St Albans’ Samuel Ryder Academy opens

NEW head Matt Gauthier took the opportunity to talk about his hopes for the future at the official opening of the county’s first ‘all-through” school on Tuesday.

The Samuel Ryder Academy replaces the former Francis Bacon School in Drakes Drive, St Albans, and now takes children from ages four to 19.

It is overseen by the Sir John Lawes Academies Trust and the unveiling of the plaque to mark the opening was carried out by the Countess of Verulam, the Lord Lieutenant of Herts, and Mary Moore, the granddaughter of Samuel Ryder, the founder of the Ryder Cup and one-time St Albans Mayor after whom the new school is named.

The opening ceremony also included poetry readings, music and the school video presentation.

New headteacher Matt Gauthier said: “This has been a momentous day in the life of the new Academy and we were honoured to have been joined by the Countess of Verulam and the granddaughter of Samuel Ryder himself, Mary Moore, who treated us all to a very warm and heartfelt speech.

“I am also pleased that so many colleagues from other local schools were able to join us in our celebrations.

“One of the many strengths of the new Academy will be the work that it does with other schools and partner organisations, both locally and further afield, so it was good to see so many of them here today.”

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Mr Gauthier concluded by saying: “The new Samuel Ryder Academy is a school with achievement, care and excellence at the very heart of all that we wish to accomplish, and I know that our staff, governors and the Sir John Lawes Academies Trust will work hard in supporting us to become one of the highest achieving schools in the local area.”