Groundbreaking Ceremony

Two female staff members posing with a shovel, wearing blue hardhats and yellow high visibility vests

The day of the 23rd July 2019 dawned bright and sunny for the event we had been waiting for; it was time to officially start the building programme for Snowfields and Bearsted Academies in a ceremony known as “cutting the sod”.

But first we had introductions; Ben, the Project Manager who will be on site leading the build; Scott, his deputy and Daniel who looks after the finance. They are as enthusiastic as we are, and our buildings are in very safe and experienced hands. We were also accompanied by representatives from the Department for Education and their technical advisors, along with several representatives from Leigh Academies Trust.

Once we had been kitted out with our hi-vis vests and hardhats we made our way to the site for the ceremony to begin. Lottie, the Principal Designate for Bearsted Primary, and I had the honour of “cutting the sod” with a lovely, highly polished spade which I am sure won’t see much more action during the course of the build! Our photographs were taken to record the event for posterity and I had a moment to take in this special occasion.

Over the next year we will see Snowfields rise from the ground to provide an exceptional state-of-the-art school for 140 young people with ASD. A space where talented and committed staff will work with exceptional young people and their families to both nurture and inspire, a space where students will develop a love of learning and feel safe and cared for, a school which will long outlive those of us gathered around to undertake this quite literally ‘groundbreaking’ event.

I will watch closely as Snowfields begins to grow and every brick takes us closer to our opening day. We will welcome up to 60 young people in September 2020 to begin their journey with us, eventually growing to 140 young people for Year 7 to Year 13 when we are full over the next few coming years. I am so proud to have the opportunity to lead Snowfields; “cutting the sod” today was a culmination of many years of thoughtful planning and development and I can’t wait to welcome students, families and the local community through our doors when we open.

Dee Pickerill

Principal Designate Snowfields Academy