A new £15million school building in Alfreton has opened its doors to pupils for the first time, and school leaders say it’s time for a fresh start.
On the first morning back to school after half term last week, youngsters at the David Nieper Academy on Grange Street got their first look inside their new building.
After handing out orientation maps and leading a treasure hunt around the shiny new corridors and classrooms, headteacher Kathryn Hobbs held a welcome assembly for staff and students, telling them the move marked a new beginning everyone associated with the school.
She said: “We have a fantastic new building and a fresh new start. Leave any bad habits with the old building, they have no place here.
“It is the mission of the David Nieper Education Trust to develop leaders and achievers for the future and that is each and every one of you.”
Kathryn added: “You can be anything you want to be, you can go anywhere you want to go, you can do whatever you want to do and we are here to help you do that.
“If you want to go to University we can help you get there, if you want an amazing apprenticeship we can help you do that. You need to work hard, do your best and we are here to help you achieve.”
The official opening of the school saw a ribbon cutting ceremony, led by two of the youngest Year 7 students.
They were accompanied by three former students who were among the first cohort to join the school when it originally opened on the same site in 1939—then known as Mortimer Wilson School.
The academy is privately sponsored by the local women’s fashion company David Nieper, which took over the Alfreton Grange site in 2013.
Leaders are looking to develop an ambitious and innovative approach to working with local employers.
The school will offer a career enriched curriculum intended to lead to jobs, apprenticeships or a head-start in further education at college or university.
Christopher Nieper, founder of the David Nieper Education Trust, said: “What an exciting day for these children and this move doesn’t come a minute too soon.
“Alfreton’s children really do deserve the very best facilities and this new building is a fantastic environment in which to learn. Working with the teaching staff, our aim is to create an outstanding school of which the whole community can be proud.”
The newly-opened building includes a three-court sports hall, drama studio and theatre and additional works are taking place outside, which includes a running track, football and hockey, netball and cricket pitches.
The academy site includes 15 acres of woodland, and governors and trustees are currently considering further development options.
Find out more details at www.davidnieper.academy.