A brand new £22million purpose-built building and a visit from international footballing legend David Beckham – it’s been a busy year for Bedford Academy.
The last time the Times & Citizen visited the school students had only just moved into the building and there was still a of work to be done.
So this week we returned to the Mile Road school to see what they had been doing over the last year and how it looks now the construction is complete.
And we have to say to say it is looking very good.. It is extremely modern and has hi-tech.
Students are identified just by putting their finger over a Biometric Revaluation Network machine, which they can use to put money on their account. When paying for their lunch they can just use their fingerprint, which will then debit money off their account.
The new building consists of 67 classrooms, five open plan learning areas, plus an all-new drama hall, dance studio, sports hall, main hall and library, as well as two rooftop terraces.
The school is split into five learning villages for science and technology, communication - English and foreign languages, maths, business and IT, arts and sport, which includes performing arts, and humanities – geography, history and RE.
It also has fold-away walls so classrooms can be expanded, as well as communal teaching areas.
Principal Claire Smith said: “It has been a very exciting year for us. It’s been wonderful teaching the children and they have all been very enthusiastic about trying new things and developing their minds. I’m really excited about the school’s future.
“Last summer in the boiling hot weather we he had a visit from Ofsted, who graded us as good with outstanding leadership, which we were really pleased about.
“It was our first Ofsted inspection so we were really pleased with the results and shows we are on the right road to our aim of becoming an outstanding school.”
And earlier this year the school received a surprise visit from footie star David Beckham after the school joined up with Sky Sports For Living to give students more sporting opportunities.
Beckham wanted to visit student Wayne Instrell, who had won a national Sky Sports award for getting involved with a swimming project when he was suffering with bullying and losing his dad suddenly.
Wayne missed out on a photoshoot in Paris with the footballer, so the star suggested he pay a surprise visit to the school to visit Wayne and the other students.
Mrs Smith added: “It was fantastic, we were absolutely honoured to have him.
“It’s really nice that he was so inspired by Wayne’s story. And he did everything and anything to students asked him to.
“The students’ faces when he walked in were just priceless.”
And next year the school is set to change from an upper school to a secondary school.