Foundations for the future of a new school for the Don Valley site were laid today, as the planting of a tree marked the ‘topping out’ of the Academy’s world-class facilities.

Cllr Jackie Drayton, charity founder Steve Chalke and Academy Principal James Pape planted the tree to symbolise how Oasis Academy Don Valley, which will open its doors in September, will put down roots in the community and grow and flourish to be a first class centre of learning.

A ‘topping out’ ceremony has a long tradition in the history of construction and marks the occasion when the last beam, brick of equivalent is placed atop a structure. The ceremony was hosted by construction LTD as the developers responsible for the new state-of-the-art-facilities.

Oasis Academy Don Valley will be a brand new school for students aged 2 – 16 and will be driven by a commitment to give young people the best possible start in life through delivering a first-class education and nurturing them to become active and responsible members of their families and communities.

Cllr Jackie Drayton, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families said: “This is a truly exciting time for education in Sheffield with another new school nearing completion.

“Our ambition is that all children, young people and families achieve their full potential, by raising expectations, attainment and enabling enriching experiences, This new local school, and working in partnership with Oasis, the local community, parents and carers, will go a long way towards helping us achieve it.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for learning in this part of Sheffield ensuring local children and young people have access to the best possible educational resources and to put education at the heart of this Olympic legacy.

“I would also like to thank all those who have worked on site to bring this vision to reality. Well done to all.”

James Pape, Principal Designate of the Academy added: “Our vision is to create a thriving academy at the heart of our community. We will aim to create an exciting, secure and happy environment, which provides opportunities for nurturing personal growth and fostering the development of enquiring minds.

“Our Academy will be a happy and vibrant place where expectations are high, everyone is valued and encouraged to be their very best, and given opportunities to make their dreams a reality. We are looking forward to developing links with local community organisations so that the new Academy – which will be part of the wider Don Valley development – can benefit everyone.”

Oasis is well-known to the wider Sheffield community having last September launched two primary academies: Oasis Academy Fir Vale in Burngreave and Oasis Academy Watermead in Shirecliffe.

Oasis Academy Don Valley will open its doors in September 2015. There are 60 Reception places available and all admissions are co-ordinated through Sheffield City Council.

Places are also available for September 2015 for Years 1 – 4 (ages 5 – 8) and again admissions are being co-ordinated through Sheffield City Council. Applications can be found at the Academy website www.oasisacademydonvalley.org