A Fulham school has marked its status as an academy with a special day of celebration.
Two years ago the Hurlingham and Chelsea School was in special measures, but became an academy in January this year and following a concerted effort from staff and pupils its experienced quite the renaissance, with rising exam results and rising prospects.
Now called The Hurlingham Academy, the Peterborough Road school recently held a special foundation day for its students, staff and the local community where Executive Principal Ben Parnell shared its vision and ambition for the future.
“Under the stewardship of Ben Parnell, The Hurlingham Academy has completely overhauled the way it works, for the benefit of all its pupils,” said Cllr Sue Macmillan, H&F Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Education.
“We are delighted with its recent exam achievements and are excited to support the school in its ventures in the future.”
This summer the school had an eight-point rise in the number of students achieving five or more GCSEs at grades A* to C, including English and maths.
Olympic skeleton bobsleigh champion, Shelley Rudman spoke during the ceremony, where she was welcomed by parents and governors.
Children from year 11 performed their own versions of a pair of chart-topping hits, and one student told of the positive changes she’s experienced in the academy over the past six months.
Addressing the audience, Ben Parnell said: “The Hurlingham Academy is rapidly transforming thanks to the support and commitment of its students and staff.
“We have implemented a series of initiatives which are already resulting in high standards of behaviour and learning and this is having a strong impact on student achievement.”
He added that the academy was considering the introduction of a new bilingual stream and looking at the possibility of opening a sixth form.
Staff, students and governors also signed pledges to support the academy in becoming an outstanding school.
Also in attendance were United Learning’s Chief Executive Jon Coles and Dame Sally Coates, Director of Southern Academies for United Learning, who will continue to work closely with the school.
She said: “We have every expectation that the academy will continue to improve at pace and provide local children with the excellent education they deserve.”