Urswick School officially opened by the Archbishop of York

The Archbishop of York released 300 balloons into the sky yesterday, as part of the official opening of Urswick School, after its �17 million rebuild.

The Archbishop, Dr John Sentamu, toured the school in Paragon Road, watched a drama performance about its history and unveiled a commemorative plaque during the opening service he conducted.

He also joined in a special drumming performance with Hands of Africa, the school’s male drumming group.

Prayers written by Urswick students were attached to the balloons released from the school’s environmental roof.

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.

“What a fantastic school. I encourage all the students to continue to exceed all expectations with their studies,” said the Archbishop. “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.”

Founded in 1520 as Hackney Free and Parochial, the school is one of the oldest in the country and was based on several sites before moving to its current location in 1951.

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It was completely rebuilt as part of the government’s Building Schools for the Future programme, and changed its name in September when it reopened in recognition of the school’s founder, Christopher Urswick.

Headteacher, Richard Brown, said the new buildings had given the 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,” he added.