Cherry Orchard Primary Academy

Welcome to Cherry Orchard Primary Academy, a truly outstanding facility offering an outstanding educational experience for your child, opening in the Ebbsfleet Valley, Kent from September 2017.

Cherry Orchard Primary Academy is part of Leigh Academies Trust, one of the nation’s most successful, medium-sized, multi-academy trusts. The Trust will now work closely with Kent County Council to develop plans for a successful launch of this new provision, including the appointment of its founding Principal. Cherry Orchard Primary Academy will form part of the Trust’s North West Kent cluster.

Planning permission for Cherry Orchard Primary Academy and the Castle Hill Community Centre was granted on March 16th 2016. Read more about this on the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation website.

ek4a5577Message from the Executive Principal

My name is Karen Major and I have been a headteacher for nearly 10 years. During this time I have successfully led St Albans Road Infant School (now Dartford Primary Academy) receiving an Ofsted rating of Good in 2013 and two years ago I took on the leadership of York Road Junior Academy, we merged the two schools and formed Dartford Primary Academy. The Academy is part of Leigh Academies Trust, as Cherry Orchard Primary Academy will be, a multi-academy trust that has been recognised as being amongst the highest performing multi- academy trusts in the country. I am proud to be part of this organisation.

I am also very proud to take on my new role from September 2016 as Executive Principal of Dartford Primary Academy and Cherry Orchard Primary Academy. I am excited to be involved in the creation of a new primary academy and look forward to seeing it grow into an outstanding provision.

I truly believe the key to the success of a school is ensuring high quality staff who deliver an exciting curriculum where children enjoy their learning. Most of the jobs our primary school children of today will pursue have not yet been invented so it is our responsibility to teach children how to learn, give them a love for learning and a thirst for knowledge.

I look forward to working with all involved in Cherry Orchard Primary Academy and making it the success I know it will be.

Karen Major

Message from the Principal

julie-burgessMy name is Julie Forsythe and I have recently been appointed as the Principal of Cherry Orchard Primary Academy.

I am currently the Associate Principal at Dartford Primary Academy, working alongside Karen Major. I joined the academy in April 2014, and have very much enjoyed working as part of Leigh Academies Trust. Previously, I was at a smaller village school where I held the position of Deputy Head Teacher for six years, and was also the Special Education Needs Co-ordinator.

This breadth of experience ensures that I am well prepared at this point in my career for the exciting challenge that lies ahead in developing Cherry Orchard Primary Academy into an outstanding provision for the local community.

I look forward to appointing and working with an excellent staff who share my vision of a high quality, inclusive education for all children, so they are able to fulfil their full potential. To achieve this, it is important that we create a safe and happy learning environment where children feel enthused and motivated to do their best and are confident to take risks and ‘have a go’.

I feel extremely privileged to have been given such an incredible opportunity and will be working very hard to ensure that Cherry Orchard Primary Academy is the great success it deserves to be.

Julie Forsythe


ek4a5577-768x512Message from the Business Manager

I am Jo Allen and am delighted to be appointed as Business Manager for Cherry Orchard Primary Academy. Having worked for the Trust for 13 years in various roles, including as Business Manager for Wilmington Academy and  the Leigh UTC, I have gained considerable experience in setting up new Academies working closely with the Business Director of the Trust.

I welcome this opportunity to work alongside the Executive Principal, Karen Major, on this exciting project at such an important stage in the development of this new Academy.

Jo Allen


cherry-pips-nursery-masterCherry Pips Nursery Application Form


Please only complete this application form for Cherry Pips Nursery if your child is aged 3 years old on entry on 1st September 2017.
This form must be completed before the end of January 2017 and sent to Jo Allen at Dartford Primary, York Rd, Dartford Kent DA1 1SQ.

Cherry Pips Nursery Application Form


Admission arrangements for

Cherry Orchard Primary Academy 2017-2018


These are the arrangements applicable to parents applying now for a place in Year R click here to apply through Kent
Year 1 or 2 at the academy to start next September please complete this form and return to Jo Allen at Dartford Primary, York Rd, Dartford Kent DA1 1SQ.

The admissions applications process through Kent is now open – including Cherry Orchard – and information can be found on the link below:

click here for the admissions arrangements


Cherry Orchard Primary Academy

The Academy is a new two-form entry primary academy for students between the ages of 3 – 11. The academy will therefore admit a maximum of 60 children into each year between Reception and Year 6. The academy will enjoy brand new facilities, a nursery for pre-school age children and a small centre for children with speech, communication and language needs.

The academy will open initially with places available in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, and will develop into older year groups until it is fully open in 2020. It is likely that a nursery for around 30 children will also open in September 2017.

If your son or daughter is at the academy they will have an outstanding educational opportunity and experience as we:

  • Inspire them and developing a joy of learning, enabling them to achieve their best in everything they do.
  • Encourage creativity and innovation between them and each adult at the academy.
  • Provide a caring, healthy environment where they are nurtured and encouraged, and where their every success is celebrated.
  • Work closely with you making sure together that they are happy, safe and successful.

At Cherry Orchard Primary Academy, we will strive to ensure that our children receive the very best education that we can deliver. Our core purpose is to enable all pupils to excel in their academic, social and personal achievement. We will achieve this through creating a safe, stimulating, supportive and inclusive environment where the health, safety and well-being of all members of our community are at the heart of everything we do. At our Academy, we promote a passion for life-long learning through an engaging curriculum that develops independent learners. We develop citizens who will take their place confidently within a rapidly changing world at local, national and global levels. Respect for self and respect for others underpins all aspects of school life. We believe every child is entitled to enjoy his or her childhood. As a consequence, Cherry Orchard Primary Academy will always be a friendly and welcoming place, where laughter is often heard and definitely encouraged.



Register your interest in Cherry Orchard Primary Academy

Our location


Please note that there is currently no access road available to the Cherry Orchard Primary Academy site.

Click here to view a Google Map of the local area.

Current Progress

Construction of the new academy building continues to make rapid progress. As of the 15th September the concrete slab had been put in place and the steel frame has been erected. The photo below shows that the section of the frame for the main classrooms had been put in place, and the structure of the rest of the building has now in situ. This will allow the roof to be installed and the site weather proof so that progress can continue even if the autumn and winter are wet. The academy therefore continues to be on schedule to open for September 2017. Further photos showing the latest stage of construction are shown at the foot of this page.


The latest photograph below shows the new academy from the Observatory building above the site, and looks west towards Bluewater which is in the distance. The significant area of steel frame will form the main classroom area, and a smaller section to the left of the crane is the start of the kitchen. The main entrance to the academy will be close to where the crane is located, with a car park between the entrance and the road that runs right to left in the photograph. The sports pitches will be located on the flat area of land between the main steel frame and the tree in the foreground.




Leigh Academies Trust

The Trust was founded in 2007 with The Leigh Academy and Longfield Academy in Dartford being the founding academies. Since then the trust has grown so that today it encompasses primary, secondary and special academies in Kent and South-east London.

Leigh Academies Trust already operates six primary academies, with a seventh opening in September 2016. With strong expertise already in primary education the development of Cherry Orchard Primary Academy will enable the Trust to use its best practice for the benefit of local families within this exciting new community. The students and staff of the academy will benefit greatly from collaboration and events across the group of schools locally.

All Leigh Academies Trust schools have a child-centred approach to decision making. Learning spaces are warm, welcoming and with an emphasis on working with families. This will particularly be the case for Cherry Orchard Primary Academy as it has been located and designed specifically to be at the heart the Castle Hill community.

Click here for the latest LAT Newsletter

Further details about Leigh Academies Trust can be found at

Castle Hill Community Centre

08185_View 01_Render (Large)The Cherry Orchard Primary Academy campus will also include facilities for the local community. Adjacent to the Academy will be the Castle Hill Community Centre, a purpose-built space which will include a hall, foyer and kitchen space that can be hired for local events such as amateur dramatics, exhibitions or as a meeting space for specific community organisations. This facility will form a key part of the Castle Hill community hub alongside the Academy, health centre and shops. A large car park directly in front of the Academy will be available for visitors when accessing this area.