School 360 in Stratford gets final seal of approval

School 360's co-headteachers Sarah Seleznyov and Andrea Silvain

School 360's co-headteachers Sarah Seleznyov and Andrea Silvain. - Credit: School 360

The final seal of approval has been given to a school built and developed during the pandemic.

School 360, the sister school to School 21 in Stratford, will be opening in September in a multi-million-pound building on Sugar House Island off Stratford High Street.

Construction work is weeks away from completion and the Department for Education has signed off the school’s funding agreement.

This is the final step as staff get ready to welcome the first class of Reception children in September.

Sarah Seleznyov, one of 360's co-headteachers, said: "This is an incredibly exciting time for us – and we have just a few spaces left for four- and five-year-olds who want to join our first cohort.

"We are now in a position where we have fantastic teachers in place, a school building that we are incredibly proud of and a curriculum that will enable every child to develop a love of learning."

Andrea Silvain, a co-headteacher joining from School 21, said that while there are many challenges getting a new school ready during a pandemic, it also offered some real opportunities.

She explained: "For the first year of the school, we have just one class of Reception children and complete freedom to work creatively to develop our exciting programme of learning, paying attention to both wellbeing and achievement.

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"This is particularly important given the real and tangible impact Covid-19 has had on the development of three- to four-year-olds.

"Not only have the key building blocks for their learning been left underdeveloped but socially, the amount of time they have been able to spend playing and communicating with other children has also been reduced."

Ms Silvain went on to say that the school is "incredibly conscious" of the issue and has produced a curriculum for the first cohort of children that will give them the "best possible chance" to thrive.

The curriculum is based on three pillars: developing the head to provide rich knowledge and deep understanding; the heart to focus on wellbeing and relationships as well as the hands to encourage every child to learn about creativity, problem-solving and the arts.