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New school building opened by Education Minister 24 October 2007

MINISTER for Education Anne Craine MHK officially opened the new South Building at Ramsey Grammar School this afternoon (Wednesday).

The building at the heart of the £6.48 million development was built by Auldyn Construction Ltd. It houses a dedicated sixth form centre and special needs facilities and will be used in the teaching of Art, Design Technology, Social Sciences and Land-based Sciences.

Staff and students on the School Council had input into the plans, which were then brought to life by architects Savage and Chadwick. Many students were in the audience for today’s opening.

In her speech, Mrs Craine, who is also an MHK for Ramsey, said she was ‘pleased and proud’ to unveil the plaque at the school where she was head girl. She said the facilities were state of the art and would enable the highest quality of teaching and learning to take place, saying:

‘We have seen in entering this building a glimpse of what the future holds.’

The Minister said that while exam results had their place in education, her own measure of a school’s success was seeing the whole person succeed.

She said schools should instil in young people a caring, respectful, hard-working ethos. She said:

‘We all want out young people to get the very best from their years in education but within that, what I hope they will come away with is a sense of the importance of their community.
‘Comprehensive education is the very best tool that we have against social divisiveness in our community. Comprehensive education can humble and at the same time raise the individual. And why do we want all of this? Because we want good citizens who are eventually going to serve and support our community, be it through work, sport, leisure or charity.
‘We want to measure our young people by the community they will create in the future, so in more sense than one did we glimpse the future as we came in this afternoon. For these young people will be responsible for creating the future for us. We will reap what we sow.’

The Minister said:

‘We take a pride, rightly so, in what has been achieved here. Government investment has been turned into a living, breathing school. The buildings, the bricks and mortar, the efforts of so many from drawing board to finished paint, are now complete and the students who are the school have given it life.’

Introducing the Minister was the Chairman of the Governors, Hazel Bradley, who is the Board of Education member for Ayre. The new facilities were dedicated by the Archdeacon of Man, the Venerable Brian Smith.

Mrs Bradley described it as a ‘new and exciting era for Ramsey Grammar School’.

Headteacher David Trace spoke of the innovative design, which students played a role in, and praised the unique partnership with the contractors that brought the design to reality.

The opening ceremony was attended by Mary Bruce JP, Chairman of Ramsey Commissioners, Chief Minister the Hon Tony Brown MHK, President of Tynwald the Hon Noel Cringle MLC, Speaker of the House of Keys the Hon Steve Rodan MHK and Treasury Minister and Ramsey MHK Allan Bell.

They were among 120 guests who later toured the impressive new facilities, including the piggery – home to 14 new-born piglets who stole the show.

The Ramsey Grammar School Brass Group played at the opening and there was a performance of an excerpt from an Arthur Miller play, The Crucible. Ramsey Grammar School has 1,060 students and 140 teaching and support staff.

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