West Ham footballer David Martin opens Harold Wood school sports complex

PUBLISHED: 12:04 28 January 2020 | UPDATED: 12:04 28 January 2020

West Ham goalkeeper David Martin does the honours. Picture: Redden Court School

West Ham goalkeeper David Martin does the honours. Picture: Redden Court School

Redden Court School

West Ham goalkeeper David Martin opened the two new multi-million pound buildings at Redden Court School on Monday, January 27.

The new complex is part of a £5.7million expansion plan for the Harold Wood school and part of Havering Council's plan to expand schools over the coming year at a cost of more than £23million.

Redden Court has been heavily oversubscribed for a number of years due to a growing population and the building of new homes in the area. It's hoped the improved facilities will better cater for the school's 867 pupils.

Councillor Robert Benham, Havering's cabinet member for education, children and families, said: "The impressive new buildings will help our children to continue to improve their learning and to access the most up-to-date equipment and facilities.

"The additional investment in our schools will ensure that we continue to have top notch schools and keep the borough at the forefront of leading schools across London."

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Headteacher Paul Ward said: "These new facilities will mean that in the areas of science and PE we will now have 21st century facilities. Our students are amazing and deserve the very best. We are delighted that Havering and the Department for Education have enabled this development."

During the opening, pupils demonstrated their science and sports skills to Martin and local dignitaries, including councillors and school governors.

Over the next four years, Havering will be investing £33.5m into its school programme in a bid to not only improve facilities and cater for more children, but also to improve its Ofsted rating which ranges from Good to Requires Improvement.

Twelve years ago, the Harold Wood school was trapped in a downward spiral that could have led to its permanent closure but now the story at Redden Court School is drastically different, with the headteacher pushing pupils and staff alike to reach new standards.

Mr Ward arrived in January 2009, when "confidence among staff was very low" and they "needed direction".

He put a focus on a broader curriculum and established a new senior leadership team which has led to the school's recognition from the University of Exeter as a "thinking school".

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