Urswick School’s official opening
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, visited and officially opened The Urswick School in Paragon Road, Hackney on 26 April 2012.
During his visit, as well as unveiling a commemorative plaque, the Archbishop toured the school, watched a drama performance on the history of the school and held a special opening service, where he joined in with an African drumming performance by Hands of Africa, the school’s male drumming group.
Following the service, the Archbishop was presented with a cityscape pencil drawing by Year 11 student Qui Phan and a monogrammed, stone carving by Year 10 student Promise Adeosun. The Archbishop released 300 balloons, with prayers written by Urswick students attached, from the school’s environmental roof as part of the celebrations.
During the opening service, attended by students and guests, the Archbishop said:
"What a fantastic school. I encourage all the students to continue to exceed all expectations with their studies. All of you students are gorgeous, talented and gifted. God loves and calls each one of you by name. So be the best you want to see."
The Urswick School is one of the oldest schools in the country. Founded in 1520 as Hackney Free and Parochial, the school was based on a number of sites before moving to its permanent home in Paragon Road in 1951.
The school has been completely rebuilt in three phases, as part of the Government’s Building Schools for the Future programme. Work was completed last year and the school became The Urswick School in September, in recognition of the school’s founder, Christopher Urswick.
Headteacher, Richard Brown, said:
"I am absolutely delighted that the Archbishop was able to officially open the school. We are proud of our school’s history and today was a celebration of our past and the future of The Urswick School. Our new school buildings and facilities have given our students a fantastic environment to learn in. We are now looking forward to building on our improving GCSE results and opening our new Sixth Form Academy in September. "