16 – 19 Academy
Creating a new and partnership driven model of post 16 learning across the Cabot Learning Federation working alongside the University of Bristol
The Cabot Learning Federation (CLF) was founded in September 2009 with three secondary academies, John Cabot, Bristol Brunel and Bristol Metropolitan. In September 2012, our family of schools has grown to ten with six in the secondary sector and four in the primary sector. All four of our Primary Academies are in East Bristol and children move to JCA, BBA and BMA for their secondary education. In 2011 we welcomed Hans Price Academy (HPA) in Weston super Mare and King’s Oak Academy (KOA), the former Kingsfield School to the CLF. In September 2012, Bath Community Academy (BCA) joined the CLF when the former school Culverhay School was closed. The model of post 16 education outlined here will involve student from BBA, BCA, BMA, JCA and KOA.
The CLF educates 5600 students between the ages of 4 and 19, and employs over 800 staff to support its mission statement of “collaboration for outstanding achievement”. The federation is viewed by both political parties as a flagship organisation that has created a blueprint for local school to school support and collaboration.
The improvement that has been seen across our secondary academies supports the view of the CLF that schools working together can progress more quickly than when they work in isolated competition. The GCSE results in 2011 and 2012, are creating new hope and opportunity for students in the poorest wards in Bristol and Weston super Mare and raising aspirations and opportunity is at the core of the CLF vision. This autumn, 35 students from BBA and BMA will begin degree courses around the country. In almost every case, they are first member of their family to do this.
The vision outlined in this summary paper is designed to outline a new and improved model of post 16 education for CLF students living in East Bristol by looking differently at post 16 learning, raising educational aspiration and performance and developing a new and close partnership with the University of Bristol.
We are in the process of writing an application to the DFE for a 16-19 Academy to be sponsored by and located in the Cabot Learning Federation. A new relationship with the University of Bristol is a core feature of our vision and I have been excited by the ideas generated through our preliminary discussions.
What is the Vision?
We want to create an outstanding post 16 learning culture and environment in East Bristol for 700 students, by opening in September 2014 a 16-19 Academy. We want to create a culture of pre-University learning and want to forge within the Academy a high performance and high aspiration centre for learning. To do this, we want to work closely with HE partners, including the University of Bristol who will support our specialist focus on Maths, Physics and Music that will be the focus for the first two years of the Academy. Our aim is to place different subjects in the specialist spotlight every two years in order to ensure that they are outstanding by the end of their specialist focus period. In 2016 we will add specialist subject pathways in English, History and Geography and in 2017 we will add MFL to this. With each specialism we will enter into a new agreement with Bristol University to expose our students to higher education learning, mentoring and tuition.
Our teaching school will lie at the heart of this vision and will build upon our current practice of training teachers for the city and offering new opportunities for 16-19 students to access the best Universities in the country. We also see an opportunity for graduate learning to take place in the centre and for business and industry partners from across Bristol meeting and hosting conferences in the centre. In short, learning in as many different contexts as possible will drive the culture and expectations of the 16-19 Academy.
How the partnership with the University of Bristol and the CLF could support our wider vision for an outstanding post 16 learning experience for 700 students
The ideas below are embryonic but give a flavour of what we would like to achieve.
- We would like to be able to expose our post 16 students in Maths, Physics and Music to learning at the University and create the chance for them to attend lectures and access year 1 graduate studies to enhance and compliment their A Level studies. We hope that this will have a positive impact on raising the aspirations in East Bristol to apply for a place at the University
- Included within this would be an aspiration that enrichment opportunities would be created for post 16 students in these key subject areas that would inspire them to apply for higher education courses in these areas
- We are particularly keen to ensure that vulnerable but talented children (CIC, FSM, EAL) see that a University education is something that they can access and this partnership will help this
- This would build further on the success we have seen this summer at BBA and BMA where students have been successful in gaining access to Universities around the country
- We would like under graduates to mentor post 16 students. This would be highly beneficial in Maths, Physics and Music but could easily extend to other subject areas
- We would like to offer the University access to our 16-19 centre(s) so that some under-graduate and post-graduate teaching could take place in our building so that students could see graduate level learning taking place around them
- We want to encourage graduates in Maths, Sciences and Languages to apply for school direct places in our teaching school so that we can create a pool of high quality graduates who want to teach in Bristol and the surrounding region and complete their PGCE courses within our partnership
- Musicians at the University of Bristol could become performance mentors for post 16 students and share in the rehearsal and performance of compositions and key pieces from the classical repertoire and where appropriate teach younger students across the federation
- We would also like to work beyond these identified subject areas and develop a stronger relationship with the Graduate School of Education so that we work more closely on teacher education, CPD and development. We would be particularly interested in collaborating in research into the impact of federations and the improvement that has taken place across the Cabot Learning Federation (CLF) schools especially now that the CLF educates young people from 4 to 19 in ten academies across Bristol and the surrounding area.
- We will devise a radical new curriculum structure to support this vision that will be made up of the following components:
- The Core Curriculum-3-4 A Level options from a full and broad level 3 programme of study. Students will have access to every course we offer but are likely to be required to meet an entry level expectation of a Grade B in a related GCSE
- The Specialist Subject Curriculum-every two years we will introduce a new suite of specialist subject courses for those students who achieve A* and A grades at GCSE
- The Transition Curriculum will be taught over 3 years and will enable students with a GCSE B-D grade profile to have a transition pathway into the post 16 before starting their A Level study in Year 13
- CLF PLUS will be our enrichment and extension programme that all students will access during the week
- Educating a City will be our contribution to community education is the widest sense and will start in September 2015, operating three nights each week from 4 to 8pm
Cabot Learning Federation