‘Special day’ as academy marks dawn of new era

The new Aylesbury Vale Academy building at Berryfields
The new Aylesbury Vale Academy building at Berryfields

A bright new dawn beckons for Aylesbury Vale Academy as dignitaries met this week for the topping out ceremony at the new Berryfields site.

The school, which was revealed to have some of the worst GCSE results in the country in recent league tables, will open at new premises in September.

Principal Fiona Froment was joined by chairman of Bucks County Council Marion Clayton, students, governors, architects, construction workers and county councillors.

Mrs Clayton performed the traditional topping out ceremony, an occasion which builders mark to this day when the main construction of a building is completed, when she smoothed some concrete on the roof of the building with a trowel.

She told the assembled group: “This is such a special day. It’s a wonderful celebration of an exciting stage in this project which will provide provision from pre-school to the end of sixth form education. It’s going to be a fantastic facility for the children in a very special part of Aylesbury.”

Aylesbury Vale Academy project manager Graham Tunstall, who will be responsible for marketing the school facilities for community use, told the Herald: “I’m thrilled and very proud to be a part of this. It’s a fantastic opportunity for everybody, the students and the residents of Berryfields.”

Robin Tuset, project manager for Bucks County Council said the school would open in September with 900 pupils initially, but it has been designed to take 1500. In addition, there is a primary school which can take a further 420 pupils and a nursery with spaces for 52.

He said the outdoor sports facilities include two all weather pitches with artifical grass and floodlights for hockey and football; four tennis/netball courts; three basketball courts and natural turf pitches for football, rugby and a running track.

He said: “It will be fantastic, I am very proud of it.”

Mr Tuset said everyone can follow the progress of the building on a special Facebook page call BAMAylesburyValeAcademy.