Story by Wajid Akhter | Photo by Deborah Blencowe
A new academic year has begun at Astrea Academy, which has seen the school welcoming students into Year 1 and Year 8 for the first time. Nursery, reception and Year 7 classes were already up and running.
The new school is ‘state of the art’ with an ampitheatre, cafeteria area, dance floor with spring board floor, library, high-tech science labs and two lecture theatres, as well as the ‘normal’ classrooms. The school will be open for community use after school and at weekends.
Local councillor Abtisam Mohamed was invited as the key note speaker at the cutting of the ribbon for the official opening. She gave an impassioned speech which resonated with all the parents and pupils there.
“Schools in areas of deprivation can only succeed when they understand their demographic and embed themselves into the area – not through a glass window but by listening and empathising with the lived experience of young people.
“It is only when we listen can our actions truly change. To truly listen is a skill. To act on and address what you hear is compassion. It was compassion that I remembered twenty years later.”