December 7 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, September 7, 2013
Thetford Academy’s new £19m building is a signal of how important education is in the town, according to the local MP.
Elizabeth Truss, MP for South West Norfolk and education minister, was at the Croxton Road school yesterday to see the site, which will welcome students from Monday.
After a tour of the school’s new gym, dance studio, café/reception area and IT suites, Ms Truss said the building went beyond her expectations.
“I think it’s incredible. The quality of design is really exceptional and it’s one of the most fantastic schools I’ve ever seen.
“To have this here in Thetford is amazing and it’s inspirational for the students.
“Clearly it all means nothing without good teaching, but there is no doubt that this building will signal a new standard for the school,” she said.
Workmen are still at the former Rosemary Musker High School site but staff insist the school will be ready to be handed over fully by September 25.
The majority of the old building remains, with the former science blocks being converted into IT suites, the main hall adapted to incorporate retractable bleacher seating and an ampitheatre planned for the remaining courtyard.
Ms Truss was shown round the school by Adrian Ball, the academy’s executive principal, and Mark Neild, vice-principal.
Mr Ball, who took charge of the school this week, said the new building would provide extra opportunities for students.
“What it does is remove all barriers to students’ learning. Whether it’s IT, catering, design and technology, performing arts, we have the facilities here for them to use,” he said.
Mr Ball said Thetford students would need to aim higher from now on.
“People in the town don’t seem to believe that they can achieve. We spoke to a student today who talked about no one here ever going to Oxbridge, but we need to break that assumption down,” he said.
The building’s completion will see the academy move entirely to a single site after two years on twin sites.