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King's Cross Academy opens with its first intake of pupils

New primary King's Cross Academy welcomes 86 reception pupils and nursery children

Posted by Stephanie Broad | September 04, 2015 | Facilities & buildings

Co-located with Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children, the new King’s Cross Academy is situated on the first two floors of The Plimsoll Building, next to the new Gasholder Park, due to open shortly. 

Designed by David Morley Architects, the schools are arranged around an internal ‘street’ and will benefit from a core of central shared facilities. The classrooms are located around the perimeter of the building with generous bay windows overlooking the changing landscape of King’s Cross. Students will enjoy a shared playground and communal areas, such as the halls, library and staff facilities. All children and staff will learn British Sign Language, helping pupils and students from the two schools to communicate with each other. Every new classroom will also have a specialist sound system to help provide the optimum teaching and learning environment for all pupils. 

In its first year the primary school, led by Head Teacher Emyr Fairburn, previously Deputy Head Teacher at Thornhill Primary School in Islington, will have two reception classes of 60 children and a 26-place nursery for three to five year-olds. Over time, the Academy will expand to serve 420 primary school pupils aged four to 11 alongside the nursery. Frank Barnes will be welcoming returning students to their new home at King’s Cross, with the potential to expand in the future. 

As well as learning core skills in maths and English, the children will follow a curriculum promoting skills in listening, speaking, thinking and questioning. Their social and emotional skills will be developed through the unique environment of the location and through integration with children from a diverse range of backgrounds. The academy team will focus on broadening children’s experiences by tapping into the many learning opportunities in the area and working in partnership with local organisations such as the world-renowned Central Saint Martins and the new Waitrose, which is set to open complete with a cookery school in late September, to help create interactive and immersive learning. 

Robert Evans, Chair of King’s Cross Academy Trust, said: “We’re hugely excited for the opening of King’s Cross Academy. We know how important this new school will be to local families and the wider community. King’s Cross Academy will be a happy and friendly school where the children love learning and succeed.” 

Adding to this, Cabinet Member for Children at Camden Council, Cllr Angela Mason CBE, said: “It has long been our ambition to provide a new primary school as part of the King’s Cross development, as well as give Frank Barnes School a state-of-the-art new building to develop their outstanding provision for deaf children. This is a great example of how our partnership with King’s Cross developers Argent and the Council’s Community Investment Programme are helping to deliver community facilities for the people of Camden. 

“The new King’s Cross Academy and Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children are in a wonderful new building offering two high quality new schools, co-located and designed to meet the needs of a wide range of pupils. The academy will offer a creative and rigorous curriculum including art, music, British Sign Language and French as well as a clear focus on maths and literacy. Children’s learning at both schools will be enriched by partnership projects with businesses and organisations nearby.” 

The new academy is sponsored by the King’s Cross Academy Trust, formed by the King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership (KCCLP), the owner and developer of the King’s Cross regeneration project; and Michael and Clara Freeman, who have a long-standing commitment to supporting schools, educational charities and universities. They have worked with Camden Council, Frank Barnes School and many others with the desire to create one of London’s best teaching and learning environments, at the centre of King’s Cross’ thriving, new urban community. 

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