Celebrating the opening of new building

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Pupils, staff and governors of The Halifax Academy proudly celebrated the completion of their new Primary building with an official opening event.

The Mayor of Calderdale, Coun Lisa Lambert opened the building with a ribbon cutting ceremony and spoke to pupils about the importance of education and of positive relationships throughout their time at school.

The ceremony was followed by a time capsule burial by primary pupils and Roly Bardsley, chairman of Bardsley Construction.

A commemorative stained glass window, designed by pupils and parents under the guidance of JNT Glass Design, was unveiled by Jackie Nellis, head of learning at Calderdale Council.

Guests were then given a tour of the outstanding new facilities, whilst the children enjoyed an entertainer and a picnic lunch.

Lesley Bowyer, headteacher of Primary at The Halifax Academy said: “I am incredibly proud to welcome our guests to the official opening as it marks a significant point in our journey to develop as the first through-school in Calderdale.

“It has been wonderful to see how quickly the children have settled into their new building.

“It has certainly helped that they have been involved in managing the project since building work began and we are very grateful to Bardsley Construction for enabling the children to visit the site and even to help to paint the walls.”

Challenging prejudice

Year nine students at The Halifax Academy have led a two week exhibition exploring the life of Anne Frank and the history of the Holocaust.

The exhibition, entitled Anne Frank: A history for today, takes the poignant messages of Anne’s life and diary to help students understand the damage caused by prejudice and hate.

Eighteen students were selected to be trained as exhibition guides, which enabled them to develop their literacy, presentation and leadership skills and to understand the consequences of unchecked prejudice and discrimination.

They worked with The Anne Frank Trust UK to gain in-depth understanding of Anne’s story and the diary she kept during the two years that she and her family were in hiding during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.

This is the second time that the academy has worked with the Anne Frank Trust to explore such an important part of history.

Exhibition guide Ammaan Sajid spoke of his sense of achievement at presenting Anne’s story to students and staff across the academy.

Ammaan said: “Anne was confident and brave and still had hope even though so many terrible things were happening, so many lives were lost.

“We have learnt about the impact of racial abuse and how the hatred of a group of people can grow and spread across the world.

“It is really important to respect each other and try to stop these things from happening again.

“We should all try to make a positive contribution to society.”

Academy recieves careers gold

The Halifax Academy has been awarded the C&K Careers Quality Standard Gold Award for providing excellent careers support to students.

Assessors interviewed students, staff and a member of the governing body to gain an understanding of how the academy works with students, not only by supporting them in their studies, but also by building their confidence and interpersonal skills, in preparation for their next steps in education and ultimately employment.

The report highlighted the academy’s links with local businesses, who have given time and resources to help students develop their interview skills.

Careers Education Lead Natalie Hawkins said: “I am extremely proud of the hard work that staff put in to prepare our students for their lives beyond year 11.”