The East Manchester Academy opens its doors in less than 12 months. Principal Designate, Guy Hutchence keeps East readers updated in the latest installment of his blog.
Welcome back to the blog after the summer break. Although there has been little break in our preparations for the new school, which, by this time next year, will have welcomed its first pupils.
During the holidays 70 children from 12 primary schools made good use of the local sports facilities. As part of our Children’s University programme we had youngsters racing around the indoor track at Manchester Velodrome, which was fantastic to watch. The special track bikes don’t have brakes or gears so it can take some getting used to. Look out Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton, there’s new talent on the way!
The Key 103 bus came down too and pupils from St Barnabas and St Wilfrid’s worked with a radio professional on a new jingle to advertise our Open Evening. The same pupils have since been visited the radio station to complete the production in their studios. Well done to everyone involved in that!
These holiday activities are just a taster of what will be offer once the school is up and running. Our young people will have every opportunity to use the full range of east Manchester’s facilities as they progress through school.
The radio jingle did its job because I was amazed at how many people came along to our Open Evening at the Stadium at the beginning of September. We were expecting 250 but 400 prospective pupils and their parents/carers came to hear our plans for their futures. It was standing room only! Thanks to everyone who came… next time we’ll provide more chairs! We answered lots of questions on the night but if there are more please contact me on 0161 223 1155 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Building progress on the Grey Mare Lane site continues apace. The brickwork and cladding are now complete and the window frames are being installed. We marked the progress with a ‘Golden Bolt and Beam-Signing’ ceremony earlier this month. OK, it was a regular bolt painted gold but it looked the part! Our local MP Tony Lloyd and I were transported in a ‘scissor lift’ 15 metres above the ground to make our mark on one of the highest steel beams. I wrote ‘Be the change you want to see’, and Mr Lloyd wrote, ‘Here our children’s dreams come true’. Hopefully it’ll be the last graffiti we’ll see in the school!
So, the East Manchester Academy will be open in less than 12 months and, to be honest, it can’t come quickly enough for me. Once the building is full of pupils I can return to helping young people develop their full potential and already I am beginning to recruit an outstanding team of teachers to help me. Watch this space.