Merton’s special educational needs school, formerly known as St Ann’s, put on a fun-packed day on Saturday 1 October to celebrate its new name, Perseid School, and its brand new upper school campus.
The school takes its new name from the Perseid meteor shower and was chosen to reflect the school’s trail-blazing approach to teaching and learning.
The new campus, designed to provide education for students aged 11-19 years with special educational needs was formally opened by Paralympic Sailor John Robertson. 2020 Children, organised by the British Gospel Arts Children’s choir, also joined in the celebrations along with the school’s own dance group.
Perseid laid on play activities for children and families, raffles, lucky dips, international cuisine reflecting the range of cultures represented at the school and guided tours of the new building and grounds. The local community also got involved with the celebrations, including Nitin Pandit from the local Londis shop, the Leopold Road traders, Tariro Café, Sainsburys, McDonalds Tooting, Mitcham Golf Club and many more.
During the open day, the family of former pupil Miryam Hasnain, who sadly passed away in January 2010, unveiled a specially-commissioned painting which takes pride of place in the school’s central lobby. The painting was created by artist Anitia Le Sech and depicts Miryam’s 13 years of life.
The new secondary campus enables Perseid to increase the number of places for pupils to meet anticipated demand. The secondary campus provides education for 56 11-19 year-olds, while the primary campus in Bordesley Road accommodates 56 2-11 year old pupils.
Deputy Mayor of Merton Councillor Chris Edge said: “It was wonderful to see the pupils and parents who are set to benefit hugely from the wonderful new campus. Having met some of the children and teachers, I know that this school will stand our young people in good stead for the future.”
Merton Council cabinet member for education Councillor Peter Walker said: “I am delighted that this award winning new school will accommodate some of our children with profound learning difficulties. This will mean that they can be educated in Merton rather than have to travel to specialist schools outside the borough. In the past this has meant long journeys for many and a great expense for the borough. Now these children will have shorter journeys and enjoy the state of the art facilities.
“Investing in the very specialist education which Perseid provides is essential to the wellbeing of many of our more vulnerable students. The development which cost £11.9m was built on time and on budget and will accommodate 56 children with profound learning difficulties. It emphasises Merton’s ambition to provide excellent schools for all its children.”
Head teacher of Perseid School Tina Harvey said: “I am very excited about the future of our school. We chose the new name to reflect the idea of a meteor shower blazing a trail of excellence in teaching and learning. We are committed at Perseid to providing a top quality education to all our children and I am proud of all they achieve.”
Notes to editor
– Photographs available on request
London Borough of Merton
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