Kettering Buccleuch Academy was officially opened today by the Duke of Buccleuch.
Students and staff at the academy were joined by guests from the local community including:
- Cllr Jim Harker, Leader of Northamptonshire County Council;
- Cllr Russell Roberts, Leader of Kettering Borough Council;
- Philip Hollobone MP for Kettering;
- Councillor Keli Watts, Mayor of Kettering;
- J M Shepherd-Cross Esq, High Sheriff of Northamptonshire;
- The Rt Revd & Rt Hon The Lord Carey of Clifton, President of United Learning;
- Head teachers of local primary and secondary schools.
The opening ceremony began with Year 8 students Brandon Eady and Bradley Goode welcoming guests before the academy’s Primary Choir, comprising Year 2, 3 and 4 pupils, sang “Raise My Voice”. This was followed by a welcome from the Principal, James Bowkett, who said:
“Today marks a very special occasion, the official opening of a building designed to serve our community of Kettering and beyond. The ceremony also represents a significant moment in the life of our academy, cementing the convergence of three predecessor schools into our one all-through academy.
“As we celebrate the opening of our magnificent building, I would like to thank all those who have helped make it a reality. The building really is fantastic and is a superb backdrop for the learning that takes place within. We are extremely grateful to Northamptonshire County Council and Kettering Borough Council for their continued support and thank our neighbours for their patience and understanding during the construction period.
“We are very pleased to welcome his Grace the Duke of Buccleuch to the academy today. We are immensely proud of our association with the Duke and were delighted recently to be granted permission by the Duke to show our pride by displaying the Buccleuch family coat of arms above our main theatre entrance. We look forward to continuing to develop our relationship with the Duke and his estate.”
Guests were treated to fantastic performances from students including:
- The Academy Prayer which had been written by students and was read by Esele Okondo and Lucy Spray;
- The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee song “Sing” which was sung by Megan and Joe Smith and Harry and Kacey Draper;
- A performance of “Hero” by Ellie Rowden, the winner of the academy’s competition “The K Factor”.
The Duke of Buccleuch then unveiled a plaque thereby officially opening the academy. Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Duke of Buccleuch, said:
“I am delighted at the wonderful opportunities opening now with this new building. It is a platform for future success that will serve the young people in Kettering for years to come.”
Guests also had an opportunity to explore the academy’s new building which is fully equipped with the most modern facilities including:
- A theatre;
- A Sports Pavilion;
- A floodlit, all-weather pitch;
- State-of-the-art science laboratories, media suites, music rooms and art studios;
- An ICT rich environment with the latest technology applied into every teaching room and social area;
- A Hearing Impaired Unit;
- A dedicated Sixth Form area.
The students are also enjoying their new home. Year 9 student Ellie Allday said:
‘It’s so much easier to find your way around because of the way the building is laid out. Everywhere is light and airy and open. I walk in every day and say “Wow”!’