Last week I was very pleased to visit the new Archer Academy twice. I answered questions from pupils about the local area, what I would like to see improved and other very tough questions. Kids are no pushovers, and they do ask some very searching questions! Alison Moore was asked what era from East Finchley's history would she like to go back to. That was her first question. I think her answer (for the record) was the times of Octavia Hill and Henrietta Barnett (Great answer). I was asked what I most disliked about the area, which was tough to answer. Lots of very political questions as well. I did have to behave myself, as I was being recorded and this was, technically, for the record.
I did struggle with where's my favourite place in East Finchley, and the only thing I could think of was the Windsor Castle Pub! I may also have given a few pub related answers, but on the whole I hope my answers were helpful. When they asked what I would like to see here, my answer (for which I got an applause) was a milkshake bar, as there are several nearby, but not in East Finchley.
I have to say, I was incredibly impressed by the school as a whole. very well behaved pupils, good teachers, a leadership with an excellent grasp of the school and a good governing body. Given I visited only three weeks into their opening, I was surprised how quickly the school had settled. I put this down to good planning. It is also telling that I have been invited to the school only three weeks into it's history, and am a regular visitor to Martin School. It's good to see how seriously these schools take community engagement.
I would also add my thanks to Mike Gee from Barnet Greenspaces. Onthe first day we were a very good double act and complimented each other quite well.