Ribbon-cutting ceremony held at “eye-opening” Stevenage school building

Former presenter of BBCs Tomorrows World Kate Bellingham at the official opening of the Da Vinci Stu

Former presenter of BBCs Tomorrows World Kate Bellingham at the official opening of the Da Vinci Studio School for Science and Engineering - Credit: Archant

A ribbon-cutting ceremony has been held at an “eye-opening” school building.

Special guests joined with staff and students from The Da Vinci Studio School for Science and Engineering for the official opening event at its campus in Monkswood Way, Stevenage.

The building first opened in November of last year next to North Hertfordshire College’s main Stevenage centre, but the ceremony provided visitors opportunity to tour the facilities.

The school has designated classrooms, laboratories, workshop areas and engineering equipment which are used by almost 200 students from Year 10 up to Year 12 who are studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland was among the attendees and made a speech.

Speaking to the Comet, he said: “It is amazing to see the school develop from a concept on a letter into a fully functioning facility. I initially contacted MP Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education, to request we were given the first studio school in Hertfordshire. When he agreed, the plans began to take shape, then building works made great progress and now we have a fully functional school with a ‘Good’ rating from Ofsted.

“I am so proud of the staff, parents and pupils for all their hard work, which will help thousands of local children over the next 20 years.”

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Nigel Fine, chief executive of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, also spoke at the ceremony,

“The facilities here are eye-opening,” he said. There is a feeling of space inside the building and it is wonderful given that this was just a car park a few years ago.

“What is important here is to develop engineering skills, with young people studying maths and science and staying with these subjects if possible to A level. We especially want to see more female engineers as only 7% of engineers in this country are women.

“The students here have a maturity and a motivation about them which bodes well for the future.”

Kate Bellingham, an engineer and former presenter of BBC programme Tomorrow’s World, added: “I have been so impressed by the building and the amount of opportunities on offer here at the Da Vinci Studio School for pupils to develop their skills.

“It is lovely to see a place that started from scratch with already such successful students who have a respect with the staff that really goes both ways. Here they gain a wealth of project-based experience that combines both industry and education, which is really exciting.”

It is anticipated that at least 180 new students will be joining the school across both key stages in September.

For more information visit www.davinci-school.co.uk

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