More than 750 prospective parents and students attended this year's Open Evening to see for themselves why the UK’s first Greek Orthodox free school is proving to be such a popular choice for secondary education.
Headteacher, Mr Ahearn, told them: “Our plan and vision for a new Christian school is now fully established up to Year 11. It has been an incredibly exciting journey establishing and leading a brand-new school – and it is continuing to develop.”
He stressed that the Trust and the governing body were determined that the school should be an inclusive school, showing respect for and serving not just the Greek Orthodox community but people of all faiths and those with none, from Barnet and elsewhere.
“St Andrew the Apostle is a school based on Christian values of forgiveness, responsibility, kindness and respect for others which leads to very high expectations in terms of behavior. We expect every child to feel secure here and free to be an individual and make positive decisions.”
Mr. Ahearn explained how the school draws on best practice from independent and state schools, teachers are hand-picked and teaching groups are no larger than 25 students. He said they were proud that their first Ofsted inspection said they were outstanding in all four areas and that their traditional but contemporary curriculum provided rich and varied opportunities to develop academic skills, knowledge and understanding.
“Our Curriculum meets the needs of the full range of our students, developing them intellectually, socially, culturally, spiritually and morally. There is an unashamed focus on the core subjects of English, mathematics and science.
“This school is part of the Russell Education Trust, an educational trust which promotes this approach – and my own experience is that proficiency and excellence in these areas is the key to all other successes,” stated Mr. Ahearn, adding that partnerships with parents, primary schools, the Greek Orthodox Church and other churches and local charities and associations were all key to St Andrew the Apostle’s success.
Mr. Ahearn said he expected a resolution regarding the new permanent building would be achieved in the New Year– but in the meantime, the school had excellent resources and superb accommodation for all seven year groups, including the first Sixth Form which opens on site next September. Visitors were invited to see newly completed state-of-the-art classrooms, with more due to be finished in the New Year.
Young visitors enjoyed quizzes, interactive Maths games, visited a French “village”, discovered how much Latin they know, and tried their hand at art, sport, music and D&T. Students were on hand to guide them around the school and answer any questions about their experiences as St Andrew the Apostle students. Musical entertainment was provided by students in the Main Hall.
St Andrew’s is also providing an opportunity for parents to see the school during a normal school day and ask detailed questions in a quieter setting, in a series of Open Mornings until Friday 29 September. Details of the tours and Admissions Policy can be found here.