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£8m buildings at Ormiston Venture Academy declared open

PUBLISHED: 17:16 23 April 2014

Picture: James Bass.

Picture: James Bass.

Archant Norfolk © 2014

Students at Ormiston Venture Academy in east Norfolk have marked the official opening of their new £8m facilities with rousing speeches and tours of the brand new school buildings.

Students at Ormiston Venture Academy in east Norfolk have marked the official opening of their new £8m facilities with rousing speeches and tours of the brand new school buildings.

The new buildings at the school in Oriel Road, Gorleston, have been in use since term started last September, but were declared open today as invited guests, governors and pupils gathered on the school lawn for a VIP ceremony.

Former pupil Callum Cooke, a Gresham’s scholar who is now studying fine art at Oxford University, cut the ribbon and said: “As someone who went to the school when it was Oriel and Ormiston, I just want to say how much it deserves a building like this so it can carry on with the hard work it’s always done.”

The school, part of the Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT) network, opened in September 2010 on the site of the former Oriel High.

Speaking this afternoon, chairman of governors Lesley King said: “I remember when the old buildings were first built and that was an exciting investment in a technical high school for Yarmouth. Now we get to see them transformed for education in the 21st century.

“Some people say that new buildings are a waste of time and a waste of money because what’s important about a school is the people inside.

“In some ways, Ormiston Venture Academy has proved that to be the case; in old fashioned buildings that weren’t fit for purpose they improved the schools and turned it into one of the best in the country.

“What we have now are buildings that you, the students and staff, deserve. These buildings are ready for the flair and excitement of trying out new things and taking even more pride in your work.”

Ormiston has been praised for turning its fortunes around; it became the first sponsored academy in the region to be graded ‘outstanding’ on every measure by Ofsted inspectors and it recently became the first secondary school in Norfolk to receive a National College for Teaching and Leadership designation, making it one of only four national teacher training schools in the county.

Year 8 student Tiah-Paige Davie, 13, said students had looked forward to being in the new buildings after months of construction.

“Before, the corridors were squished but now there’s lots of room,” she said.

“I think all the students are enjoying it, especially after watching all the construction work. We had plans around the school that we could look at and I think it’s turned out better than we’d thought.”

Professor Toby Salt, chief executive officer of OAT, and former principal Nicole McCartney, now national director of performance and partnerships for OAT and executive principal of Ormiston Venture, joined governors, students and current principal Simon Gilbert-Barnham at the official opening.

“I’m very proud of Ormiston Venture Academy,” said Professor Salt.

“It’s our most outstanding and special academy. And I know pupils and staff are really proud too.”

1 comment

  • Great news for a super academy but why is so much money spent ONLY on academies....this is almost educational apartheid.

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    Thursday, April 24, 2014

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