The start of the new term this week heralded the dawn of a new era for Bilton School as it gets a makeover, Southam College-style.
This bold move brings together troubled Bilton with a Southam team which has had two outstanding Ofsted ratings in a row.
I want the students to feel proud they go to Bilton and the only way we can do that is if the community feel proud.Bilton School head Ranjit Samra
After a long build-up, Bilton joined the new Stowe Valley Multi-Academy Trust on April 1 and previous head Patsy Weighill left at the start of the Easter holidays.
Bilton has been battling back after it plunged into special measures in March 2016 and the holidays have been a time for the new team to make their mark.
Pupils came back to find a fresh look to the front of the building, a new, bright look at reception and a clear commitment to make Bilton a school students, staff and the community can be proud of.
Head Ranjit Samra, who has overseen the recent success at Southam, will now be hands-on at Bilton as well.
In an interview with the Advertiser he was very upbeat about making Bilton great again.
And his priorities were clear: “It’s all about putting the child at the centre.
“Everything we do is about giving that child the confidence and resilience to be a successful citizen of the future.”
And he added the changes made over Easter were not for the sake of it but to say to the staff and students: “We really value you and want to show that by giving you the best learning environment possible.”
He said while they wanted to raise pupils’ achievement levels he also wanted to ensure they enjoyed a range of memorable experiences, whether in or outside school.
They have already been making new links with nearby schools and expect more links with the community so people can see what the school is doing and what it has to offer.
He added: “I want the students to feel proud they go to Bilton and the only way we can do that is if the community feel proud.”
The new trust also includes Byfield Primary in Northamptonshire, with three other primaries close to Southam College due to come on board in this first phase.