Academy ready for its new era

Aylesbury Vale Academy's balloon release on its final day
Aylesbury Vale Academy's balloon release on its final day
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A Vale school has bid farewell to its old premises as it prepares for life as part of the new Berryfields development.

Aylesbury Vale Academy (formerly Quarrendon Upper School) has been based at the site in Weedon Road since 1958 but held its last day for pupils on Tuesday.

Principal Fiona Froment said: “It’s quite sad. I have been here for nearly nine years and you do get quite attached to a place.

“But it’s outweighed by the excitement of the new building. The kids can’t believe they are getting the new building.”

The new site in Berryfields Lane will eventually cater for up to 1,400 students, an increase from its current capacity of 870 pupils.

The academy broke up earlier than most schools to allow for it to pack up ahead of moving in September.

But Mrs Froment said all students had been set virtual learning projects over the summer.

Year 10 student Edward Ashley has already been on a tour of the new building and cannot wait for the move.

He said: “The school turned into an academy in 2009 but there hasn’t been a specific change in the looks of the school itself. The fact is we are getting a whole new building.”

Fellow pupil Colette Spoard agreed and said the new building represented a ‘clean slate’ for the academy.

On their last day students were treated to an 800-strong balloon release and an afternoon outside on the fields to say goodbye.

The 1950s tower block will be knocked down in October and parts of the site will still be used for adult learning.

Mrs Froment said she did not think the move will prove too challenging.

She added: “We will take this community over there. It’s the same as moving into a new house and making it our new home.”