Bishop of London joins celebrations for new secondary school

The Bishop of London was in Hendon on Wednesday to symbolically break the ground for a new secondary school.

St Mary's and St John's Church of England School in Hendon is creating a new secondary school to open in September 2014.

Bishop Richard Chartres joined children, parents and teachers for the celebrations and blessed the work for the next year.

The new school will take in 120 year seven students from St Mary's and St John's primary at a time when demand is growing for school places in London.

Some of the state of the art facilities that will be on offer include a dance and drama studio, music practice rooms and a dedicated art room as well as science laboratories, sports hall and a design and technology room.

Year five and year six pupils from St Mary's and John's primary school will also move to the new building, allowing them to benefit from the facilities.

The secondary school will specialise in business and enterprise, and students will be able to prepare for the world of work with the help of workshops run by local professionals and businesses.

The Performing Arts will also be a focus point and links will be developed with local theatre companies to help build self-confidence and communication skills among students.

Dee Oelman, headteacher of St Mary's and St John's School said: "This is a very exciting time for St Mary's and St John's, as we move towards becoming an all-through school.

"It is wonderful that the Bishop of London was able to visit us today as we begin to establish a secondary phase of education for our successful primary school and for the wider community.

"The children really enjoyed meeting the Bishop, sharing with him their ideas about what they hope to see in the exciting learning environment we plan to create in our new school.

The support of the Diocese of London in this development is a major key to its success. The Bishop's visit today not only signals the start of the work to create a truly fit-for-purpose building but also confirms the strong and enduring partnership between School and Church."