Portsmouth school will take on new name when it becomes an academy

NEW DAWN Headteacher Jan Fleming with, from left, Poppy Edwards, four, James Phillips-Slatcher, nine, Ozzie Susa, five, in the old uniform, Samirah Samad, seven, Callum Smith, 10, and Ethan Anderson, seven, in the new academy uniform. Picture: 'Sarah Standing (131907-855)
NEW DAWN Headteacher Jan Fleming with, from left, Poppy Edwards, four, James Phillips-Slatcher, nine, Ozzie Susa, five, in the old uniform, Samirah Samad, seven, Callum Smith, 10, and Ethan Anderson, seven, in the new academy uniform. Picture: 'Sarah Standing (131907-855)
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STAFF, pupils and governors at a Portsmouth primary school are celebrating converting to an academy in September.

Somers Park Primary School is to join the Ark group of schools and reopen in September as Ark Ayrton Primary Academy.

Ark Ayrton will join Charter Academy as part of the 27-strong Ark Schools network.

Ark says its nine existing primary schools outstrip national attainment in reading, writing and mathematics.

And of the 10 Ark academies so far inspected by Ofsted nine, including Charter, have been rated good or outstanding.

Headteacher Jan Fleming said: ‘We’re excited about joining the Ark family as Ark Ayrton Primary Academy in September.

‘We want to set all our children on the right path to make great progress throughout primary school, a smooth transition 
to secondary school and set them on a course for university and beyond.’

Mrs Fleming added it was important to find a good name for the school to mark the changes that are going to be made.

‘We wanted a strong new identity that embodied our commitment to high achievement and ambition for our pupils,’ she said.

‘Hertha Ayrton was born in Portsea, the daughter of a seamstress and a watchmaker.

‘Her family sent her to London get a good education and she went on to Cambridge and became a pioneering mathematician and electrical engineer.

‘We hope she will be an inspiring example to our pupils.’

The primary school and nursery will continue to provide places from just under age three to 11, admitting two reception classes a year.

Ark is working with Portsmouth City Council to open two new classrooms on the site in time for the 2014 school year.

The Ayrton Academy timetable will provide additional time for literacy, reading and mathematics.

The school was placed in special measures in January after Ofsted deemed it to be inadequate.

It was one of six schools in Portsmouth to be inspected by Ofsted as part of a bid to drive up standards in the city.

It came as Portsmouth City Council was targeted as one of the worst-performing authorities in the country in terms of the number of children attending good or outstanding schools.