Expansion and Merger with Ark Paddington Green Academy in 2019

Expansion and Merger with Ark Paddington Green Academy in 2019

In September 2019, King Solomon Academy expand through merging with Ark Paddington Green Primary Academy, with pupils and staff from both schools coming together. The school will grow to being 3 forms of entry from Nursery to Year 13. This will create one, larger, all through community. This page lays out what this means for current and future pupils and how the expansion and merger will work.

Why expand and merge?

The opportunity to bring together King Solomon Academy and Ark Paddington Green represents a fantastic opportunity to create a high quality all through school across two well equipped sites, which will be able to have a transformational impact on the community it serves. By reorganising the space and making improvements across the two sites Ark Schools and Westminster believe that the needs of the local community will be met.

The merger will achieve the following:

  • Create an extra form of entry at Secondary (compared to the current provision) to meet the shortfall in secondary places in Westminster (King Solomon Academy at secondary age will increase from 60 to 90 pupils per year group)
  • Provide a high quality outdoor environment for the youngest pupils, fully utilising the wooded and spacious environment at the Younger Years Site
  • Ensure that primary pupils benefit from a broad and well delivered curriculum more easily delivered in year groups of 90
  • Allow the school to offer 2 year old provision to ensure pupils get the best possible start
  • Provide a sustainable and broader curriculum offer to pupils of the school from Years 5 to 13
  • Create a tailored Sixth Form Centre allowing pupils the opportunity to have a university preparatory education
  • Over time, through the expansion, to ensure that resources are efficiently used and the school can sustainably offer a world class education

What does it mean for my child who is a current KSA pupil?

Current pupils at King Solomon Academy will benefit considerably from the merger. Next year, and in future years they will receive the high quality all-through education provided by the school.

KSA pupils who will be entering Reception, Year 1, Year 2, Year 3 or Year 4 in September 2019 will attend the Younger Years Site, the current APG site. This site is significantly better equipped for outdoor, with substantial designated Early Years outdoor learning space. The playground facilities are significantly better than those of most primary schools including the current KSA provision. Pupils will move from being in one of two classes in their year group to being in one of three classes. This will mean that the school can provide a richer curriculum and extra curriculum offer, and that the teachers can benefit from more collaboration and support. We believe this will lead to a better provision for pupils.  These pupils will remain at this site until they reach Year 5 when they will transfer to the Older Years Site.

KSA pupils who will be entering Years 5, 6 or 7 in September 2019 will stay at the Older Years Site - the current KSA site on Penfold Street. They will join one other class and be in a year group of three classes. This increase will increase the breadth and quality of the curriculum that we can offer, and ensure pupils can access the specialist spaces of at King Solomon Academy including science laboratories, music rooms, a large sports pitch and sports hall, dance studio and Art rooms. They will have a seamless transition to secondary learning with no changes to the expectations, curriculum approach or culture.

KSA pupils in Years 8 and above in September 2019 will benefit from a school setting with more space and a designated 6th form centre. This will provide appropriate facilities for university preparatory learning and ensure a larger 6th form which can offer a rich curricular and extra curricular offer.

Building works and disruption to 2018-19, and 2019-20 year

In order to benefit from the space and facilities to create more space for our pupils, Westminster Local Authority has committed to funding building works at both of the future King Solomon Academy sites. It is intended for the building work to be phased across the two sites to minimise disruption. The major works at the current APG site will involve the building of the new nursery (where the current portakabins are). This work will commence during this year ahead of planned completion for September 2019. At the current KSA site, there will some disruption but the works will be phased to ensure this is kept to a minimum.

Next steps and plans for the merged school

We have already received a range of feedback form parents about the way the merged school will be organised. Parents have been very supportive of the plans, but are keen to know all the details, including the arrangements around school start and end times. The school will discuss this further and publish proposed details before the end of Autumn Term.

If you have any questions relating to the expansions and merger, please speak to the staff at the school, including the members of the Senior Leadership Team, Ms Humphreys, Mr Rimmer, or Mr Haimendorf.

On behalf of Ark, there will be a governor drop in on Friday 5th October at 8.45am, for any parents to visit and hear more about the merger and raise any ideas and questions.

Thank you to all parents who attended coffee morning on 5th October.
KSA parents are invited to visit the APG site at 9am on 9th November and 15th November 2018 at 4.30pm