History made as Harlow’s newest secondary school hosts transition day

HISTORY was made when the first cohort of Harlow’s newest secondary school came together for a transition day.

Sir Frederick Gibberd College is being opened in the town by BMAT to provide a solution to the critical shortage of school places.

A group of 120 Year 7 students have signed up to become the very first to attend the brand-new school later this year.

In preparation, they spent a day together, meeting each other and their teachers and sampling the kind of lessons they can expect to experience at the secondary school, including psychology, PE, performing arts and food technology.

Headteacher Dee Conlon started the day by explaining to students that everything they will experience at the new school will have a deeper meaning or purpose. She said: “Our school colours are navy and yellow and there is even a deeper meaning behind that decision.

“If you think about the blue ocean, I want you to look at the horizon and the yellow sun at the end of it. If you aim for the horizon, you will get there. If you do not dream big and aim for the impossible, it will never become possible.

“Our colours are to remind us to dream big. The possibilities are endless. The bigger you dream, the more you will achieve.”

Year 6 pupil Isabelle Chapman-Brown is joining from The Downs Primary School. She said: “I wanted to come to the school mainly because of Mrs Conlon. When my cousins were at Burnt Mill Academy, she really helped them. The thought of attending a brand-new school was also a reason.

“I was a little bit nervous before today, but mainly excited to meet different children and make new friends. I am looking forward to everything about starting school.”

A whole team of teachers who are joining the school when it opens also came together for a transition day, before parents were invited in that evening.

Assistant headteacher Cheree Leverington, who has worked with Mrs Conlon for ten years and moves across from Burnt Mill, said: “One of the things I want to focus on is mental health as it is such a big thing today. I have arranged mental health training for staff in September. It’s about us all being one team and all looking after each other.

“I am really excited to start. It has been wonderful to be involved in setting up the school throughout this year. I think it’s going to be fantastic. It is going to grow and evolve to be an outstanding educational setting for everyone. We are going to achieve great things.”

Mrs Conlon said: “We are making history today. It’s the first time we have all been together; it’s a monumental day.
“I have been working on this project for four years. It feels very real today.”

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