Principal’s Blog: May and June 09

Posted by editor on June 11, 2009 under Education and health

The East Manchester Academy opens its doors in September, 2010 and its new headteacher, Principal Designate, Guy Hutchence has been keeping East readers updated on its progress since the beginning of January. Read more here…


Our launch day at the City of Manchester stadium was a great success! Over 350 children, teachers, mums and dads from more than 20 primary schools came down for a day of fun activities. The My World competition attracted entries from 15 schools and the judges had a real challenge decided on the category winner and the overall winner.

All Saints CE Primary School in Newton Heath were eventually chosen as the first ever overall winners of The East Manchester Academy Awards, producing excellent work in a variety of media, whilst Plymouth Grove, Medlock, All Saints (Gorton), Aspinal, St Luke’s and Seymour Road schools all won different categories. Congratulations to you all. Some of the entries are shown here.

Great fun at the launch of the East Manchester Academy, 23rd May. (Pictures by Karen Wright Photography)

Great fun at the launch of the East Manchester Academy, 23rd May. (Pictures by Karen Wright Photography)

Meanwhile, the school itself is flying up on Grey Mare Lane and we are already planning a ‘topping out’ ceremony, which is traditional celebration when the construction workers reach the highest point. In September we’ll be having an open day and burying some time capsules on site.

The East Manchester Academy, 4th June 2009

Already the Academy is becoming a landmark on the east Manchester skyline


I’m amazed at how quickly the building work is progressing. Because of the good weather, it’s on schedule, if not slightly ahead of schedule. The steel is up, the roof is on, the floors are in and before long work will start on the brickwork and cladding. Construction progress at end of June 09

I was standing on the roof the other day with fantastic views of the City of Manchester Stadium, and of the city centre. There are some great vistas.

"Fantastic views of the City of Manchester Stadium"

"Fantastic views of the City of Manchester Stadium"

The link bridges are in, or ‘glass museums’ as I like to call them, because I can imagine pupils in there working on their paintings, say, or exhibiting their photography. They’re not just corridors between different studios, they’re glass museum spaces.

"I like to call these link bridges, 'glass museums'"

"I like to call these link bridges, 'glass museums'"

Next week I’ll be taking the sponsors around to show them the different curriculum spaces. I think you can really bring a plan to life by walking through the real thing. Very soon we’ll be able to take some groups of children around which I’m looking forward to.

The new library will be accessible from the foyer

The new library will be accessible from the foyer

The other week, the architect and landscape designer came to meet year 5 pupils at Ashbury Meadow and ask their opinions on the outside spaces. The children gave us some fantastic ideas for the sort of seating we should have, and what the amphitheatre and the habitat zone should look like. There’s nothing worse than a school designed by adults for children.

The landscape designer brought with them some rather wacky-looking outdoor furniture. What looks nice isn’t always practical and the pupils were able to point out some pitfalls the designers hadn’t thought about. Great feedback.

We looked at artwork and sculpture as well. We examined play equipment that could ‘double-up’ as different things. For example, climbing walls that could become display walls, that sort of thing. We’ve got one more meeting next month to talk in more detail about the habitat zone.

Also this month I’ve been enjoying some of the design meetings where we’ve been talking about floor finishes and colour schemes. It brings the building alive when you visualise what it will look like once its open. Very exciting.

The Principal’s Blog will return in September.