THE new Samuel Ryder Academy has opened its doors to its first students after ending its days as Francis Bacon School at the end of last term.

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The new Academy in Drakes Drive, St Albans, is overseen by the Sir John Lawes Academies Trust and is Hertfordshire’s very first ‘all-through’ school, providing an education for children between four and 19 years of age.

Secondary students started last week and the two new reception classes were welcomed this week.

Samuel Ryder Academy Headteacher, Matt Gauthier, said: “The opening of the new Academy has been a very exciting time for us. We have welcomed our Year 7 pupils and two new reception classes, new teaching staff, an incredibly talented and experienced management team, new facilities and an impressive range of new technology to enhance teaching and learning across the school.

“We are going to be applying very high standards and expectations, rigorous attention to detail and a personalised learning environment for every child so that each and every student can achieve more than he or she ever dreamt possible.”

He added: “I am very much looking forward to helping to transform the educational experience for the young people in our care and I know that I speak for all of my colleagues and those on the Sir John Lawes Academies Trust when I say that this is going to be a very successful year.”

Year 9 student Daniel Handscombe, said: “It’s an interesting time for us at the Academy as many teachers are new and we are using new technologies in the lessons. I am really looking forward to seeing how the school develops.”

Head of primary at Samuel Ryder Academy, Lisa Oakden, said it had been an historic day for children, parents and staff when youngsters in the two reception classes crossed the threshold this week.

She went on: “The children were full of smiles as they arrived to start their school career with us and it was a very proud moment for staff and parents alike.

“Our aim is to be a school where the children feel valued, confident and happy and I am very much looking forward to seeing how they all progress in their first year.

“There are also even greater developments on the horizon with further new facilities planned for the primary school.”

The school has been renamed after Samuel Ryder, one of St Albans’ most prominent citizens who founded the Ryder Cup, the golf trophy for which teams from Europe and America compete every two years.

The official opening of the Academy will take place on Tuesday, October 16.

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