THE headteacher of a new secondary school has spoken of her hopes for the new Colchester school.

Paxman Academy is being built by the Sigma Trust on the site of the former Alderman Blaxill School.

The 900-place school opens in September with 180 Year 7 students and aims to alleviate the demand for secondary school places.

Head teacher Carol Anne Moffat, who was appointed in May, took a tour of the site and was able to walk around the rooms for the first time.

She said: “I am really impressed. I am loving the way the school is taking shape.”

Barnes Construction is working with the trust to ensure the school provides links to the Paxman engine business and STEM - science, technology, engineering and maths.

A large special educational needs area was also a priority when planning the school.

Mrs Moffat said: “I feel it is important children should be taken care of and the staff who work in SEN feel involved and have a professional work area that is fit for purpose.”

The new year will see interviews take place to fill the roles of special educational needs co-ordinator, assistant headteacher and maths, science and English teachers.

A deputy headteacher has been appointed and is working with Mrs Moffat to bring the team and the school together.

Mrs Moffat, who is also working at the Stanway School while Paxman Academy is under construction, said: “I want this school to be aspirational.

“STEM is a big thing for me. That is what makes a difference to our economic viability. The top end students being pushed and a focus on STEM will all help us to achieve that aspirational feel.

“Equally, sports and performing arts are important, so we have thought ahead to plan out our performance space, with space for monologue evenings for GCSE students, for example.

“The space and natural light we have is amazing - not many schools have that. We are very lucky and look forward to sharing that with the community.

“It is really exciting. I have pictured myself in my office and what that first day will feel like. I feel privileged to be the first headteacher at a brand new school and want to do my best for the students and the community.”

“I have felt very supported by the Sigma Trust in everything we have done so far.”

The building is due to be handed over to the trust in June when there will be inductions for Year 6, and celebration events before the opening in September. Brian Markham, from the Sigma Trust which operates nine other schools in north Essex, said: “We have the benefit of already running a great number of schools. We have not got to reinvent the wheel.”

“We have got best practise from our other schools and will base systems at Paxman on what we do at those other schools.”