Ipswich: High school has first day as town’s new academy

After months of preparation an Ipswich high school has finally opened its doors as a fully fledged academy.

The 850 pupils of the former Holywells High School, in Lindbergh Road, are now officially students at the Ipswich Academy.

The school opened under the new title yesterday, and staff welcomed Ipswich MP Ben Gummer who has been an advocate of the project.

Nancy Robinson, the new principal at the school, said she was delighted that the day had finally arrived.

She said: “I’m very excited, I’ve had a term and a half to prepare and I was just really keen to get going.

“I am thrilled and delighted that we were able to open this week as the idea of becoming an academy has been a long process.

“Although the students will not notice a real difference just yet, it is really fantastic for the staff who have been waiting for this day to come.”

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Ms Robinson said that she was convinced by the new learning model that will be put in place at the academy when she saw the work of the school’s Swedish sponsors Kunskapsskolan.

The main subjects – English, maths, science, IT and languages – will all be taught in a stepped programme, meaning pupils will progress at their own pace. Other subjects will be taught thematically so that students will be given “themed curriculum” sessions.

Mr Gummer said that it was a delight to have been present on the academy’s first day.

“This is something which town residents wholeheartedly deserve,” he said.

“It is an extremely exciting day for the whole of the town. It is something which is a very long time coming, and reflects the great efforts of the governors, Ian Bloom, Nancy Robinson, the county council and myself – who have fought to ensure that we secured the funding for this project.

“We have succeeded in securing this money and I am really excited for the staff and the students because in the past people have been very quick to say bad things about the school, but this is the time that it shines.”

A new uniform and school logo which will be brought into effect in the summer term.

The transition period for all pupils to be taught according to the new curriculum is expected to last until 2013, when the new academy building will be opened next to Gainsborough Sports Centre.

n Are you pleased to see Holywells High School transformed into the Ipswich Academy? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, or e-mail eveningstar letters@eveningstar.co.uk

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