Putney school's £30m redevelopment starts with demolition of Love Actually gym
A school gym used in the nativity scene of Love Actually has been knocked down as part of a £30m redevelopment.
The film was released in 2003
The ARK Putney Academy replaced the failing Elliot School in September 2012 and now major work has begun on the physical transformation of the site, starting with the gyms.
Four years ago the Elliot School was placed in special measures but a new head, Mark Phillips, was brought in who turned it around.
Ofsted reports ranked it as almost outstanding last year and now the school building is getting the same turnaround which is due to be completed by summer 2015.
The development of the new school is being funded by the sale of luxury flats and was the subject of a long and bitter campaign by residents and former pupils of Elliott School.
At the end of the redevelopment the school will have a new sports hall, an activity studio and three outdoor games areas. There will also be a new art space on the top floor as well as bigger corridors and classrooms.
Alison Downey, headteacher at ARK Putney, said: "We’re thrilled that this project is underway. A school environment plays such an important part in the way pupils learn - and, by the end of this project, our teaching and learning environment will be truly exceptional.
"Our school has been rated ‘good’ in every category by Ofsted, so this refurbishment is the next step in making ours an extraordinary school."
ARK Putney Academy students achieved record A-level results in 2013.
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