards Associates, the main contractor Feltham Construction and sub contractors involved in the project. College Principal, Emma Young says, “I am very proud of the college campus and this new building is a wonderful addition, providing an excellent learning environment for the students. We have been very lucky to have Carol Ann Duffy join us today for the opening ceremony. She has been such an inspiration to many students over the years and I am sure she will continue to be so.”

English literature students had lunch with Carol Ann as she answered their questions about the texts that they were studying and her career as a poet and writer. A packed audience of students, staff and VIPs were entertained with a performance of poems and sonnets that formed part of her recent tour before the finale of declaring the new building open, complete with fanfare.