Louth Academy may be split over two sites - but the school says students are united in their agreement that their school is now one to be proud of.
As they head into the final term of the Academy’s first full year in operation, students say they appreciate the improved teaching, structural refurbishments and family spirit which have brought them together from two previously failing schools.
Tollbar Multi Academy Trust has spent £635,000 on the Lower Academy site in the last 18 months. This money comes from the MAT’s School Capital Allocation budget for all of its academies, and the Trust has chosen to spend the vast majority of it in Louth.
Parents will be offered a full tour of both campuses once the GCSE examinations, which are now underway, are complete.
Martin Brown, Executive Principal of the Academy, said: “I am really happy with the way the students and staff have settled into their roles in the Academy.
“The combined year groups from the two predecessor schools have mixed well and formed new friendships.
“The older students have appreciated the numerous improvements to the upper campus that have gradually been made available to them, and have particularly appreciated the improved teaching with a large number of new teachers coming from Tollbar Multi Academy Trust.
“The Year 7 and 8 students have been very happy with their new site and the new combined school. The students have settled well and seem to thrive in an area where they are not surrounded by older and bigger students. This has allowed for a smooth transition from Primary to Secondary education.
“The students have taken lots of the opportunities offered to them with Sports teams being well represented and Inter-House Competitions being very popular.”
As a member of Tollbar Multi Academy Trust, the funding has allowed Louth Academy to be dramatically overhauled from the ground upwards. The Lower Campus now educates students in Years 7 and 8, and the Upper Campus has students in Years 9-11.
Major improvements to these two sites have taken place since July 2017.
At the Upper Campus these include: a new reception; refurbished dining hall, the creation of a new Music room with new keyboards/computers; refurbished Music classroom and practice rooms; a brand new Multi-Gym and new small activity hall; new changing rooms and showers; a new Student Reception; new academic tutorial rooms, work is ongoing to create a new Special Needs area with small teaching rooms; re-opening of the Recording Studio, shortly re-opening will be the Theatre and Drama space and the Dance Studio; two refurbished Art Rooms, two new ICT suites; refurbishment of six Science Labs; creation of two new science labs; refurbishment of six Maths classrooms, four English and five Humanities classrooms; a new floor in the Sports Hall and refurbished changing rooms.
At the Lower Campus, the changes have been equally extensive. These include: The quad next to the Dining Hall being fully block-paved and picnic benches added for students to be able to eat outside; a change in the location of the main school hall and the addition of a new projector; the old school hall is now sub-divided into a Multi-Gym and a Dance/Performing Arts Studio; three English classrooms have been fully refurbished and one more room added; three new Science rooms and a new Art room have been created; two new ICT rooms have been created; Office/Reception refurbished and new Student Office created; new Humanities classrooms; new student toilets; new playground surfacing, which can also be used for PE; sports courts freshly marked and the addition of basketball hoops and backboards; a new indoor area for students to line up for lunch – as they were previously outside in all weather.
Mr Brown said: “Changes that may not be so obvious, but which have made a huge difference to both sites, are the installation of new double-glazed windows, roof repairs, the cladding of corridor walls, new floors and new perimeter fencing to increase security and safety at both sites.”
Year 7 student Ben Weston-Tottam said: “The Academy is really good. I only started here a few weeks ago and I like it already. I have made good friends and the teachers are great at helping me to settle in well.”
Kira Chamberlain added: “The classrooms are so smart and it is so friendly. I think this is a really good school. The food is nice, and the toilets are really clean.”
David Hampson OBE, Chief Executive of Tollbar Multi Academy Trust, promised the people of Louth that they would have an Academy to be proud of when he first spoke to parents in 2017.
As the majority of the work nears completion, he said: “Louth Academy is like a phoenix rising from the ashes from two previous schools that were in serious educational and financial difficulties.
“I promised the people of Louth, where I reside myself, that I would provide them with a non-selective secondary Academy with quality teaching and learning, and outstanding facilities and resources.
“We have now appointed and transferred excellent quality teaching staff to both sites at Louth Academy and, with the help of Lincolnshire County Council funding for the Upper Campus and the MAT’s Capital Allocation for the Lower Campus, we have refurbished the vast majority of the two sites, which were previously in an horrendous state.
“Louth Upper Campus will have been completely refurbished by August this year and Louth Lower Campus is two-thirds of the way to completion.
“We will be offering parents a tour of the two sites following the GCSE examinations and I hope they will be suitably impressed by the facilities and quality of teaching we have provided for their children.”