The headteacher of the new Pinner High School, Chris Woolf, describes the build-up to the school's anticipated first day.

The signs are up, the construction site fences down. Boxes of deliveries are coming, contractors going. A school silent on results day, about to start the real examination. Finally, finally: Pinner High School opens for the first time this week.

It started to feel real in July as the students joined us for the day, nervously saying awkward goodbyes to parents; still wanting their support, but not quite wanting to show it or anyone else to know it.

Into the hall, divided into form groups. Will there be anyone they know? A familiar face amongst the throngs of people? Having the students who will be in Year 7 in their new schools for a day is a great way of smoothing the transition for this week’s final beginning. But will the intervening endless summer, now ended, mean they have forgotten everything?

Will the students remember the transition day echoes of their very first lesson in Mandarin? Or does the endless summer, now ended, make it even harder? “I thought that would be hard, but I know it now,” said one optimistic young lad after his first steps in the language.

In Science students created chemical rainbows, a chance for the head of science and technician to put the lab through its paces and for the students to enjoy the type of practical Science that they will experience now they join us full time.

Every group took part in an Art activity to design an installation for our school reception, now ready for us; after all the school is theirs, so to see their creativity on display right from day one is essential.

In the same vein, students chose the names of the school houses from a shortlist drawn up from nominations received from visitors to the school over the last year.

A thousand people attended open days last autumn, and the nominations are plentiful and diverse. But how to avoid a ‘Boaty McBoatface’ style embarrassment?

These names are the school’s first statement of intent, so it is essential that they strike the right tone, whilst also teaching the students about participation and the democratic process so much in the news these last few months.

In the end I settle on three lists, and students select one candidate from each; three houses in total.

So who do they vote for? From ‘Inspiring Local People’ Heath Robinson loses out to Roger Bannister, and he names our first house.

‘Inspiring Women’ leads to a confirmation of the appeal of Malala Yousafzai as a representative of young people, ahead of Ada Lovelace and Heathfield, the school that came before us on our fabulous site on Beaulieu Drive.

And the final name? From ‘Inspiring Diversity’ a landslide for Muhammed Ali, described by Barack Obama as a man who “shook up the world. And the world is better for it. We are all better for it.”

Three very worthy names for our houses, representing our inclusive ethos in our local community.

Even catering is a success on transition day, with students hoping for seconds and declaring it one of their highlights of the day.

What about my assembly, I want to say, before conceding that lunch probably was better. In assembly I gloss over the last six months of preparation. The milestones that have passed seem minor now that the students sit before me, expectantly, optimistically, looking to the future.

It does not seem important that Ofsted came and went, that Inspectors from the Department for Education called, and through all the pre-opening the Harrow Academies Trust provided great support.

To my trailblazers, that I have become an expert in all sorts of numbers should be irrelevant, for if it is successful it should be invisible: number of students per bike rack? Eight. Number of books in a school library? Difficult to get a firm consensus, but eight to twelve per student, plus ebooks, gets the nod. Percentage colour differential between skirting board and flooring to ensure visibility? Twenty.

It is the students who make the school, and seeing them bid their new friends and teachers farewell after their transition day before bounding out of the door to their waiting families a foot taller than when they came in brings more life to the Pinner High School Values than I could ever hope to in assembly.

“Can we keep picking them up here at the door?” asks one parent. “As long as they’ll let you,” I tell them with a smile.