Proud day in Costessey as Ormiston Victory Academy officially opens

Students, teachers and sponsors at the new academy in Costessey celebrated the school's transformation in an official opening ceremony yesterday.

The launch day at Ormiston Victory Academy, formerly Costessey High School, included speeches by the principal and sponsors as well as the newly chosen head boy, head girl and principal student.

An oak grove was planted and there were musical performances, including a rendition of Be Our Guest from the school's upcoming show.

New principal Rachel de Souza said: 'The academy has come from the community, is in the community, and exists for the community.

'We are committed to excellent teaching and learning, and we are working with local primary schools to ensure a complete pathway for children from three years old to 19 when they leave.

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'The school is open for learning from 6am until 10pm every day, with breakfast clubs and evening classes, and we want it to become a hub for learning 24/7.'

Last week the �2.8m Luke Day block opened, with new ICT classrooms and facilities, and the academy has submitted a bid for money for a complete new school building.

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Mrs de Souza added that although the spending review might mean less funding for the academy's proposals, she was determined to build a school that would serve the community for the next 70 years.

Ormiston Victory Academy is named for Admiral Nelson's flagship, in which he won the Battle of Trafalgar, and despite some controversy over the omission of Costessey, Mrs de Souza said the school was proud of its new identity.

Peter Murray, chairman of the Ormiston Trust, and David Prior, chairman of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Trust which is co-sponsoring the academy, both spoke of their pride and hopes for academy's future, and Norfolk county council chairman Tony Tomkinson presented the school with a limited edition print of the HMS Victory.

Mr Murray, Mr Prior, Mr Tomkinson, businessman Graham Dacre, councillor Jeremy Savage, and MP Richard Bacon planted six young oak trees at the front of the school to commemorate the day.

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