ADDINGTON High's chair of governors believes it is time to "draw a line" under the school's troubled past and concentrate on its "promising future".
Next week pupils will return to a revamped secondary which Jo Tanner describes as "brighter, cleaner, better".
The school has endured tough times, with poor exam results, damning Ofsted reports and teacher scandals, but Ms Tanner said there was a real sense of optimism this year.
Addington High became an academy in June and while sponsors Ravens Wood have been working with the school for some time, when Year 7 pupils arrive on Tuesday morning it will feel like a fresh start.
The school, in Fairchildes Avenue, is in the process of being given a fresh lick of paint to go with its new uniforms.
But the biggest difference, Ms Tanner said, will be in the classroom where there will be an "utter commitment" to high standards.
"From the moment they come through the door, whether they are in Year 7 or have been with us a while, they will get the best education possible," she said.
"It's a fantastic time to be involved with the school. Seeing the changes, feeling the changes – when you walk in now it feels like a different place, like a place of business.
"All schools have challenging periods, and the last year has been really tough. But staff have gone the extra mile, and in many cases, the extra marathon. We're really pleased with the progress which has been made, but we want more."
Addington High and head teacher James Malley were given an early sign of this improvement when the school posted its best-ever GCSE results last Thursday - with 49 per cent of pupils achieving at least five A* to C grades.
"Our results were fantastic but this is just the start of the journey," said Ms Tanner.
"What we have to make sure is we get the basics right from the very beginning. From the moment Year 7 walk through the door they are going to have lots of maths, lots of literacy and lots of English."
Pupils will also notice physical changes to the school building, including a new entrance and reception area, with other improvements in the pipeline.
Addington High, rated as "inadequate" when Ofsted last visited in July last year, will not have to wait long for a chance to test the progress it has made. Following the academy conversion the school expects a visit, rather than full inspection, by the inspectorate in the coming term.
"We're really proud of what we have achieved over the last year, but the challenge hasn't changed," said Ms Tanner.
"We want to be an outstanding school."
GCSE results special pages 10-13