THE next step in the Portland Academy journey took place with the handover of the Osprey Quay site.

The new building was handed over from Dorset County Council to the Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy (IPACA) yesterday at a VIP event.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games used the site last year as part of the athlete’s village during the sailing events.

The new school was partly used as a dining area.

VIPs, staff and students attended the event at the Lerret Road site.

Now the building has been handed over it will be fitted out to become one of the new bases for the IPACA campus in the next academic year.

The all-through style of education will cater for nursery and reception age children up through to 16 year olds.

There are plans to admit 16-19 year olds in the future.

Students showed off state-of-the-art IT facilities and skills with demonstrations of how they were using the new technologies for learning.

In a display of augmented reality, students held up iPads to pictures students had drawn of themselves- which came to life in the computers with videos of the students talking about themselves and the school.

Other students displayed their skills using Skype by calling students at the Royal School of Dubai to talk about what school and life was like there.

Director of digital learning and innovation, Gary Spracklen, said the new technologies were ‘essential to the Academy moving forward.’ He said: “We want the very best for our pupils.”

Dance students delighted the crowds with a performance and there were speeches from those involved in the academy.

Dorset County council cabinet member for children’s services Toni Coombes said it had been an ‘epic journey’ since 2007 when the county council began its conversation with patron Professor Stephen Heppell.

Chief Executive of the county council Debbie Ward said everyone involved in the Academy was committed to working together to make it the ‘best it possibly can be.’ Sir Rod Aldridge, founder of the Aldridge Foundation, said the Academy was all about the students.

He said: “By working together in the way we are, we can do something very special here.”

He added that the Foundation would support the Academy and Principal Alison Appleyard ‘all the way.’ Mrs Appleyard said it was a ‘privilege’ to be the first principal and thanked all those who were involved in creating IPACA.

Mrs Appleyard said they were on a journey, she said: “We will provide something for the children of Portland that will be the envy of the world.”

Professor Heppell said there was the opportunity to build ‘the best school in Europe.’