South Axholme Academy
North Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
About South Axholme Academy
SOUTH AXHOLME ACADEMY
The school is situated in the small ‘town’ of Epworth (pop. 4000) on the A161 Goole to Gainsborough road, three miles from the M180. Doncaster and Scunthorpe are both approximately twelve miles away. Hull, Leeds, Sheffield, York, Lincoln and Nottingham are all one hour, or less, drive away. Open countryside backs onto the school playing fields. This is a farming area, mostly arable. The catchment area includes Primary Schools in seven district villages, but we often ‘draw’ from as many as twenty three different Primary Schools.
NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE AREA
South Axholme Academy is part of Isle Education Trust (IET) which is a multi-academy trust and at present includes Epworth Primary Academy, South Axholme Academy and Coritani Academy in Scunthorpe
South Axholme Academy is currently the 11-18 part of the trust and is a mixed Academy. It has a discrete catchment area so that only a very few children are ‘lost’ to private or voluntary aided schools. The student intake is of average ability. Public examination results are well above national average figures.
STUDENT PASTORAL ORGANISATION
The Academy is organised in Key Stages with a 2 year KS3, 3 year KS4 and 2 year KS5. Each year group has a Learning & Achievement Manager. Three Vice Principals work closely with the Learning and Achievement Managers, guiding and supporting students as necessary. There are six houses which are used mainly for sporting activities. The Academy has a well established policy of early contact with parents. The Form Tutor is the usual parental contact point, followed by referral to Learning and Achievement Managers.
STUDENT ACADEMIC ORGANISATION
When students arrive at South Axholme they are placed in mixed ability forms based upon the house figure Heads (at present 6 form entry). Setting takes place in Mathematics, English, Science and MFL in Y7; other subjects are taught in form groups.
The Learning Support Department provides help to all students with learning difficulties. This takes place either in mainstream lessons or alternatively by way of selective withdrawal for short periods in certain lessons. The emphasis of late has been to increase mainstream support.
There are 62 teaching staff, a Business Manager a PA/Admin Officer, a Data Manager, an Admin Assistant/Trips and Visits Co-ordinator, Sixth Form Administrator, Student and Visitor Receptionists, Attendance Administrator, an Exams/Cover Administrator, four Cover Supervisors, a Resources Manager, one Resources Technician, a Finance Officer and Assistant, a Systems Manager, one ICT Technician, a Pastoral Manager, an Inclusion Manager, a Senior Science Technician, two Science Technicians, a Site Manager, two Assistant Caretakers, two Design Technology Technicians, seven Midday Supervisors.
A programme of weekly meetings takes place throughout the year incorporating Full Staff Meetings, Department Meetings, Pastoral Team Meetings, Teaching & Learning Meetings, Subject Leader Meetings, Senior Leadership Team Meetings, Workshops, School Improvement Group Meetings and Governor Meetings.
The Academy’s philosophy is that each student is entitled to a broad and balanced curriculum with opportunities for enhancement that prepares them for life’s choices, responsibilities and experiences.
In Years 7 and 8 most students follow a common curriculum with a small number study one rather than two Modern Foreign Languages. In Years 9,10 and 11 breadth and balance are maintained within a more flexible framework that enables the Academy to meet the particular needs of each individual student. In Years 12 & 13 students study 3 or 4 A levels.
All students in Key Stage 3 follow a curriculum which consists of lessons in English, Mathematics, Physical Education, Science, Technology, Geography, History, Religious Education, French, Art and Music, most students study Spanish too. There are additional lessons in Drama and General Studies which includes elements of Citizenship and PSHCE. A programme developing the skills of Information Technology and computing is also delivered separately.
At the end of Year 7, students opt to specialise in one of the Arts. This opted course is then examined at GCSE level at the end of Year 10.
During year 8 full consultation takes place between staff, students and parents concerning which subjects students will study in Key Stage 4. In reaching these decisions consideration is given to the student’s interests, skills and intentions post 16.
The Academy continues to meet statutory requirements for Years 9, 10 and 11 with a broad and balanced curriculum whilst providing a strong element of choice to meet individual needs. Students therefore study English, Mathematics, Physical Education and Science. Four other subjects can be chosen from a wide range of options. The Academy offers a variety of qualifications. Students are mainly entered for GCSE’s with some BTec’s and Cambridge National examinations offered where appropriate. Where appropriate students are guided down the EBacc route.
The curriculum in both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 is organised to ensure entitlement to careers education and guidance, economic and industrial understanding, health education, environmental awareness, religious education and citizenship. Information Technology skills and general skills are developed through all subject areas.
The Academy believes that each student has individual strengths, abilities and aptitudes and this is recognised by all teachers and all curriculum areas.
EXTRA - CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
South Axholme Academy offers a very impressive range of activities which give the Academy a rich life which it shares with the local community. The Academy enjoys very active parental support.
Sport, Music and Drama/Dance are especially strong. There is an orchestra, a wind band, small ensemble work and a choir. Personal instrumental tuition is offered. Regular public performances are given in the Academy and various outside venues. The Academy runs teams in Football, Rugby, Cricket, Hockey, Netball, Tennis, Badminton , Basketball and Athletics.
The Management structure of the Academy is such that every member of staff is invited to participate in policy-making though the final decisions must rest with the Principal who is responsible to Governors for the conduct and curriculum of the Academy. Nevertheless, consultation is real and most decisions are arrived at by discussion and an exchange of opinions. Such a consultative decision-making process can only work effectively if all staff accept the personal responsibilities this brings.
The demands on staff are considerable, in the classroom, in preparation, in marking, in attending meetings, in CPD work, in out-of-school activities and in parent-teacher contact, however, it presents staff with many opportunities which in turn brings great benefit to the institution and to the teachers themselves as professionals.