08 Sep 2010 14:00:00.000
Olympic Gold-medal winning athletics star Dame Kelly Holmes will be helping hundreds of children celebrate the official opening of the brand new Nottingham University Samworth Academy building on Friday September 17 2010.
The Academy is one of the first in the UK to have direct sponsorship and academic links with a University and is also backed by businessman and philanthropist Sir David Samworth. The Academy has been operating for the past year in the refurbished buildings formerly occupied by the William Sharp school in Bilborough, while the new, government-funded complex was being built alongside.
Nottingham University Samworth Academy (NUSA) is already gaining national and international recognition for its partnership with the University. In its first year of operation this unique alliance has forged highly acclaimed and innovative approaches to teaching and learning in secondary education.
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The new NUSA complex has cost £24 million and taken 18 months to build. It provides a state-of-the-art home for the Academy which is delivering a ground-breaking education to 650 pupils from an inner Nottingham area of historically low educational achievement.
The school will eventually cater for 950 including a 200-strong sixth form with a particular remit to encourage young people to achieve their full potential academically and vocationally. And the Academy aims to be more than a school, with its resources open as much as possible to the whole community.
NUSA pupil Ola Nwabuikwu, aged 16, said: “I think the building is amazing. I can’t wait to restart school after the summer break! It is much better than I expected, the lecture theatre is amazing.”
Robert Airey, aged 13, said: “The new building is brilliant — over 100 times better than the old school one, and add to this the fact we are sponsored by the University, we now have so many opportunities!”
The University has a significant presence at NUSA with lecturers, students and support staff taking an active role in the life of the school. They work with individual pupils as mentors, lead large groups on many topics and host a variety of workshops on the latest research in science and technology. A Pupil Research Group also works with University staff on the latest innovations in teaching and learning.
The stunning design of the NUSA building is by Atkins architects. It is based around a ‘heartspace’ concept with a double-height main reception, internet cafe and restaurant space leading to a large, glass-covered central atrium called The Street. This links the two main teaching wings of the school and will serve as a light and contemporary space for congregation, exhibitions and performances.
As a specialist college for Science and Health, the new building includes facilities specifically tailored to these areas, including the latest scientific and engineering laboratories and a professional dance studio. Food technology is another specialism of the Academy which boasts industry-standard catering facilities. The Academy restaurant will also be open at times to the families of pupils and the wider local community.
The building has been kitted out with some outstanding facilities including: suites of Apple Mac computers, video editing equipment and PCs; a recording studio; a 220-seat, university-style lecture theatre; a suite of music technology rooms; and excellent sports facilities such as an imaginatively-designed fitness trail and a fully-fitted multigym.
The new building has been created to be as environmentally-friendly as possible, with a green ‘living’ roof, rain water recycling and a biodiesel boiler which uses renewable energy.
NUSA’s Principal, David Harris, said: “I am so proud of the way staff and pupils worked so hard to make such an impact in the old building — now we are moving into this breathtaking new space, nothing can hold us back. Watch out world, NUSA is here!”
The University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor David Greenaway, said: “The new NUSA building is a fitting tribute to the ground-breaking and creative vision of all those involved in establishing this unique Academy. We believe the high-quality physical environment will be a prestigious landmark in the city and an inspiration to the young people who go there to learn and develop their skills and ambitions.”
Sir David Samworth, who also sponsors two other local Academies, said: “My family and I are proud to have been able to co-sponsor this wonderful new Academy with the University and are delighted with the excellent start that the pupils and Mr Harris and his team have made in the first year of being open. I am particularly pleased that we have now reached the exciting stage that the children and the wider community in this area can begin to enjoy the benefits of this inspirational new building and all its state of the art facilities which they so richly deserve.”
Professor Di Birch, NUSA Project Director on behalf of the University, said: “Working with staff and pupils in Bilborough has been a delight and a privilege. Everyone involved with the project is completely dedicated to making the most of this wonderful new building in the years to come.
“The response from within the university has been overwhelming, and I am absolutely confident that together we will create an outstanding school.”
The University also supports the Academy through the development of apprenticeship and work placement schemes as well as advising pupils who aim to go on to higher education. More than 20 NUSA staff are currently undertaking Masters and Doctoral degrees at the University, many within the School of Education.
The construction of the Academy was delivered by Nottingham’s award-winning Local Education Partnership which is a public-private partnership between Nottingham City Council, inspiredspaces and Building Schools for the Future Investments (BSFi).
Double Olympic gold medal winner Dame Kelly Holmes is well-known for inspiring young people and the Academy is delighted she will be the guest of honour for the formal opening ceremony at 2pm on Friday September 17 2010. She will be available for interview after the ceremony along with key figures at the Academy, its pupils and sponsors. There will also be an opportunity for members of the media to tour the building.
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Notes to editors: MEDIA wishing to attend on the 17th should contact Emma Rayner or Tim Utton in The University of Nottingham Communications office on 0115 951 5765, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Photographs of the new NUSA building are available on request.
The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.
More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.
The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.
Nottingham was designated as a Science City in 2005 in recognition of its rich scientific heritage, industrial base and role as a leading research centre. Nottingham has since embarked on a wide range of business, property, knowledge transfer and educational initiatives (www.science-city.co.uk) in order to build on its growing reputation as an international centre of scientific excellence. The University of Nottingham is a partner in Nottingham: the Science City.
inspiredspaces brings together Carillion as construction and facilities management services provider, with Capita who provide ICT expertise. Nottingham’s Local Education Partnership won ‘LEP of the year’ award at the 2009 Excellence in BSF awards. More information is available at www.nottinghambsf.co.uk