Barking Abbey School pupils were jumping for joy this week as they were put through their paces during a PE lesson in a new, state-of-the-art sports hall. 

The hall is part of a £17.9 million expansion which allows the school, which is a specialist sports and humanities college, to accommodate 90 more students each year. 

The school has experienced consistent sporting success including pupils going on to receive basketball scholarships in the USA and representing Great Britain.  

Headteacher Jo Tupman said: “I am delighted that we have now opened our new sports hall at our Longbridge campus and that we are now able to offer the same standard of sporting facility across both our campuses. 

“It is a very exciting period in Barking Abbey’s long history as we gradually expand to 12-forms of entry and develop our dual campus model. 

“Along with our new teaching block and sixth form centre, this will continue to further improve our teaching and learning facilities, so our students are supported in the best possible way to achieve all their goals.” 

Cllr Evelyn Carpenter, Cabinet Member for Educational Attainment and School Improvement, said: “The new facilities at Barking Abbey School, including its excellent gym, epitomise what we’re trying to achieve in Barking and Dagenham.  

“We’re expanding our schools as our population grows, so that every child has a place in local school, with first class facilities and in a setting that will encourage pupils to reach new heights. Nine out of 10 of our schools rated good to outstanding by Ofsted.” 

Dennis Wright, Construction Manager at Be First, which helped deliver the school’s expansion, said: “At Be First we’re motivated by building high quality affordable homes and thriving communities at the same time. Good schools are at the heart of this, so we’re delighted to be able to help the staff and students of Barking Abbey grow and succeed.” 

The school’s expansion also includes a new 690 square metre teaching block with dining hall, design and technology classrooms, art classrooms, science laboratories, and nine general teaching classrooms on its Longbridge site.