12:19PM, Tuesday 21 June 2016
Parents, staff and pupils gathered to celebrate Holyport Primary School’s academy conversion with a picnic, balloon release, celebration assembly and an art gallery on Friday.
The Church of England primary school in Stroud Farm Road received official academy status on Wednesday, June 1 and is now part of the Oxford Diocese Schools Trust (ODST).
The morning was spent with more than 200 dads in school who joined their children for workshops, followed by a picnic with parents on the field.
Children also painted artwork which was displayed in a gallery and each piece was themed around the school’s values including trust, joy and hope.
Academies are independent schools which receive their funding directly from central government, rather than through the local authority.
They can also set their own admissions policies and have more freedom than other schools.
Guests invited to the celebration assembly included the Mayor of Windsor and Maidenhead, Cllr Sayonara Luxton, governors Bridget Tracey and Lynda Jones and David Cousins, director of education at ODST.
Cllr Luxton (Con, Sunningdale) spoke to students at the celebration assembly.
She said: "I want to thank all your hard work and dedication, well done it's great and I wish you every success. Today is about celebration."
Classes in year six and three prepared speeches including a history of the school, dating back to its origins in 1683, and the current building which opened in 1968.
Children performed the new school academy song before gathering on the school field for a balloon release.
Academy status is not the only change the school will be celebrating as new headteacher Amanda Featherstone will be joining the school from September.
She said: “Today has been the beginning of a new chapter and I've very excited to start in September.
"We've had over 200 dads in the school today, a picnic with a steel band and an art gallery.
"It's great that we have so many supportive parents and I'm very excited about starting in September."
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