The end of the summer holidays marked a new start for the UK's first state-funded Greek Orthodox secondary school.
St Andrew the Apostle School was founded in Barnet under the Government's free school initiative by a group of professionals from the local Greek community who wanted to promote the study of the Classics and modern and ancient languages.
The school is located on the North London Business Park and offers an education rooted in the Christian ethos and moral principles of the Greek Orthodox Church.
Headteacher Robert Ahearn addressed the founding Year 7 students at a special assembly today in which he encouraged them to never give up, citing the example of 64-year-old Diana Nyad, who just became the first person to swim from Cuba to the US on her fifth attempt.
He also thanked staff and parents for their enthusiastic support for the new school.
"It's a big leap of faith to invest in a new school like this – but now the building project is nearing completion they can see the reality – and it's very exciting," he said.
The school, which will teach Greek and Latin, also welcomed a visit from Barnet Councillor Andreas Ioannides, who said: "I am very proud as a member of the London Greek Community to see how everyone has got involved with this school – and it is lovely to see how the local community is embracing the project."
The Right Reverend Athanasios, Bishop of Tropaeo, said: "We are delighted the school is finally open and in operation and our dream is realised. We are trusting in God that the school will be an excellent success and will provide our children with a good education and give them a good start in life."