Posted on May 9th 2018
Lord Harris Meets Students at Harris Garrard Academy
Lord Harris spent the morning at Harris Garrard Academy today meeting students and unveiling a plaque to mark the school’s official opening.
Children from the school choir performed specially-arranged songs and Sydney, Year 8, a British National Open Dance Champion, gave an expert performance of traditional Irish dancing.
Harris Garrard Academy opened in September, taking over from the Business Academy Bexley. There has been major investment in the building to improve the teaching environment as well as in leadership and teaching.
“Changing the school is important but most important is giving you an excellent education,” Lord Harris told students before unveiling a plaque. “You’re going to make this school really outstanding.”
“A new vision”
“We’re a new school with a new name but more importantly a new educational vision, leadership and expectations,” said Chris Everitt, Executive Principal. “The students are wonderful and have risen to the challenge, showing their resilience, aspirations and a belief that anything is possible.” Applications to join the school have increased hugely since the Harris Federation took over, with 210 families accepting places for September 2018, compared to 78 in 2017 (before the school joined the Harris Federation).
“The school feels highly improved already,” said Sir Dan Moynihan, Chief Executive of the Harris Federation. “The students are really positive and we’re determined to get the best possible results for them. There’s still lots to do but it’s feeling like a really great start.”
“Down to earth”
As Lord Harris toured the school, sixth formed Laura, Year 12, told him she’d been involved in meeting and interviewing teachers. “I told him I wanted to get involved in the school and he said he wanted it to feel like it was really our school,” she said.
Isaac, Year 10, said: “He was really down to earth and chatted about sport and other things. It was nice to meet him.”
“Outstanding educational environment”
Beverley Johnston, Chair of Governors added: “The governors are extremely proud to be part of this exhilarating journey towards providing an outstanding educational environment. Rapid progress has already been made and students are reporting huge improvements to their learning and enjoyment. Our aim is to maximise the life-chances of our children and young people through an excellent academic and personal education which ensures that they are well-prepared to go out into the world and to have highly successful working lives."
Cllr Teresa O’Neill said: “We are delighted that the Harris Federation is taking over. Young people deserve the chances they will offer and I’m sure the Harris Federation will add a lot of value."
Lord Harris told students that all 44 Harris Federation schools are “a family working together to be top class.”
Michelin in our Reception class shows Lord Harris that she can label the different parts of a plant.