The City Academy, Hackney was declared officially open on Wednesday 4 November by Alderman Ian Luder, Lord Mayor of the City of London, and has won the Innovation in Student Engagement Award at the Excellence in BSF Awards, 2009.
The opening marks the final stage of a journey begun in 2007 by a team of pupils from four local schools. Supported by the Sorrell Foundation, the young people acted as clients on the project, and created a Pupils’ Brief to tell the architects, Studio E, what the new Academy should be like. An extended programme of engagement kept the pupil clients involved throughout the build, attending regular meetings and site visits. After watching the Academy develop, three of the team are now in their first term at the new school. The award, given on 12 November by Partnerships for Schools, recognises the process for its ‘excellence in the genuine involvement of young people’.
‘Being welcomed by the children on the steps saying, “welcome to our lovely school” says it all’
Richard Reid, London Chairman, KPMG
The opening ceremony was an opportunity for everyone involved in the Academy’s development to celebrate the completion of the project, from the sponsors, KPMG and the City of London Corporation, to local MPs, architects, designers, consultants and contractors, governors, teachers, members of the local community in Hackney and, of course, the pupils. The school choir began proceedings with the Academys school song, written in collaboration with the Guildhall School of Music, before speeches by the Principal, the Chair of Governors, the London Chairman of KPMG and the Alderman, who declared the Academy officially open.
A Sorrell Foundation publication entitled The City Academy, Hackney: The Story of Pupil Involvement, describes the journey the pupils undertook and documents their involvement at every stage. Please see our publications page for information.