The rain stopped and the sun emerged briefly on Friday 1 June for children at the new Hazelwood Academy to release balloons carrying labels describing their hopes for their new school into the sky above West Swindon.
The school is the first in the town to move away from local authority responsibility to became a sponsored academy, under the auspices of the Academies Enterprise Trust (AET).
The name Hazelwood was chosen by children in recognition of the hundreds of trees planted in the grounds.
Headteacher Suzanne Lloyd, who took up the role in April, above, was headteacher of Sutton Benger Primary School in rural Wiltshire, after leading a primary in Chippenham to become an Ofsted rated outstanding school.
She said: “All the staff are totally committed to the challenge in the AET strapline ‘Make your best better.’ The parents are very positive about the school and their community.
“I’m still getting used to the fantastic resources at Hazelwood, it’s a tremendous community asset which we are going to build upon.”
The balloon launch took place at the end of a week of events to mark academy conversion including the raising of a school flag whilst children sang the newly composed Hazelwood song and a sports day.
Mrs Lloyd added: “Whilst we’ve relaunched with a new identity and different management arrangements, Hazelwood remains closely linked with the West Swindon cluster of schools, working for the best of the whole area. We’re also looking forward to being fully engaged with the Toothill locality and contributing to the Big Local programme.”
Extra resources have allowed the creation of a bigger library and during the holidays volunteers from Zurich will be helping to refurbish an internal courtyard which will be covered by a canopy and a climbing wall will be created.
Chris Montacute, former headteacher of Bradon Forest School and Royal Wootton Bassett School, and now regional director of education for AET said: "This is an exciting day for the Toothill community. We welcome Hazelwood into the AET family of schools. Together we aim to provide children with the highest quality of education possible."
Chair of governors Julie Nurden said the balloon launch marked a year since the governing body had started the process of selecting an education partner which led to the school coming under the wing of AET. "It’s the same school but with a new headteacher, new name and new ethos. Our aim now is to become outstanding."
Right, Chassidy Reid with her message of hope for Hazelwood Primary School. Below, Jacob Parry with his balloon and lable saying how much he will miss the name Toothill Primary School and his hope Hazelwood will soon have iPads to use