One of the joys of being a smaller than average school is that from the point of their first contact with us, often in Year 3 or below if they attend one of our Learning Community primary schools, children soon come to feel part of the Academy community. Our wide-ranging programme of transition activities means that they get to know many of our students and staff and to regard the Academy as ‘their’ school. By the time they join us in Year 7, many have taken part in sports days and productions as well as taster days and curriculum activities and are very much part of the Academy family.
Exactly the same sense of community continues throughout a child’s time at the school. Every student is known and cared for as an individual. No-one falls through the net. Our highly-regarded pastoral team makes sure that each student’s needs are met and that all their teachers know exactly the support they require. Indeed, from Year 7 onwards, many take on roles of responsibility and leadership, making their own contribution to the Academy community, through, for example, the library, the literacy programme, the PE department, performing arts, as mentors or, ultimately, as members of the student leadership team in Year 11.
Parents are a vital part of our Academy community too. From the outset we stress the importance of working in partnership to promote the achievement and wellbeing of every student. Our pastoral and safeguarding teams, including our specialist Family Coordinator, maintain excellent links with parents, supporting them in times of difficulty. Our reporting systems mean that every parent receives up-to-date information about progress each half term and has the opportunity to come into the Academy to discuss any matters arising with teachers and tutors. Our parents’ evenings and our student-led review day place the three-way relationship between parents, students and staff right at the heart of conversations about learning, progress and general wellbeing.
Our community does not only look inwards. We are developing more and more links with other organisations in the town and further afield. Whether it is running parties for children in primary schools, playing bowls and board games with senior citizens or taking part in local conservation projects, our students are very much at the heart of the community. Whether it is for East Cheshire Hospice or The Nasarian Children’s Home in Kenya, they are fund raisers of proven imagination and success. We very much believe that the care they receive in school prompts them to look beyond the Academy to give care and support to others in their turn.