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News17th March 2022

Pupils name the cranes building their new school

Two Year 6 pupils from Ark Swift Primary Academy have chosen names for the gigantic cranes being used to construct their new school.

The building will open in September 2023 and bring together two Ark primary schools – Ark Swift and Ark Burlington Danes (BDA), creating a two-form entry school named Ark White City Primary Academy.

The school will be at the heart of the EdCity development in White City and is part of a wider regeneration of the area undertaken by a not-for-profit partnership between Ark and Hammersmith & Fulham Council to bring new community facilities for the local neighbourhood.

The new school will have state-of-the-art facilities, including a roof terrace with growing gardens for each year group, space for outside lessons, and a high-quality playground area. It will also have multi-purpose cooking, DT, science and art, and a sensory room. The school will have extra-wide learning corridors which can be used as flexible breakout space from the classrooms.

Ark Swift pupils, Charlie Jackson-Pollock, 11, and Raidah Ahmed, 10, were two of more than 40 schoolchildren who took part in the competition.

Their winning ideas were ‘Jane the Crane’, which is 108m tall and will lift a maximum of nine tonnes.

‘Ark Titan’ is the second crane to be installed on the building site and is 80m tall and will be erected by a giant mobile crane. This crane can lift a maximum weight of 12 tonnes.

The cranes will soon wear banners specially produced by building contractors Bowmer & Kirkland.

Charlie said he felt “very proud” that the crane would be named Ark Titan. “I got the idea from a TV programme with a character called Titan, and I thought that it would be a good name for one of the cranes.”

Raidah said she was “very excited” at the prospect of seeing one of the cranes being named Jane the Crane. “I thought it was nice to have a name that rhymed. We’ve been studying poetry at school, so this seemed perfect.”

Daniel Upfield, Principal of Ark Swift, was delighted with the choices. “We are all very excited at the prospect of a new school building, and it was great to see so many wonderful suggestions that came from our children to name the two cranes.”

Sophie Vellacott, Head of Primary at Ark BDA, visited the site with two pupils, Khayalethu Khumalo (Year Four) and Ashira Knight-Robertson-Nwachukwu (Year One), who will be transitioning to the new school and they were impressed with the size of the development. Sophie said: “The plans for the site are exciting and we will have incredible facilities for our pupils. It will be a privilege to bring together our school communities to a new space where our pupils will thrive.”

Bipin Mepani, Project Manager from Bowmer & Kirkland, said: “We were delighted to offer this opportunity to the local schoolchildren. They are obviously very interested in the work that’s going on, and this helps them.”