IT’S been a long journey for staff and pupils at Charter Academy but now it’s reached a new milestone with the opening of its new sixth form.
The Southsea school opened as Charter Academy in September 2009, after failing St Luke’s closed.
In the past five years it has seen results soar and this year was a record high, with new figures showing 81 per cent achieved the gold standard of five or more A*-C grades including English and maths.
Last month, it began accepting its first sixth form pupils.
Principal Dame Sharon Hollows said: ‘This is no longer the ground of deprivation and underachievement. It’s the ground of high aspiration and expectations that need to be pushed even higher.
‘We are striving for a place where everybody has a joy for learning and a joy for teaching.
‘There is no doubt whatsoever that we have been able to accelerate our progress because we now have this wonderful new building and because our old buildings have been refurbished to such an excellent quality.’
Just last week, Prime Minister David Cameron paid a visit to the school as it is one of the most improved in the country.
Special guests were invited to the opening, including Commodore Jeremy Rigby of the Royal Navy. He presented the school with a trophy which will be given to one student each year, to give them an opportunity to visit the navy base and to find out about the work of the Royal Navy.
He said: ‘What a real privilege to be here on such a special day and a real milestone.
‘It’s the ambition, inspiration and vision that you pick up on when you walk into this school that chimes absolutely with what we in the navy do and what our sailors and Royal Marines are looking towards every day in that respect.’
The Corps of Drums from the Royal Marines School of Music also performed.