Pastoral care and support at the Academy is provided in a number of different ways and is tailored to the needs of the individual but each and every student has a solid support infrastructure around them from the moment they join our care.
All students belong to a ‘learning family’ supported by a personal tutor that we call a ‘learning guide’. The learning guide gets to know the young person’s interests, skills, talents and needs, working with the student and parents/carers to personalise their learning, helping them choose the right courses and ensuring they develop the skills needed for effective learning. The members of a learning family support and guide each other, sharing experiences and knowledge. We see the benefit of students encouraging one another and believe this peer support motivates the students to succeed. The learning guide is the first point of contact for parents and carers who also have the opportunity to meet with them three times a year at our Academic review meetings.
In Years 7 and 8 much of the learning takes place in the learning group a class of 28 students who know each other well. The learning group provides a sense of security in the first years of secondary education.
Students are in ability groups for the core subjects at Key Stages 3 and 4 (English, mathematics and science) and pathway subjects further up the Academy. Students are grouped according to the stage they are at, with targeted teaching and support that enables good progress to be made by all students.
There are six ‘learning villages’ in the Academy. These are drawn across the whole of the age range. They are used to develop peer support and leadership programmes. Competitions, performances and enterprise activities are rooted in the village system. This is our equivalent of a house system.
Academic Review Meetings take place on three occasions throughout the Academy year. Learning guides receive information from subject teachers and feed back to students and parents/carers on progress being made. Discussions involving the learning guide, student and parents/carers result in personal learning programmes being developed to provide a clear action plan for improvement.
By treating students as individuals we ensure they study the subjects that suit their abilities, set appropriate learning targets and develop ambitious and exciting future goals.