The celebrations began with a traditional afternoon tea - home baked scones, Cornish cream, jam and the school’s own Oak Tree Cafe cakes - a social interlude which gave visitors a chance to talk to some of our impressive 6th form students.
Over the past couple of years, Richmond Park Academy has attracted support from local community businesses and amenities - and representatives from Richmond Libraries, Prontaprint, Waitrose and Barnes Prospect Magazine joined Leader of the Council and guest of honour Lord True, Richmond’s Education and Children’s Services Director Nick Whitfield, AET’s CEO Ian Comfort and Regional Educational Director Richard Bassett, local parliamentary candidate Robin Meltzer, parents, senior RPA staff and governors in wishing the new venture well.
Tracey O’Brien, Senior Vice Principal, opened the ceremonial proceedings by thanking all those who had taken time to be with us. Two 6th form executives, Kallum White and Nicole Vassilis, told visitors a little about their own post-16 experiences so far - and invited their guest of honour, Lord True, to say a few words and cut the ribbon (in the 6th form colours of purple and silver) into the new IT resources centre.
Headteacher Lesley Kirby popped the cork on a bottle or two of champagne (non-alcoholic, of course) distributed in Waitrose flutes to guests by their student hosts - and brought the proceedings to a close by adding her own congratulations to her 6th formers for the very promising post-16 template at RPA which they were helping to shape.