Aims for 2017
2016 held many highlights for Albany Academy;
In 2016 students raised thousands of pounds for local and international charities; they regularly reported on Chorley FM and even reported on the BBC; we returned the second successive Chorley Youth MP; and our students engaged in a wide range of voluntary work. The school was voted Chorley Sports School of the Year, recognition of the excellent contributions the school makes to the development of sports in the local area. We have also continued to invest in our buildings, refurbishing science labs and the sports hall. Academically, the progress of our students is so good this year that you would have to travel over 75 miles to find a school performing as well.
Overall, 2016 has been a great year for the school, but we have big ambitions for 2017 as well. Here are five of them:
1. Ensuring we provide the best curriculum for Albany students.
GCSEs are changing and with increased demands on our staff and students we need to ensure our teachers are thoroughly prepared and our options at GCSE are the best available. We adopt a less is more approach to courses, allowing our students to focus on the courses and subjects they need in order to be well prepared for college and work. We will be providing more information around options, and planning refinements to both key stage 3 and 4.
2. Supporting parents to become more effectively involved in their child’s learning.
Between school, parents and the student we create a ‘triangle of success’, for our young people. However, with the rapid changes to education over recent years it is increasingly difficult for parents to know how to really support their child. In addition to our usual parents’ evenings, there will be an additional information evening for Year 10 students and their families about the new GCSEs. We will be publishing more detailed guidance on what we teach and how parents can support their child in each year that they are with us.
3. Refining outstanding practice in improving students’ attendance.
Attendance at Albany is the single most important indicator of a child’s success with us. Where children have good attendance they make outstanding progress academically. Where their attendance is less good they can fail. Our newly appointed Home School Liaison Officer will work closely with families to encourage and support excellent attendance for all.
4. Adopting a growth mindset approach.
Intelligence is not fixed. Brains can be trained and failure is just the first step in learning. Some of our students, like so many across the country, can be overwhelmed by fear of failure and of accepting ‘just enough’. However, ‘just enough’ is never enough and our young people have the potential to and will change the world. I believe in them, and in adopting a growth mindset approach in all that we do they will believe in themselves.
5. Ensuring all subjects make the same exceptional progress as made in the best performing subjects across the school.
This year English, maths, physics, history, catering and technology were all in the top 20% of subjects nationally. PE, art and photography were in the top 5%. These are exceptionally high performing subjects, because of our excellent teachers. Our challenge as a school, is for all our subjects to improve the progress they make with our students each year, and all to be in the top 5%.