A sneak preview of the Route 39 Academy

Route 39 Academy principal Joss Glossop outside the newly refurbished former Clovelly Primary School

Route 39 Academy principal Joss Glossop outside the newly refurbished former Clovelly Primary School building, which will serve as the secondary school while new premises are constructed. - Credit: Archant

Pictures and video: Parents, new students and visitors get a look inside the temporary home of North Devon’s newest secondary school.

Principal Joss Glossop (right) with new Route 39 Academy staff Nedua Hussain, Caroline Smart and Lau

Principal Joss Glossop (right) with new Route 39 Academy staff Nedua Hussain, Caroline Smart and Laura James, plus new Route 39 pupils Madeline Winters, Finn Home, Jack Daniel, Theo Slade and Francesca Buckingham. - Credit: Archant

PARENTS, students and the community yesterday (Thursday) visited the Route 39 Academy to see the new facilities.

The region’s newest secondary school has moved into the former Clovelly Primary School building at Higher Clovelly, while waiting for its permanent home to be built at Steart Farm near Bucks Cross.

The first day of the first ever term is on Monday (September 9) and there are currently 64 pupils enrolled, but that number is expected to rise to around 75 by the start of term.

The former primary school building has been redecorated, refurbished and fitted with new desks, chairs, whiteboards and educational paraphernalia ready to welcome the first staff and students.


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Click on the video above for a ‘video tour’ of the new Route 39 Academy premises.

It has taken two-and-a-half years of work by local parents and governors to bring the government-funded free school to fruition.

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“I think it’s quite important that people see us now as a proper school,” principal Joss Glossop told the North Devon Gazette.

“I started work in January, but the trustees have been working for years now to develop the idea and we’re now on the cusp of their original dream coming to fruition.

“We have 64 students signed up and there are still those interested. Now people can actually see what is going on and make a decision for their children based on that.

“Everybody is absolutely delighted and overwhelmingly positive, particularly the new parents and students, who are excited to think that within a few days they will be arriving here and getting stuck in to learning.”

The first Route 39 intake will be a mixture of Year 7 and 8 pupils, aged 11 to 13-years-old. In some ways it will prove very different to ‘traditional’ secondary schools, with a longer school day of 8.30am to 5pm.

There will be ‘flexible’ classrooms covering combined subjects, while sciences will be taught under the ‘STEM’ system (science, technology, engineering and maths).

Pupils will have quiet or study periods in addition to structured lessons, to take into account the longer school day.

Nearby Clovelly Parish Hall is likely to be used as a school hall and at lunchtimes – school meals are being provided by Merry Harriers Nursery at Woolsery.

Philip and Jenny Brown from Bideford visited the Academy yesterday with their son Jamie, who starts next week, and the family were impressed with what they saw.

“He’s really excited about it,” said Jenny.

“This is just a whole new way of thinking, that I just know is going to suit him and his style of learning down to the ground.”

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