Quintin Kynaston school gets reborn with overhaul
- Credit: Archant
A St John’s Wood school showed off its impressive new facilities to visitors at a grand opening ceremony.
Quintin Kynaston Academy, in Marlborough Hill, has moved just down the road to a site formerly occuped by George Eliot primary school.
The multi-million-pound, state-of-the-art buildings opened to students in Jaunary, but were revealed to the wider community last Wednesday evening.
The purpose-built facilities include larger classrooms, a lecture hall, cutting-edge interactive workshops and laboratories, performing arts studios and multi-purpose sports halls.
The entire grounds of the school have been redeveloped to offer extensive outdoor spaces and playgrounds, including AstroTurf football pitches and tennis courts.
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Students led guests, including former staff and pupils, representatives from local community groups and staff from other schools, on tours of the new buildings.
London Assembly member and ex-pupil Murad Qureshi attended the event, as did Sir Edward Studd, the grandson of one of the school’s founders, Quintin Hogg.
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As well as leading tours, students played a big part in the opening ceremony, making and serving canapes, performing live music and helping guests and staff to cut a giant ribbon marking the new school building’s official unveiling.
The new building has given the school something to celebrate, after a difficult period, which has seen former headteacher Jo Shuter disgraced, Ofsted ratings slide, and the revelation that notrious terrorist Mohammed Emwazi was a pupil there.
Deputy head girl Shazmeena Aziz, 16, said: “I think it’s amazing, the new building is a lot more developed, and it’s enabled students to embrace being in QK.
“It felt like we needed a change, especially with how hard the past year has been. It’s easier to move on with a physical change.”
Headteacher Alex Atherton, pictured left, said that although the school did not need a “fresh start”, the new buildings marked a new chapter in the school’s history.
He also recognised that few headteachers get the opportunity to have their school rebuilt with state-of-the-art facilities.
He said: “It’s an incredible privilege; whether you’re a teacher, headteacher, or student, everyone feels invested in. It will inspire them to great heights.
“It will be even better when we’ve had more time to make a house a home; there’s a lot of display work we need to do.
“We did not need a fresh start, there’s lots of fantastic things here, but it’s a new chapter.”
Sir Edward Studd joined Mr Atherton on the podium to deliver a speech to bring the evening to a close.
Speaking after the ceremony, he said: “My grandfather was so involved that I was honoured to be asked to come and represent him.
“He would have been delighted to see this, he would have been overwhelmed.”