Lanterns are lit to mark school’s official opening

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A new-look Telford primary school has been officially opened with the lighting of lanterns and a celebratory Christmas carol concert.

Lantern Academy in Ketley Bank has undergone a £900,000 renovation since being taken over by the Learning Community Trust.

Dozens of parents turned out to mark the official opening of the rebranded school, which was combined with an end-of-year ‘Carols Around The Christmas Tree’ concert performed by pupils.

Head teacher Michelle Skidmore told parents: “The school has undergone a complete transformation, and we’re really grateful so many parents have turned out and supported us so well.

“I hope that we have showcased some of the fantastic talent we have got here in our school. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for welcoming us into your families with open arms.

“I’m proud of our pupils every day, but particularly on an occasion like this, when we have been able to demonstrate what they can do, and how amazing they are.”

Jane Hughes, chief executive of the Learning Community Trust, said: “We believe in involving the community at our schools every step of the way.

“I’m so pleased so many people have turned out to help us celebrate, and to see what the team has done here – I want to say a big thanks to the staff; I know how much hard work has gone into making all of this happen.”

The mayor of Oakengates, Councillor Stephen Reynolds, who is also a Ketley Bank borough councillor, attended the opening and praised the ‘fantastic atmosphere and learning environment’ created at the school.

The children made their own lanterns for the official opening, and the Telford-based Lighting Industry Association also donated small lanterns for all children to take home – as well as some larger lanterns for the school’s team.

Lantern Academy is the former Queenswood Primary School in Yates Way. Since being taken over by the Trust, it has been given a complete internal and external facelift, and pupils have an all-new turquoise uniform.

Michelle said: “We wanted to involve the children in all of this, and they did lots of research into the local area. They found that this was an old mining community – and that’s where the name Lantern Academy was born – the beacon of the community.

“We also involved children with the creation of our new logo, the design of the sign outside, and the colour of the uniform as well.”

Michelle, who has worked in education for 26 years, said she was ‘absolutely loving’ her time at the school, working with a completely new teaching staff.

“When I came to look around and meet the people from the Trust, I could immediately see the potential here,” she said. “It’s great to see it all now happening.”

Lantern is one of five primary schools in the Learning Community Trust, alongside Wrekin View in Wellington, Hadley Learning Community, Crudgington, and the new Allscott Meads school on the site of the former sugar beet factory.



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