Ark Oval Primary Academy, in Cherry Orchard Road, this week held a ceremony to thank those responsible for their recent school expansion project.
Originally a two-form-of-entry school, the academy temporarily grew by 30 places in 2013, but due to continued demand decided to make the arrangements permanent. Thanks to £6.7 million of funding, jointly provided by the council and the Education Funding Agency, the school’s new buildings were opened earlier this year. The project is the latest in a series of school building and expansion schemes funded and managed by the council to ensure a good school place for ever Croydon child. The overall programme has, for several years, been one of the largest in the country.
Speaking at the ceremony were head boy, Joshua Ramasawmy, 11, and head girl, Rym Daoud, 11. Josh said: “We’ve recently taken our SATs tests, which were much less stressful due to being in the new building. Since the new dining hall has opened we’ve changed our lunch times so KS1 and KS2 can have lunch together. Lunchtime has become a much more sociable time where we can chat to our friends.” Rym said: “We now have our own space to learn, with lots of spare rooms to use. In previous years sports day was held on the smaller, crowded field. Now we have a much bigger space and we’re really excited about our sports day this year.”
Guests were also treated to a rendition of Paul McCartney’s ‘Blackbird’ by the KS2 choir, who have recently made it through to the finals of the hotly contested Ark Academy music competition. Their performance, plus the speeches made by Josh and Rym, were warmly congratulated by The Mayor of Croydon, Councillor Toni Letts. She said: “I’ve visited a lot of schools, and this is up there with the best of them. The choir is enormously talented and deserves to do well in the finals – they really should go in with the determination to win. As for the speeches, they weren’t just well presented, they were also extremely well written. I’m sure that in years to come the walls of this lovely building will be covered with the names of current pupils who have gone on to do great things.”