Singing in the rain as Route 39 opens
- Credit: Archant
New free school celebrates its official opening at Clovelly.
THE new Route 39 Academy secondary school welcomed parents and guests to celebrate its official opening on Friday.
At the end of their first week of term the students of the region’s newest free school defied the rain and led the festivities with a colourful musical procession from Clovelly Parish Hall to the school’s temporary home at the former village primary school.
At the school there was singing and dancing, before principal Joss Glossop raised a line of prayer flags the students had made during the week, with their hopes and dreams drawn and written on them.
The Hon John Rous, owner of Clovelly, joined the principal to plant a tree marking the occasion and later on to help cut the celebratory cake.
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The day also saw the launch of the Route 39 Academy Fellowship programme by Chris Hines MBE, formerly of The Eden Project and founder of Surfers Against Sewage. The programme is designed to widen students’ horizons and give them a range of inspirational mentors, 12 of whom spent the afternoon discussing their careers and areas of speciality with the students.
“It has taken a remarkable amount of effort and commitment from everyone involved to get us to this day. It just shows what humans can do when they put their minds to it,” said Miss Glossop.
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“Now the school is open, we’re here to make a difference to the lives and opportunities of young people in this area.”
Governor Christina Woodroffe added: “Everything that’s good in education has come together today in the opening of Route 39 Academy. It’s been about inspiration, aspiration, mutual kindness and respect. The talk has already been walked.”
The school was made possible by government funding and follows more than two years of work by local parents and supporters who sought to create a new comprehensive school in the area.
In time Route 39 will move to purpose built premises at Steart Farm near Bucks Cross, if planning permission is granted.