Bright, beautiful and brilliant – that’s what pupils have said about Thanet’s first specialist arts primary which opened its doors for the start of the new school year yesterday (September 6).
Feedback from families to staff has been equally impressive, with positive reaction to Ramsgate Arts Primary’s new £4 million state-of-the-art building.
The opening follows two years of operating from mobile classrooms on the Chilton Primary site after initially launching as Ramsgate Free School in September 2015.
The new specialist curriculum has a focus on art, drama, dance and music being taught for half of every day in purpose-built studios, balanced with learning the core International Primary Curriculum.
With arts development central to the school, a year-long learning arrangement with the award-winning Turner Contemporary in Margate is already under way.
The world of arts is very much to the fore, with pupils being introduced to their new school houses, named after modern luminaries – their House Heroes.
They are:- award-winning international contemporary artist Tracey Emin who comes from Margate (Emin House); acclaimed dancer, writer and television celebrity Darcey Bussell (Bussell House); broadcaster, actor, DJ, and musician Idris Elba (Elba House); and choral conductor and broadcaster Gareth Malone (Malone House).
Head of school Nick Budge said: “We chose the House names to reflect inspirational and innovative people from the arts world. We are sure the children will engage with the concept and enjoy finding out about their ‘House Heroes.’
As pupils settled in, the school council members who visited the Newington Road site as it was being constructed in the last year shared their thoughts on their new surroundings.
Head boy Malaki said: “It is very exciting to have a new school built just for us. I saw it go from a pile of rubble to this brilliant place. It was like magic.”
Head girl Lilly agreed: “It makes me feel cosy and safe. It is quieter for learning, even though there are lots of children. It is a lovely place to be to do our work and have fun.”
Jacob added: “It is 1000 times better than our old school. There is so much more space, with room to explore.”
Ramsgate Arts Primary School is part of the Viking Academy Trust with Upton Juniors at Broadstairs and Chilton Primary.
Executive Head teacher Michaela Lewis said: “The new build is a great step forward for the area – it is a fabulous space for teaching and learning and is somewhere that the children of Thanet can flourish in our arts programme.”