Grand Opening Ceremony
We’re in! Stone Lodge School students and staff celebrated moving into their new £35 million building with a special Grand Opening Event.
Staff, students and their families together with representatives from across the local community attended the ceremony. Students showcased some of the school’s new amenities in the best possible way .. with a range of live performances!
In a truly life-affirming programme, students sang, danced and back-flipped across the school’s stage in a series of accomplished and hi-energy numbers. They brimmed with confidence and joy and were consummate ambassadors for the school, professionally managing every element of the evening; from welcoming visitors, conducting tours of their new school to overseeing the menu and serving of refreshments.
There was no mistaking Stone Lodge’s pride in its community – both the school community and the wider local one. That community ethos was echoed with everyone that presented or performed and in the range of guests, ensuring everyone who has played a key role in our school development was included or represented during the celebration; from our CEO, to the Department of Education, our cleaners, architects and engineers from BAM and Mace, local government, teachers from across our academy Trust, local resident groups and of course .. our families.
Gavin Barnett, Head Teacher of Stone Lodge School, who was recently awarded Head Teacher of Year for the region opened the event, saying “we have eagerly anticipated moving into our new building and the endless opportunities for enhanced learning it will provide. But as amazing as our new building is, it is our school community with its strong sense of identity and aspiration for the future that holds the greatest value – it’s what defines and unites us and I am incredibly proud to be the Head Teacher of Stone Lodge”
Comments from students; Lilah Year 9 student “everyone is so supportive here, the teachers and the other students. I never feel like I’m being judged I’m able to be myself and if I make mistakes, teachers help me”. Enoch, Year 9 student “The sports facilities are so much better in our new building, we can do extra sports like table tennis, basketball and trampolining now and we’ve got loads of after school clubs”
Member of Parliament for Dartford, Gareth Johnson Gareth Johnson said: “It was great to see the new building now in use with some fantastic facilities for the students. It was also good to talk to some of the students I met on my last visit. They are really happy with their new school and clearly feel there are some fantastic opportunities for the students who secure a place. During my visit, I saw performances from some really talented students. This school is a huge asset for our town and seems to bring out the best in every child. I look forward to seeing it grow.”
Charlie Guthrie, CEO Endeavour MAT “Stone Lodge is a school for all of the young people in the local community. We have the highest aspirations for every one of them and look forward to seeing them and the school flourish in the coming years. The wonderful culture that exists here can only be enhanced by these fantastic facilities and we look to the future with great excitement.”
Donna Lodge, Founding CEO Endeavour MAT “It was a wonderful moment when Endeavour MAT heard they had won the bid to open Stone Lodge School back in 2017 and we always had ambitious dreams for its future. The reality is that the school continues to grow in popularity and with the help of a fantastically committed group of staff and supportive governors and parents, our students are thriving beyond expectation and the wonderful building will herald a new chapter to reach even greater heights. I was honoured to be asked to officially open the school alongside our former Chair of Trustees, John Horgan.”
To view the showreel used to open the ceremony please click below