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New Rainham school Leigh Academy Rainham opens to first new pupils


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The first pupils have started at a brand new secondary school which opened its doors for the new school year.

Children at the Leigh Academy Rainham arrived for the start of term which began officially last Thursday.

The first children to attend Leigh Academy Rainham have started along with teachers led by princial Alex Millward. Picture: Brandon Baily/Leigh Academy Trust
The first children to attend Leigh Academy Rainham have started along with teachers led by princial Alex Millward. Picture: Brandon Baily/Leigh Academy Trust

The 240 pupils in Year 7 dressed in their new grey blazers were greeted at the gates by school principal Alex Millward to the newly completed building alongside the school's therapy dog, Brandy.

The school in Otterham Quay Lane was finished in early August when it was handed over to the Leigh Academy Trust.

Plans for the school were approved in January 2020 after the Department for Education (DfE) said two new schools were needed in Medway.

A series of photos revealing the first look inside the multi-million pound school were released by the trust after they took over the site from builders.

Trust bosses say the school is highly oversubscribed already with a waiting list system in place to accommodate pupils wishing to attend with admissions taken from families in Medway and Swale.

New pupils arrive at school for their first day as the Leigh Academy in Rainham opens its doors. Picture: Brandon Baily/Leigh Academy Trust
New pupils arrive at school for their first day as the Leigh Academy in Rainham opens its doors. Picture: Brandon Baily/Leigh Academy Trust

It is the first mixed non-selective comprehensive school in Rainham and was visited by MP Rehman Chishti on the opening day.

The new three-storey building has 55 classrooms featuring state-of-the-art technology, science and art rooms with full capacity expected to be reached from years 7 to 13 by 2028.

The sports hall will serve the school and the community and the site also boasts a drama and a dance studio and full equipped library.

The first 240 pupils have joined the school. Picture: Brandon Baily/Leigh Academy Trust
The first 240 pupils have joined the school. Picture: Brandon Baily/Leigh Academy Trust
Leigh Academy Rainham has opened to its first pupils
Leigh Academy Rainham has opened to its first pupils
Leigh Academy Rainham opens in September (49745446)
Leigh Academy Rainham opens in September (49745446)
Trust bosses expect the school to be fully occupied by 2028 including the sixth form
Trust bosses expect the school to be fully occupied by 2028 including the sixth form
Leigh Academy Rainham is open
Leigh Academy Rainham is open
Leigh Academy Rainham has opened to the first cohort of pupils
Leigh Academy Rainham has opened to the first cohort of pupils

Pupils starting will study the Middle Years programme as part of the International Baccalaureate in years 7-9 which promises a "broad, scholary academic programme alongside teaching lifelong learning skills and developing personal attributes," a trust spokesman said.

The school will initially have 22 new staff including 12 teachers and three teaching assistants.

For more information about the school visit www.leighacademyrainham.org.uk

News from our universities, local primary and secondary schools including Ofsted inspections and league tables can be found here.

Read more: All the latest news from Medway

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