Quintin Kynaston school gets reborn with overhaul

QK students in the new external quad, from left Marc-James Ihionvien (12), Izram Farah (14), Sama Az

QK students in the new external quad, from left Marc-James Ihionvien (12), Izram Farah (14), Sama Azizi (14) and Bilquees El-Ageli (11). - Credit: Archant

A St John’s Wood school showed off its impressive new facilities to visitors at a grand opening ceremony.

QK students in one of the new sciences labs.

QK students in one of the new sciences labs. - Credit: Archant

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.

Staff, students, governors, guests and parents cut the ribbon to officially open the new QK building

Staff, students, governors, guests and parents cut the ribbon to officially open the new QK building on 25.03.15. - Credit: Archant


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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.”

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