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What a difference a year makes at King's
1:00pm Saturday 10th August 2013 in News
WHAT a difference a year makes.
That is the message from officials at King’s Leadership Academy Warrington, which is celebrating the end of its inaugaral school year.
Head teacher Shane Ierston believes the free school has faced down controversies and can be deemed a success.
He said: “I’m really pleased with how things have gone.
“The staff have worked hard because they are passionate about what they are doing here.
“Even the best schools can be exam focused where they are trying to push up scores in league tables.
“We believe the best way to grow success in schools is improving individual and leaderships skills, and helping to build character.
“We believe we are doing something special.”
The path has not been a straightforward one so far for King’s.
Warrington Borough Council has opposed the free school as unnecessary, while there has been a bitter dispute over its attempts to move to a new site on Hillock Lane.
But staff remain determined to establish the school, where things are done slightly differently.
Pupils take lessons in leadership, while instead of football being played in PE lessons, fencing and martial arts are taught.
Visitors to the school have included an astronaut from Nasa, and trips have seen children go to Cambridge University and an outdoor pursuits centre in the Lake District.
Students backed their first year at the school.
Megan Hopwood, aged 12, from Bruche, said: “At the start I was a bit nervous, but as the year carried on it got much better.
“The teachers listen to us and the activites we do bring us all closer together.
Cerys Vaughan-Massey, aged 12, from Padgate, said: “It has been good making new friends. I knew people in Padgate but now I know people in other areas.”
There are currently 50 children at King’s in temporary buildings on Seymour Drive, Bruche.
Issues remain over the site, due to be used until September 2014. There are currently no changing facilities with children left to use classrooms.
A new intake of around 100 pupils is hoped for in September, along with seven new teachers.
Mr Ierston said that new classrooms will also be in place, meaning ‘the future is bright’.
Pupil Rachel Addison, aged 12, from Orford, agrees.
She said : “I think this has been one of the best years of my life, being at a new school.
“Now I’m just looking forward to next year.”
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