Ramsgate Arts Primary in Newington Road opens the doors of its new specialist building today (September 6).
It is the area’s first dedicated arts primary school and the curriculum will focus on specialist teaching of arts subjects including dance, music, drama and art, in purpose-built studios, while also delivering the International Primary Curriculum.
Executive head teacher Michaela Lewis and head of school Nick Budge said: “It is a fantastic school and has been purpose-designed for the needs of the very special and ground-breaking curriculum.
“There is a world of opportunities on offer for our pupils and the whole staff is excited about the possibilities that lie ahead.”
Ramsgate Arts Primary, formerly Ramsgate Free School, operated at Chilton school from 2015 until the end of the term in July. Contractors McAvoys undertook the work to remove former windows manufacturers’ buildings to create the primary school for up to 420 children aged 4-11 years old.
During the demolition and construction project this year members of the school council made regular trips to the site to watch their purpose- built school take shape and report back their findings.
On September 1 a group of Reception children were invited into school with their families to explore the new building ahead of tomorrow’s official opening.
What’s on offer
The two-storey building features state of the art technology with its own recording studio, dance facilities, art room and dedicated music centre. It will also have its own school hall – due to be completed by December – and kitchens.
Pupils will study core subjects through the International Primary Curriculum during their morning sessions before developing their creative potential after lunch break with art afternoons every day.
Pupils’ work will be showcased in art exhibitions, shows and performances to highlight their skills.
Teaming up with Turner Contemporary
Ramsgate Arts Primary is already taking inspiration from the award-winning Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate.
During October to celebrate the opening all pupils will visit Turner Contemporary and work with gallery ‘navigators’. During this time the young artists will create work both at school and in the gallery.
Pupils will also visit exhibitions at Turner Contemporary each term during the academic year 2017/18, and the gallery’s schools officer will provide information on exhibitions to help teachers plan how they can be used for lessons.
Mr Budge said: “For a specialist arts school, the link with such a prestigious gallery as Turner Contemporary is fantastic for our pupils and our staff.
“It is widely recognised as one of the leading art centres in the UK and we are proud to be working with their team. Our pupils and staff are looking forward to an amazing journey that marries art and education.”
Children have already got into the swing of their link with the gallery, creating pictures of the distinctive centre at Margate harbour and making models of it from recycled materials.
The primary is part of the Viking Academy Trust Partnership that includes Upton Junior School in Broadstairs and Chilton Primary School in Ramsgate. All three schools will share best practice.
Mrs Lewis said: “Our collective experience will drive education to new high levels of aspiration and expectation, which is what our parents want and what our children thrive upon.
“One Childhood, One Chance is our ethos. It is how we see the importance of giving every child of every ability the educational, vocational and social skills that they need as individuals.”