Expansion and Merger with Ark Paddington Green Academy in 2019
Expansion and Merger with Ark Paddington Green Academy
In September 2019, King Solomon Academy expanded through merging with Ark Paddington Green Primary Academy, with pupils and staff from both schools coming together. The school became 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.
The following roles have been confirmed:
Ms Deeks: Head of School (Nursery to Year 4)
Ms Humphreys: Associate Principal – supports Mr Haimendorf on the running of the overall school and focuses on Primary (Nursery to Year 6)
Mr Haimendorf: Principal – Overall leader of the school with a focus on Secondary
Mr Rimmer: Head of Secondary (Year 7-13)
Why expand and merge?
The opportunity to bring together King Solomon Academy and Ark Paddington Green presented 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 ?
Pupils who will be entering Nursery, Reception, Year 1, Year 2, Year 3 or Year 4 in September 2019 will attend the Younger Years Site. This site is significantly better equipped for outdoor, with substantial designated Early Years outdoor learning space than the previous site. 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.
Pupils who will be entering Years 5, 6 or 7 in September 2019 will attend the Older Years Site on Penfold Street. By being in three classes, we 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 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. The building work to be phased across the two sites to minimise disruption. The major works at the Younger Years Site will involve the building of the new nursery. This work will commence during this year ahead of planned completion for September 2020. At the current KSA site, there will some disruption but the works will be phased to ensure this is kept to a minimum.
Younger Years Site at Crompton Street (Years N-4)
The main building was refurbished over the summer of 2019 to ensure the main building is completely ready for all the Nursery to Year 4 pupils in September 2019. The admin hub will be finished by October half term.
Unfortunately, the building project is complex, and due to these complexities, there have been delays to the Nursery project. The main impact of this is that the Nursery building will not be open in September 2019, with a projected completion date now of September 2020. However, by not admitting 2 year olds into the nursery until 2020, and by not filling up places in some year groups, we will be able to comfortably house the nursery in the main building for the few months until the new nursery building is complete.
Older Years Site at Penfold Street (Years 5-13)
The new dining hall will be built to create a better space for dining, learning and events. The pupils will continue to use the primary hall and the music rooms while the hall is built. The North Building will be converted into the 6th Form Centre between January and July 2020. This all means we expetc that the building project will be finished by September 2020.
Of these works one development there will be toilet upgrades. The current toilet arrangements mean there is sometimes uncleanliness and poor behaviour – through the building works we have an opportunity to upgrade the toilets to bring them in line with how toilets are now built in modern secondary schools. We plan to install a modern toilet layout which include individual rooms rather than cubicles, accessed through an open-to-the-corridor handwashing area. This is the way modern schools are built and represents an improvement on the current dynamic where more open cubicles behind in a large, separate hand washing room have led to some incidents of poorer behaviour and uncleanliness. These changes will be for all of Years 5-11 and should lead to a more mature and respectful dynamic around toilets. Whilst the rooms/cubicles themselves become completely private, the handwashing area becomes open and observed, which means the opportunity for any inappropriate behaviour is removed.
Impact of works
We appreciate that these will be some disruption around the works, there will be the changes of moving some classes classrooms for a period; pupils will have to move around the site in a slightly less efficient way and there will be some noise. However, we are confident that the very detailed planning that is going into the running of the school will mean that this inconvenience will be kept to a minimum. Building works that create significant levels of dust will be planned for when pupils are not in the building (e.g. the summer holidays).