Birmingham born writer and film director Debbie Isitt was the special guest at the official launch of the Birmingham Ormiston Academy (BOA).
The academy has welcomed more than 800 students since it opened in September last year, but with the first intake of Year 10 students at the start of this school year, it was deemed the perfect time to celebrate its success.
The specialist academy aims to be at the forefront of the development of the arts and creative industries and offers students a unique approach to education.
This was well reflected in the blend of guests who attended the event, with award winning writer and film director Debbie Isitt joined by a range of educational and industry professionals.
The rain held off long enough for an outside performance from one of the UK’s leading Dance Theatre Companies – and BOA partner – Motionhouse.
The piece entitled ‘Underground’ used stunning physical dance, emotional imagery and surprising aerial encounters to explore the new reality of train travel.
The BOA dance students then performed a piece entitled ‘Scaffolding’ in the amphitheatre which had been developed through a project working with Motionhouse.
Once inside the impressive academy building the guests enjoyed champagne and canapés as they were entertained by yet more performances from talented BOA students.
The performances brought together a selection of pieces from across the three specialisms.
These included a display of work from visual art and design students, a series of interactive game displays from the new media and gaming pathway and a recital from the BOA’s auditioned choir.
In addition, guests had to present their best radio voice as they were interviewed by broadcast students for a live radio stream.
The guests then took their seats in the academy’s purpose-built theatre to hear from special guest Debbie Isitt.
The director and writer spoke about her career including working on hit films Confetti and Nativity and the commitment, dedication and tenacity that is needed to achieve your dreams.
She spoke about the fantastic facilities and resources that BOA offers to students and the importance of giving them the opportunity to work with industry professionals.
Debbie said: “To know that we have such a wealth of talent right here in Birmingham is fantastic and I’m sure that we will see great things from many of BOA’s students in the future.
“The facilities and the teaching staff are both top class and I am genuinely so impressed by everything that the academy has to offer.”
The evening was a great success and a fantastic way to celebrate a year of success as well as to welcome new pupils for the year ahead.
BOA principal Gaynor Cheshire said: “Last year we had Jessie J opening our recording studio and it was great to welcome Debbie this year to officially open the whole academy and celebrate the successes so far.
“Debbie’s work straddles both our broadcast/film pathways as well as the acting pathway.
“The future for all our students is very positive and I am looking forward to the academic year ahead.”
The Birmingham Ormiston Academy will hold its open week for 2013 entry from October 15 - 19 for further details email firstname.lastname@example.org