Wallscourt Farm Academy
The new Wallscourt Farm Academy logo!
Wallscourt Farm Academy- Logo vision background
- Starting with the tree – Wallscourt Wood
- Inside outside learning
- Community and new developments reflected in the buildings
- Connections and links with community
- Farm aspect
- Sense of fun
- Incorporate child-centred approach – with the chicken!
- Blending tradition and innovation
@Wallscourt. For the latest news and information.
Frame now complete, roof going on and floor going down. (Pic posted 24/04/13)
Wallscourt Farm Academy will open in September 2013 at the heart of the Cheswick Village development and Stoke Park area. The Academy will be located in a brand new building and in its first year will provide places for 60 reception age children. The Admissions Process for primary schools is currently open (see links below).
The Academy will be part of the Cabot Learning Federation (CLF) family of schools and will join the existing CLF primary and secondary academies open in Bristol, Bath and Weston super Mare.
Susie Weaver has been appointed as the Principal of Wallscourt Farm Academy. Susie said, “I am delighted to have been appointed to lead the Wallscourt Farm Academy. This is a tremendously exciting project and I am thoroughly looking forward to joining the Cabot Learning Federation and working together to develop outstanding Primary education for the 21st century”
Planning permission for the Academy building was granted in December 2012. The new building will be a state of the art school and based on flexible and creative approaches to learning for the 21st Century, with community spaces including a hall, multi‐use games area and football pitch.
The academy is being developed in conjunction with our construction partner, Cowlin. Building works commenced on site in February 2013 and are progressing well. The reception class will open in September 2013 and construction works will then recommence with the building of community facilities and the remainder of the school which will open April 2014.
South Gloucestershire Primary Admissions: http://www.southglos.gov.uk/Documents/CYP120055.pdf
Bristol Primary Admissions: http://www.bristol.gov.uk/page/children-and-young-people/primary-admissions
Our aim is to create an outstanding primary academy that the community served by the school can be proud of. The school will be a blend of the best traditional practices in primary education combined with innovative learning solutions that are proven to work not just in the UK but across the world. The location of the new school within the heart of a University community, supported by the Cabot Learning Federation Teaching School creates a unique opportunity to create a school that offers an education that will benefit the children who attend the school, but can also be a means of communicating a new model of learning across the continuum of primary-secondary-higher education for the wider system.
Building a Collaborative Network
The academy will work closely with the other primary and secondary academies in the federation, enjoying the benefits that close collaboration brings. At the core of our vision is the goal of developing young people with ambition and aspiration to make a difference to their own lives and others. The start to their compulsory education in our new Academy will be vital to achieve this goal and we will work closely with our secondary academies and those secondary schools not in the federation to ensure that the learning and experiences gathered between the ages of 4 and 11 are nurtured and developed to the age of 18 and beyond. The CLF sponsors, Rolls Royce PLC and University of West England, share this vision and will be integral to the creation of our high performing, ambitious and innovative plans.
The school will become a thriving member and partner within the Cabot Learning Federation (CLF) family of schools. The CLF has ten academies within its family across four local authorities.
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Our vision is to build community learning hubs across the CLF by connecting primary and secondary academies in each of the authorities where the CLF has an existing partnership. This will create further capacity for school improvement as we work strategically to plan educational delivery that is seamless and uninterrupted from 4 to 19.
Building a Community of Learners
Parents and other community stakeholders will help us to design the school and will be part of the journey with us. We will create a parent forum in addition to the governance arrangements we have in place across the federation, to ensure that the promises we make to the community of a high quality education are delivered.
We want to create a cultural and research focused learning hub that becomes a nucleus of learning where many contributors from children and families to Higher Education Institutions and businesses challenge the traditional concept of a school. We want to challenge ourselves to think beyond the traditional concept of our new school operating in a setting where learning happens at prescribed times in pre-determined ways. The opportunity to build a school and learning community from scratch is rare, and we want to capitalize on this to ensure that the outcomes for children and their families are outstanding. Whilst children between the ages of 4 and 11 may occupy the building for pre-determined times of the day for their formal education, the potential for the school to be used as a base for teacher training, adult learning, community education and enrichment and extra-curricular activities for families in the community to enjoy together is very much part of our thinking.
Our vision would be to ensure that the school was providing 24/7, 365 days per year learning opportunities for the local community alongside a range of other partners who can support our vision for developing the arts, sport, technology, literacy and numeracy development for as many people as possible, from across the whole age range and social groupings. The new stadium development that will be on our doorstep creates another opportunity for us to develop links that will connect different partners in our part of the city.
Our plans will include an emphasis upon levels of involvement and engagement from the families of our children in order to make sure that the curriculum we offer, the partnerships we develop, the geographical boundaries that we push back, are all utilized to provide optimum, real and purposeful learning experiences.
We will be guided by the local authority with regard to the capacity of the new school but have based our plans on this being a two form entry Primary school, growing to a capacity of 420. The Academy will open in September 2013 with space for 60 reception children
We want to create a multi-faith environment with an emphasis on common values and principles for life. These values will underpin everything that happens within and around the school, becoming the benchmark for any action within the school. A core element of creating ambitious young people who are culturally aware and able to contribute to society and the lives of others as they become adults themselves, is the need to embed tolerance, understanding, & mutual respect into the curriculum and ethos of the school.
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Technology will be an extension of the learner, not a tool to get a task completed. Our three learning competencies (the 3 Cs) for the new school will support children to be communicators, collaborators and creators, and ICT is a superb medium for enhancing this. However it is not the only means for achieving this which is why we will embed technology so that it is the servant and not the master of learning. However we recognize that ICT has an incomprehensible influence on children and it is the role of the school to harness the power and potential of interpreting, evaluating and refocusing information for the “digital natives” of the school. There is a distinct need for learners to be immersed in the world around them; being engrossed in learning will become the norm in our school and not the exception.
The role of teachers in the new Academy
Teachers become facilitators of learning, engaging in conversations about learning styles, preferences and expectations, with learners becoming as emotionally literate as they are knowledgeable. We want the values and principles of the school to develop positive and active world citizens who can transfer knowledge and skills into the community both locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. We want to help develop people who understand how they learn and why they learn; who understand, appreciate and value difference and have the capacity to adapt and apply quality experiences – at their fingertips.
Conceiving a 21C Building
It is because of the desire to create a new model of learning, that the nature and flexibility of the school building will be so essential to the achievement of this vision. We want to blur the artificial boundaries of the classroom, key stages and phases and remove both artificial and structural partitions that often stifle and hinder the true potential of learners (and teachers’) creativity. Our secondary academies (Bristol Brunel and Bristol Metropolitan) have thrived on the use of open plan spaces, break out suites, mentoring and coaching bases and we would be pleased to bring this knowledge to bear on the new building. We believe that this experience can inform the construction of the building to ensure that we develop an environmentally-sound and sustainable building/environment to model these appropriate values to the learners and community. Both CLF and UWE have considerable expertise to contribute to this part of the vision.
We want learning to be experienced inside out, and will be based on the following pedagogical principles:
- Enquiry and question-led learning
- Creativity is a right not a privilege
- Open access anything at any time, both resources, humans and equalities, with the guidance of teachers, such as:
- Community and local environment
- UWE people, resources and specialized spaces
- Engage with the outdoors and natural environment
- Multi-functional, multi- spatial environments, (‘classrooms’) manipulated by learners for learners.
- Learning styles and needs associated with them
In order to deliver the vision above our school must have flexible, multi-use, generic spaces that are not pre-defined. Each learning space must be open, cyclical, continuous, boundless so that consciousness expands beyond current reality and boundaries. In short, we want to create learning space that can be adapted quickly almost on a daily basis to facilitate different types of learning in different contexts. This will be supported by the use of natural materials and glass in order to visually, physically and emotionally connect the inside environment with the outside. Learners must have free and easy access to the outside and grounds, using and utilising space as they see fit as guided by their teachers. We see the external learning space being as critical as the internal resources. A classroom should not be defined by the location reserved for the storage of resources, but by the way the children interact with the space. Therefore all forms of learning storage should be mobile, including IT both physical equipment (tablets) and data availability (WIFI).
Area/Community that the school serves
The community that the school will serve will be a new community that will be presented with many of the new challenges that arise when people live, work and socialize together for the first time. We see this as a strength and an opportunity and one that we are keen to embrace and influence. The chance to support the social, intellectual and entrepreneurial capital in a newly developing community is too good to miss and we believe our vision supports and enhance this vital development. For example, we believe we can support community coherence by investing in the following networks:
- WISE (West of England Institute for Specialised Education)
- Filton College and the extensive adult education programmes-the CLF has sufficient capacity to create bespoke learning opportunities as well as those already in place
- UWE under graduates, MA, Post-doc and PHd students as well as University staff to be researchers themselves or to be the focus for research, linking this sector of the community with a generation tasked with leading the future of the region
- Business and industry links can be developed with Rolls Royce PLC, Hewlett Packard, Filton Airfield, the Abbeywood retail park, & Fox Den Retail Park
- Sport and Recreation-We would want to ensure that the new Academy had close links to develop and educational provision with the new sports stadium being built close to the site of the new school
- Transport – Parkway Station, buses and cycle paths
- Local environment and spaces – Stoke Park, Sims Hill, Abbey Wood, UWE sports facilities
Admissions Policy & Arrangements
Our experience of working with the DFE and local authorities to set up our Academies shows that it is vital to have open dialogue and consultation before publishing the model we would intend to use. Our plan would be to ensure that this was a local school for local children that served the needs of the community. The vision we are expressing in this document is predicated on this belief. We will of course work closely with the local authority to understand their aims for the school and where this project sits in line with their local school organization plan.
A Key Question that All Parents will want an answer to-“How will my child be supported when they are stuck or find school difficult? “
Children will be supported to be independent learners in the Foundation Years and these skills will be developed throughout the school. Children will be supported to learn in each of the areas of learning and equal emphasis placed upon all areas of learning. Children will be consistently and continually supported to ask questions; in the early years children make connections in learning at the greatest rate. This capacity will be harnessed and nurtured. We will make sure that our staff are trained to understand the human brain and how meta cognition develops and our links with UWE will support this. The new early years framework which is due to be published imminently will now describe learning in the “Pregnancy to Five” age range rather than the currently used foundation stage. We will use this development to ensure that children and their parents are better prepared for school than ever before.
With the three new prime areas of learning, a greater emphasis on making sure children have the basic social, emotional communication and language skills they need to learn and thrive at school becomes ever more vital. Simple strategies for helping children to make friends and to listen effectively will help us to forge stronger links between the EYFS and what is expected of children in KS1. The importance of the early years – as a foundation for life and for future attainment and success – cannot be over estimated. That’s why it is vital that we have the right framework to support high quality early years education.
The curriculum experience within this CLF primary school will be defined by the learners, supported by an in-depth understanding of learning skills. It will be enquiry based, skills led, where opportunities to apply learning will provide stimulating first hand experiences. Our curriculum will expose learners to spontaneity and intelligent risks so that they may engage and interact with other children and adults in a confident and assured manner. We want the community to see the school as a place of invention and innovation where pupils are encouraged to consider what is possible, where they are able to affect the learning. We will work with the staff and parents to plan a curriculum that has the best traditional practices allied to a culture of innovation that embeds the best of early years practice.
Community Cohesion-We want our relationship with the families of our children to be a vital component in the delivery of our philosophy.
Parents and Family Networks
Parents and Grand-Parents will be viewed as partners, collaborators and advocates for the children. Teachers respect family members as the first teacher each child has had and will involve them in every aspect of the curriculum. It will not be uncommon to see parents and other family members volunteering throughout the school and will be seen as a bridge between school and home. In return, the Academy will deliver termly workshops to help parents and grand-parents understand the curriculum the children are being taught and will receive training to show how they can provide support at home. The ambitious targets for the Academy will require levels of home to school engagement significantly more focused and sustained than has been the norm in many schools.
We celebrate the different kinds of diversity within our local area and we believe that the different contributions that people make are the strength of our communities. Our links with UWE will enable us to create International Ambassadors for the school from the graduate and under-graduate population where the diverse cultural population studying at the University could yield the type of support we need to broaden children’s horizons and experiences. For example, we have already seen a brilliant project take place in one of our current academies where the UWE Chinese Student Society provided support, resources and practical activities for the Chinese New Year celebration. We would see this type of liaison becoming a unique and regular feature of the school.