Last Friday (7th December), Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education, formally opened Bexhill High as the latest school to convert to academy status under sponsorship from Prospects Academies Trust.
The new academy, which recently benefited from a £40 million revamp of its premises, employs a novel way of teaching as each student is equipped with their own laptop, classes are taught in group sizes of up to 90 and there is no homework to help compensate for a teaching day that finishes at 5pm.
Mr Gove started his visit with a tour of the state of the art facilities during which he met a Year 11 chemistry class and paid a visit to a Year 8 ‘Discoveries’ class, a combination of mathematics and design technology with elements of the sciences. The Minister paid testament to Bexhill High’s innovative teaching style, excellent facilities and praised the community feel along with an environment in which students felt “well-looked after”. He also demonstrated his knowledge of popular children’s literature before asking the students to recommend a title for his son’s Christmas present. Mr Gove met with student chefs and cafeteria staff, commending them for their high standard of school dinners.
The Minister unveiled a plaque and cut a giant cake bearing the Bexhill High logo before delivering a speech in which he complimented all of the staff and spoke of how he felt “privileged to see some wonderful teaching and successful learning” on his trip to the academy. He also recognised the contribution of Prospects Academies Trust, giving his congratulations on everything it has helped the academy to achieve.
The Head Boy and Head Girl then presented Mr Gove with a commemorative trophy of his visit. The Minister made a second speech in which he made reference to the positive effect that the academy’s premises has had on the pupils by quoting Winston Churchill: “First we shape our buildings, then they shape us”. Mr Gove expanded on his point by mentioning how Bexhill High was preparing its students for the 21st century, giving them “a springboard to success” and made reference to Prospects Academies Trust for being “absolutely dedicated to students who deserve the best”.
In a further demonstration of Bexhill High’s talent, Drama students treated Mr Gove and an audience comprising governors, parents and supporters, to a performance of “Tower of Babble” from the musical Godspell in the school theatre.
See more photos of the opening of Bexhill High on the Prospects Facebook page www.facebook.com/ProspectsGroup or go straight to the album here.
For more information about Prospects Academies Trust contact Vincent McDonnell, email Vincent.McDonnell@prospects.co.uk or Karen Weeks, email Karen.Weeks@prospects.co.uk