Our vision is to create an outstanding school that radically improves our learners’ career chances. We want every learner to do well enough to go on to university or pursue a fruitful career via an apprenticeship or other training route.
To achieve this, we will embed the following principles across the Great Western Academy:
Learner at the heart of everything we do
We believe every child can realise and maximise their potential with the right teaching and support. To achieve this, we will include:
- personalised curriculum pathways that are flexible and well matched to varying student needs, interests and abilities
- Personalised Learning Plans (PLP) which support the ambitious individual goals which contribute to our whole school targets
- Additional Learning Support for the disadvantaged and specialist help, where required
- success coaches – external mentors from the world of work
- regular 1-to-1 tutoring which will trigger appropriate support to ensure students are on track to achieve their individual goals. This will include strategies such as one to one intervention, tutorials and online support
Attitude and interpersonal skills
Our school will operate in a caring, friendly, but professional environment, with clear rights and responsibilities understood by all and conducted in a business-like manner where teachers can focus on teaching and students on learning. Our disciplinary procedures will be fair but firm.
Excellent teaching, learning and assessments
Excellent teaching, underpinned by high quality professional development and learning resources is vital. Our staff will be carefully recruited to ensure they meet the aims and ethos of the Academy and will be excellent classroom practitioners. We will personalise learning and make good use of data to improve teaching and the curriculum and ensure that no child is left behind. We will draw on evidence and experience of the best ways to achieve excellent outcomes for all children.
Address the educational disadvantage
No child will be left behind and Additional Learning Support will cover the whole spectrum of needs: medical conditions, physical and sensory impairment, speech and language difficulties, Attention Deficit Hyper-Activity and specific learning differences -dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia. We will be a truly inclusive school.
Innovative use of technology
The inventive use of technology will support and enhance our high quality teaching. We will offer our students access to extended learning opportunities through on-line and digital resources. Students’ progress will be tracked electronically, and this will be available to students, parents and staff for regular review.
Extended day with more time for learning
We will have a longer to give more time to embed core subjects and to extend the curriculum through enrichment. Our curriculum has been planned to provide pathways from any level at entry to high achievement at exit.
All students will be encouraged to take part in the enrichment programme. The range of activities will include sports, arts, academic pursuits, alternative and additional qualifications, extended projects, social enterprise, community service and outdoor education.
Life skills, literacy and numeracy
A strong command of English and Mathematics is a vital foundation for the whole curriculum. We will prioritise this so that all students can prosper.
It is crucial that all of our students are well prepared for life outside school. Working with employers and business partners, we will ensure that academic and applied vocational elements are seamlessly combined in curriculum planning to stimulate students’ interest and motivation and demonstrate how studies are relevant to career prospects and the world of work.
Post-16 students will be helped to find part-time paid work or a worthwhile work placement in partnership with local employers, to prepare for the world of work and gain skills and experiences that are valued in our community. Our innovative plans for providing these work placements, will include an expansion of our sponsor New College Swindon’s Employability Team, Job Club and use of their Careers Coach software. Traineeship programmes (with work placements) and Apprenticeship programmes will be offered to 16-18 learners as appropriate.
A community school
We will work with our community groups and leaders and parents will be encouraged to interact with the school and its student body. Adult community learning programmes will be offered in the evenings to engage local parents and community groups. The ethos of the new school will be about embedding life skills and citizenship. We want to develop self-motivated, creative and enterprising youngsters who think critically and use their imagination. Students will develop interpersonal skills, work in teams and be proud of their community and the benefits of supporting it.
We want a professional, safe and caring environment. We would aim to provide safe care for our pupils and vulnerable groups by providing a safe environment for them to learn and work and by helping to identify children who are suffering or likely to suffer significant harm so that appropriate support and action can be taken to keep them safe, both at home and in school.