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Dorset's first free school opens in Swanage
DORSET’s first free school, the Swanage School, welcomed its first intake of pupils yesterday.
More than 100 students started at the school’s temporary campus, at Swanage’s Harrow House language college, where they will be taught for two terms.
After that it is hoped the secondary school’s state-of-the-art building, currently under construction at the former Swanage Middle School site, will be completed.
The Swanage School head teacher Tristram Hobson told the Daily Echo the first day had gone “phenomenally well”.
He added: “The children started out excited and nervous and by the end of the day, after they’d got to know one another, their nerves had gone but the excitement remained.
“A critical thing for us today was to create the Swanage School way, which is the culture for the school – how we behave, how we treat people, what we do at the Swanage School.”
Central to the ethos of the new secondary is to embrace the school’s location, and today lessons were set to include climbing and coasteering.
Mr Hobson explained: “It was a very emotional time during our first morning, especially for the governors and our former mayor Bill Trite. For everyone to see the school open and the children arrive, it felt like a special moment.”
The Swanage School chair of governors Paul Angel also described the first day as a very emotional one.
He added: “It was when the children went off to take a tour of the school that it really hit me. A lot of hard work has gone into getting to this point, but we cannot relax. In many ways this is just the start.”
n Earlier this week the Daily Echo revealed pupils at Bournemouth’s first free school were set to spend the first week of term at a scout camp because their school is still a building site.
Parkfield School was due to open in the Dorset House office block in the Landsdowne next Monday.
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