Balloon release to mark official opening of Rushden’s newest school

Youngsters watch the balloon release at the official opening of Rushden Primary Academy
Youngsters watch the balloon release at the official opening of Rushden Primary Academy
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Staff, pupils and parents celebrated the official opening of their new £6 million school with a balloon release followed by afternoon tea.

The official opening of Rushden Primary Academy was carried out by Sir Barry Day, OBE, who is chief executive of the Greenwood Dale Foundation Trust (GDFT) which runs the school.

Sir Barry Day, OBE, at the official opening of Rushden Primary Academy

Sir Barry Day, OBE, at the official opening of Rushden Primary Academy

He was joined by staff, pupils and parents as well as representatives from Northamptonshire County Council, GDFT, the project managers Lend Lease Consulting and the architects GSSArchitecture on Thursday (October 8).

During the opening ceremony, which was also attended by Wellingborough and Rushden MP Peter Bone, pupils spoke about the school and sang before telling their guests about the items they have chosen to put into a time capsule.

One youngster said: “We are proud to be the first children at Rushden Primary Academy.”

Sir Barry thanked the parents for taking a ‘leap of faith’ to send their children to the new school and said he believes it will be an outstanding school.

The new campus, run by the trust, will be a great asset to Rushden and the wider learning community

Tom Lyons

He unveiled a plaque in honour of the opening before releasing purple balloons into the sky and inviting guests to enjoy afternoon tea with them.

Principal Liza Davies said: “Pupils have settled into the new building well and enjoyed having afternoon tea with all the visitors after the official opening.”

Designed by GSSArchitecture, the £6 million scheme has provided 14 new classrooms for pupils aged four to 11, as well as dining facilities, offices and external learning areas.

It also has flexible break-out spaces, which accommodate learning groups of various sizes.

It is hoped that the design will allow the building to be used by the wider community, from both the established and recently-built residential areas nearby.

The academy, funded by Northamptonshire County Council and operated by GDFT, initially had an intake of 60 pupils in reception, Year 1 and 2.

It is planned that the academy will grow to its full capacity of 420 pupils over the following academic years.

Tom Lyons, partner of GSSArchitecture, said: “It is always a great pleasure to see a new school complete, and being enjoyed by the staff and pupils.

“Rushden Primary Academy is one of a range of new schools recently completed or being delivered by GSSArchitecture nationally, including two other schools for the Greenwood Dale Foundation Trust.

“The new campus, run by the trust, will be a great asset to Rushden and the wider learning community.”

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