TERM has officially started at Harefield's state-of-the-art high school and has been marked with a special assembly for all the new pupils.
The Year 7's who have joined Harefield Academy, in Northwood Way, were given an inspirational speech by principal Lynn Gadd this morning (Wednesday).
They were also introduced to the various governors, sponsors, partners and other backers whose time, money and effort have made the building project possible.
David Meller, chair of governors; Aidy Boothroyd, the manager of Watford FC who have strong links with the Academy; Haig Oundjian, who works closely with London's 2012 Olympic group and Richard Barnes, the Deputy Mayor of London, were all on hand to present the students with a memento of their historic first day.
The multi-million pound Academy houses a myriad of top quality facilities, including a fitness gym, sports hall, indoor sports pitches, science laboratories, IT suites, library and theatre.
Further facilities including a playground, swimming pool and gardens are also planned to be added in the coming months.
Mrs Gadd, speaking to the pupils, said: "We like to think that not only do we now have the best school building in Hillingdon, we also have one of the best in the whole of the UK.
"You are very fortunate to be the first students to be part of this, but it is important to remember it is the people around you who make this a happy place, not just the building."
She finished with the words of former US First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt who said: "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
The dignitaries were then given a tour of the building, during which Mr Barnes said: "What we have seen and heard today is so positive and so inspiring. I have total respect for what they are trying to achieve and think the whole place is superb."
Governor Kay McHugh, whose 13-year-old daughter Meave attends the Academy, has only been on board a short time but has been bowled over by the scale of the place.
She said: "When we came to Harefield this place was not even on the cards but we knew we wanted our children to go to all the schools in the village.
"Deciding to build this new Academy was like an answer to a prayer. The whole thing could not have worked out better for us."