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Performing Arts will be officially opened by Sir Michael Morpurgo in August.

Joey, the main puppet and star of War Horse.

The brand new performing arts building at Plympton Academy will be
officially opened by Sir Michael Morpurgo in August.

The building will be known as The Morpurgo Studios and includes music
classrooms, practice rooms, a recording studio, drama studio and a
theatre space.

Not only is Sir Michael opening the new building but Joey, the main
puppet and star of War Horse, will also be attending the event.
Michael’s visit coincides with the opening night of War Horse at the
Theatre Royal in Plymouth.

“It is quite a daunting task to ‘name’ a building and it took careful
thought and discussion,” said Jo Crook, Director of Performing Arts at
Plympton Academy. “We didn’t want to name the building solely after a
choreographer, musician or actor because of the multi-functional uses
of the space.  We also felt strongly that this building belongs to all
students at the academy and therefore needed a more universal identity
but one that also connected with the importance of the arts within

“Sir Michael Morpurgo is not only a hugely successful children’s
writer but also a strong and outspoken advocate of the importance of
the arts in schools.  He often writes his stories about children or
animals overcoming adversity and we felt the themes in his writing
often communicate courage, strength and belief in the self; all
qualities that we celebrate within the performing arts. Michael is
also a Devon resident and we felt this was relatable to the students
and demonstrated that hard work and resilience can lead to great
success no matter where you are from.”

The funds for the project came from a Capital Improvement Bid that was
submitted to the Education Funding Agency. The £2 million pounds paid
for the Performing Arts building, and a further successful bid enabled
the resurfacing of the existing PE hardstanding area, and provided new
fencing and lighting.

Plympton Academy worked in partnership with TFQ Architects, the
designers and project managers, and contractors South West Highways
Build, on the building projects that have enhanced facilities across
the school.

“Here at Plympton Academy we want to offer our students a combination
of traditional academic subjects, such as history and geography, but
also subjects that sit outside this category, such as performing arts
and sport,” said Principal, Lisa Boorman.

“By ensuring our students study a wide range of subjects, we promote a
healthy approach to learning. Performing arts and sport are vital in
enabling the development of confidence, resilience and team work - all
key characteristics needed in life skill development. The arts are
also one of the fastest growing industries in the UK and students
become more aware of the performing arts.”

Sir Michael Morpurgo.