Officially opened Isaac Newton Academy Primary drums up places

Formal opening of the Isaac Newton Academy Primary School.
Rachel Macfarlane, (Principal) Tam Broad

Formal opening of the Isaac Newton Academy Primary School. Rachel Macfarlane, (Principal) Tam Broadweay, (Primary Head) Venessa Willms, (Director of Primary, Ark Schools) Gerard Griffin, (Chair of Governors) - Credit: Archant

An academy principal spoke of the demand for places at a primary school at its official opening ceremony on Tuesday.

Formal opening of the Isaac Newton Academy Primary School.
Rachel Macfarlane, (Principal) Tam Broad

Formal opening of the Isaac Newton Academy Primary School. Rachel Macfarlane, (Principal) Tam Broadweay, (Primary Head) Venessa Willms, (Director of Primary, Ark Schools) Gerard Griffin, (Chair of Governors) - Credit: Archant

Rachel Macfarlane welcomed guests to Isaac Newton Academy Primary in High Road, Ilford, and said the school had 419 applicants interested in the 90 places available come September.

The school, which opened in September last year with 90 reception-aged children, is expected to bring 630 school places to the borough by 2020 – 90 a year – to help with growing demand.

The opening ceremony comes after Redbridge Council promised to create 7,000 school places at its last budget meeting in March.

At the ceremony, children played dhol drums and performed a song about how much they loved their new school.


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Ms Macfarlane said at the event: “This first year has been hard work, but it’s been an overwhelming success story – we’ve even had about 500 pupils come forward for our 90 places next year.”

The academy wants to give pupils an “all-through” experience with children guaranteed a place at Isaac Newton Academy Secondary in Cricklefield Place, Ilford.

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The principal, who oversees both the secondary and primary schools, added: “It’s a fantastic opportunity to shape the lives of children over a 14 year period – to ensure a smooth transition.”

Headteacher Tam Broadway said: “I’ve worked in neighbouring schools for 17 years and part of the job was to deal with parents that were concerned about that transition, but here we set that journey from the start.”

Cutting the ribbon on the plaque was Venessa Willms, director of primary at ARK Schools – which Isaac Newton Academy is part of.

She said at the ceremony: “I’m absolutely delighted to share this wonderful occasion with you.

“I always say teaching is the best job there is and there’s only one thing that’s better, and that’s opening a brand new school.”

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