Page 1

Prospectus 2009-2010

Introduction to Shenley Academy Shenley Academy is more than just a new type of school. It represents a new approach to learning which is purposeful and achievement focused. Academies are leaders in innovation. The independent status of academies allows new styles of teaching and learning, supported by significant investment in ICT, which is already visible in the classrooms and our online curriculum.

We are determined to ensure that a handful of years spent at Shenley Academy will open the door to a lifetime of opportunity. The skills that students learn at Shenley Academy will provide the foundation for their future.

It is our aim to make Shenley Academy much more than an excellent school in a wonderful new building. It is our intention to create an academy that is a learning resource for all in the community as well as our students.

We will ensure that our young people achieve academic success across a broad range of subjects. This will be complemented by the development of important life skills, gained through our academy-wide emphasis on ‘Learning for Life’, which OFSTED (Feb 2009) recognised was making a significant impact.

We are planning to develop the whole campus for our community, offering an exciting range of activities beyond the school day. It will be a very exciting place to learn.

The wide range of opportunities available to students during their time with us will therefore support both personal and academic development. In return, we expect high standards of punctuality, dress and behaviour. We recognise these help create a positive attitude to learning which in turn leads to success.

Aim High. Succeed Together

Our Values Team work - we work and succeed together Respect - individuality is valued. We show courtesy and respect toward members of our community and our environment Integrity - honesty and self-discipline are promoted and good behaviour is the norm Commitment - to each other, to learning, to the academy and our community Excellence - we aim high to achieve the best that we can.



A message from the Principal I am very proud to be leading Shenley Academy, which will become a centre of excellence and will truly serve our area. This will not be an ordinary school. Our new buildings will provide a unique and inspiring environment. Students can expect world-class conditions, best-in-class technology and sustainable design features. Plans include a Sixth Form Centre with excellent state-of-the-art facilities. We have very exciting plans to develop our extensive grounds into a centre of sporting excellence. This includes a wildlife haven, which is home to a variety of species and which will be developed to provide an excellent resource for study. During the next two years, when the academy is operating in the existing building, we will be supported by additional resources, including staffing. We have improved the already good environment including ICT resources. We have the opportunity to link our high quality teaching, strong links with business and higher education to develop the skills, confidence and expertise necessary for our students to be successful in our everchanging world. Last year, the predecessor school was given a very positive report by OFSTED (February 2009).


We remain one of a select few secondary schools nationally to receive the Every Child Matters award. This means that we are attracting larger numbers of applicants for places here. We are also retaining and attracting excellent staff! Our first priority at Shenley Academy will always be our students’ welfare, whether this is monitoring and keeping them on track or ensuring they have the help they need to deal with personal or social issues. I look forward to leading Shenley Academy in our aim to become a world-class centre of learning and teaching. Mrs Ruth Harker Principal

Our Governors We have an excellent Local Governing Body, which includes representatives from business, Higher Education and two local primary headteachers. All local people who have a genuine feel for the needs of the community that we serve. There is a strong, positive link with our sponsor, and EACT’s local representative is John Richmond, Financial Director. There will be two new elected Parent Governors and two places will be taken up by elected staff representatives in September. Our Chair of Governors, Chris York, has had a long association with the predecessor school and is looking forward to his new position at the academy. He can be contacted through the academy.

Our Sponsors Edutrust Academies Charitable Trust (EACT) is an education foundation and a registered charity (No: 1124189). It is a not-for-profit organisation established to promote excellence in education and learning. Sir Bruce Liddington, the former Schools Commissioner for England is the Director General of EACT. He was a senior civil servant and key adviser on the Government’s academies programme.

The trust aims: • To provide excellence in education, thereby enabling the life chances of young people to be enhanced • To support young people to become successful, integrated citizens who contribute towards creating a cohesive society • To enable young people to benefit from high quality experiences and opportunities supported by EACT’s partners, employers and higher education institutions • To provide investment for communities to improve opportunities for everyone. The focus of EACT is supporting young people to achieve their true potential. The trust is committed to significantly improving students’ ambitions, aspirations, learning, achievement and personal development, irrespective of their ability, gender, faith or race.

This is an exciting opportunity to create a world class school for our community Chris York Chair of Governors



Our learning environment Our facilities have been updated and improved to mark our opening as an academy. Many areas have been refreshed. A massive investment in ICT and our online curriculum gives students (and parents/carers) access from home as well as in class. New software will help improve learning across the academy and at home, allowing students to actively participative in their learning and assessment. We have a highly skilled workforce that is continually developing new skills which supports the application of new technologies. Consistently high standards of teaching and smaller class sizes will support effective learning. We are creating an environment where students’ well-being and environmental quality are linked. Sustainability will become a feature of daily life as students use the site and building to improve their learning and environmental awareness.

An open access Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and interactive learning centres will support student-centred learning. Extensive use of new technologies will help to transform learning, offering new and different opportunities to learn, access and present information. We’re not only creating a first-class building. Our 37 acre site is also being developed to provide a fantastic learning and recreational environment for our students.

We are creating an environment where new approaches to teaching and learning are being incorporated into the design. Adaptable spaces and specialist learning zones, designed and fitted out with the advice of business and industry, will help create exciting contexts for learning.


Our ethos We aim to give our students the best secondary education possible, encouraging their individual aptitudes and giving them skills for life and a confident, positive outlook. Students learn more and understand better when they can apply what they have been taught in a practical situation. Therefore the Shenley Academy ethos of practical application permeates our teaching. The structure of our lessons, working days and terms have been carefully designed to provide the best learning conditions. Lessons are backed up by our ICT system which means that, as well as guided teaching, students are also encouraged to become independent learners, using their own initiative, exploiting our excellent resources. This approach means students quickly learn: • Leadership and teamwork, working independently and in small groups • Effective communication and presentation skills • Personal learning and thinking skills • ICT skills and library techniques: information access and retrieval using modern technology • How to use audio, video and print-based resources • How to monitor personal progress and achieve aspirational targets.


These skills are supported through our extensive Learning for Life programme. “All aspects of the school have benefited from the ‘Learning for Life’ framework which started within the performing arts and humanities faculties. This is now embedded across lessons and in systems for guidance and support. It helps pupils to gain skills so that they are more self-motivated and work better together. It also helps them develop skills that will be needed to be successful in their future lives. The framework supports good personal development and well-being.” OFSTED (2009) We encourage students to take a leadership role in the academy, working with younger students or students with disabilities, for example as Junior Sports Leaders. Our College Councils and Advisory Groups give us feedback on many aspects of school life.

Our focus on information and communication technology From the outset we have focused on the effective and innovative use of ICT and we will be one of the most advanced state schools in the use of new technology as we aim to equip students with the specialist knowledge they need in the 21st century. We have already made a considerable investment in ICT and we are equipped with over 400 computers, arranged in suites in curriculum areas and in eight dedicated ICT centres. We have interactive whiteboards/projectors in all tutor rooms and in teaching rooms. Wireless networks are available with all teachers able to use laptops to prepare and teach lessons. All students study ICT from Year 7. Our Library and Resources Centre is

a multi-media area with computers available for student use and we have a sound recording studio, especially useful in music and music technology. Our online curriculum and Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) supports home and extended learning. • Multimedia software packages and online curriculum are regular features of classroom practice, for students and teachers alike

• All students have access to the Internet via high powered filters. Each has their own email address and home area • Students can access their emails and curriculum materials through our website • Staff are ICT-proficient and provide expert tuition • Parents/carers will be able to view their child’s curriculum and homework from home.


Our curriculum Our high quality learning environment supports a differentiated curriculum where students are offered work at a level consistent with their abilities. They are encouraged to aim high and progress at a rate which is challenging but which suits them. In years 7 to 11, the average time devoted to teaching per week is 25 hours, plus up to one hour 40 minutes of tutorial time. This is significantly more than the Secretary of State’s recommended minimum per week. This extra time is invested in our ‘Learning for Life‘ skills development programme and allows time for individual support and guidance from personal tutors.

Key features • Students are taught in sets according to the grade they are working towards in different subjects • We teach the National Curriculum to all students; English, mathematics, science, ICT, modern foreign languages, history, geography, design and technology, dance and drama, music, art, personal health, sport and fitness and religious education are taught as separate subjects • Our broad and balanced curriculum promotes a full range of learning, thinking and life skills, equipping students with the skills, attitudes and awareness needed in the 21st century. The curriculum is based on the skills employers have told us they look for in young people, and the learning activities are relevant and topical


• An emphasis on the way our students learn is helped by practical applications, e-learning, a variety of experiences in the classroom, online access and relevant home learning • Flexible and responsive teaching from highly skilled staff • Smaller-than-average class sizes, supporting increasingly individualised programme tailored to different students’ abilities and interests. This allows for both support and enhancement. • If appropriate, students can begin GCSE and BTEC courses in year 9, or take A level taster courses at the end of year 11.

Our specialisms: Science and Performing & Creative Arts • Develop a wide range of employability skills • Help to develop creativity, imagination and self-confidence in students • Support students’ progression beyond the academy and future employment opportunities. Both specialisms support a range of interesting courses pre and post-16 and offer stimulating out-of-hours learning opportunities designed to engage young people. They provide a vehicle for the development of personal skills and attributes, as well as helping to prepare for a wide range of progression routes beyond the academy.


Assessment We track student progress carefully in all curriculum areas, using a traffic light system (red/amber/green) to indicate whether students are on track to meet their high but achievable targets. These grades help us to identify whether we need to intervene or alter the teaching programme. Student assessments are presented to parents/carers in termly reports, giving a series of progress grades against each subject. Annual reports give more detail. In addition, assessment for learning focuses students on what they need to do to move forwards.

Special (Educational) Needs Many students at one time or another will need additional support. Our Learning Support Department works closely with the pastoral and curriculum teams on a process of


assessment, intervention, support and reintegration. Support is offered in a number of ways, including through our pastoral team, the school counselling service, the nurse and by accessing external support services, including those from the Local Authority. We conform to the SEN Code of Practice, the Child Protection Policy and the Disability Discrimination Act and have taken part in the LA Access Audit. However, the layout and severity of slopes in the current building mean that there are some difficulties for wheelchair access.

Religious Education Religious education is offered to all our students through the curriculum. A parent may request the withdrawal of their child from religious education. When this occurs the student will follow a course of supported self-study in moral issues.

Personal, Health and Social Education (PHSE) The topics covered include safety, drugs education, sex education, personal hygiene, family life, health-related exercise, food, nutrition and lifestyles. Sex education is offered to all students in line with recommendations from the Department for Children, Schools and Families. Parents have the right to remove their children from the sex education lessons that are delivered as part of the PHSE programme. Those who wish to exercise this option should contact the personal tutor.

Careers and Enterprise Education We provide high quality careers and enterprise education geared towards raising the aspirations of all young people. This is introduced in years 7 and 8, leading into a specific programme in years 9 to 11. This includes work experience placements towards the end of Year 10.

Sport Sport is a real strength. Our extensive grounds, modern sports facilities and highly-committed sports staff are dedicated to making sure students get the most out of physical activity, whatever their aptitude or ability. We offer a variety of sports, with our teams often competing at city, district and county level. These activities currently include football, netball, rugby, tennis, rounders, table tennis, basketball, athletics, cricket, trampolining, with many after school clubs. We have a fitness suite which is open before and after the academy day.

Culture and the Arts Performing and Creative Arts include dance, drama, music and music technology as well as art and design. These areas offer many clubs and activities including regular performances, giving students opportunities to express themselves in a variety of ways, in both group and solo projects.

The programme continues post-16 when students are given guidance on higher education courses and other opportunities, including employment. There is a careers library on-site and students are free to use this facility at their convenience. Enterprise education is developed across the curriculum and through a series of dedicated ‘immersion days’ where staff are supported by experts from business and industry. These days are highly successful and provide a wide range of on and off-site activities and experiences for students.

I will have lots of opportunities to work with people from business and industry to help me prepare for life after school. I will have a mentor to help keep me on track Year 7 student


Our broader curriculum and out of hours learning


After school activities The after hours activities are almost as varied as the scheduled day. Students can try out new hobbies, continue studying or make use of computer facilities or the excellent library. Drama, dance, sport, writing, reading and maths groups and art activities are on offer before or after the formal day. Many students remain on site until we close at 18.00. The library remains open until 19.00 Monday to Thursday and until 16.00 on Fridays. Breakfast is available every morning from 08.00.

Partnerships We already have some excellent partnerships which provide additional opportunities for our students, including Birmingham and Aston Universities and Newman University College. Our link with the University Hospital Birmingham NHS Trust supports Health and Social Care courses at KS4 and post-16 and helps promote healthcare as a career. We have strong links with the Birmingham Repertory Theatre and many other arts organisations. Our links with the business community support work placements and work-related learning. Our business links will include global companies, offering students the experience of networking across the world.

Trips, visits and residentials Year 7 students are exposed to the hands-on ethos of Shenley Academy very early on. They spend five days at an outward-bound centre, abseiling, zip-lining, facing personal and team challenges. This annual event is just the start of many opportunities designed to educate, challenge, foster lasting relationships and give a taste of the world beyond Shenley Academy. Students in Years 8 to 12 have the chance to participate in a wide range of culturally diverse visits and activities, mainly in our Visits Week towards the end of the summer term. There are also many trips designed to help students with their studies.

College and tutor group trips Part of what makes Shenley Academy special is our tutor/student bond, which is forged not only by term-time activities, but by out-of-hours trips and visits. Our staff have organised a wide range of on and off-site activities and trips. These social occasions, as well as being a lot of fun, increase contact and trust between members of tutor groups.

The Sixth Form The academy has a growing, successful Sixth Form offering a wide range of courses. We are part of the Oaks Sixth Form and wider South West 14-19 consortium of local schools and colleges for coordinated planning of students’ courses and options. We have also built strong links with higher education to maximise opportunities for our students. If you are interested in joining our Sixth Form, please ask for our Sixth Form prospectus.


Organisation and care Shenley Academy is about learning, self discipline, personal challenge, teamwork, respect and commitment. We encourage students to have a healthy self-image, respect themselves and to broaden their perspective on life. Student care


We have an innovative and very personal system of pastoral care. Each student is allocated to a tutor group with at least one Personal Tutor. Mixed-age tutor groups consist of 15-18 students from years 7 to 11.

We open for students from 07.30 onwards. Breakfast is available from 08.00. The formal academy day begins at 08.35 and students should arrive in good time in order to make a prompt start.

Ten tutor groups make up a College, led by the Head of College and supported by a non-teaching Pastoral Support Manager. Sixth Formers have their own tutor groups but support and help to lead college groups. Tutor groups meet at the start of every day and later for tutor time. On some days tutor time includes an assembly.

The role of the tutor Tutors are crucial. They see students daily, and get to know them, their needs, and their course of study. They monitor and guide their progress and welfare. They will work with the student to set high but achievable goals. The tutor is a point of contact for parents; a home/school partnership being actively encouraged.

Expectations We expect a high standard of behaviour and work from our students. Discipline is based upon a belief that we all need to live together in a well-ordered society with respect for each other. We use a ‘Discipline for Learning’ system and students are rewarded through a system of ‘credits’ - rewards and awards which culminates in termly Awards Assemblies.


There are five learning sessions, each lasting one hour which are punctuated by two breaks, one of which is for lunch. The academy remains open until 18.00 Monday to Thursday for those students wishing to use the facilities. On Friday, we close at 16.00. Supervision of students before 08.25 and after 15.30 is informal in some areas and students are expected to behave responsibly. Those students unable to behave appropriately will be denied access during these times. When students remain after the formal taught day has ended they are expected to log-in on the website so that we have a record of their presence in the case of an emergency or a parental query. Students must register in the morning at 08.35 with their tutor. If they leave for any reason during the day, they must report to the Attendance Office with a note from parents detailing where they are going. Parents of students who are absent and have not notified us will be contacted as soon as possible by telephone, seeking an explanation for their student’s absence. This ensures that the

whereabouts of every student is known every day.

Communications Up-to-date information is transmitted to staff and students via email and a series of LCD screens located throughout the building. A list of events is provided to each student at the beginning of the year and is available through the website. A weekly newsletter keeps parents in touch – this is also available online. Other postings of key documents are sent home on occasions.

Shenley Academy online Shenley Academy operates a comprehensive and constantly updated website which provides general information as well as providing resources for staff, students and their parents.

Other documents and policies All official/statutory documentation that applies to Shenley Academy is available to be viewed, upon request, from the Principal’s PA.

Charging and remissions Meals

Trips and visits

Breakfast and lunch can be bought in the restaurant.

A wide range of trips and visits are offered to the students. In each case, the economic charges are levied but no profit is generated. Some may be subsidised at the discretion of the Principal. Strict guidelines apply to all trips and visits to ensure student safety.

Uniform In accepting a place at Shenley Academy, parents and students agree to abide by the uniform policy. All students from years 7 to 11 wear Shenley Academy uniform, including the outside coat. Uniform details are available separately and outlined in the Student Planner. Ties (clip-on-only) are available for purchase from the academy. Training shoes of any kind are not acceptable. Uniform sports clothing is also required. Year 12 and 13 students do not wear uniform, but a dress code has been agreed with students indicating that a clear standard of smart casual dress is required.

Remissions Grants which cover the costs of transport and meals and essential school uniform are available to all eligible parents. For further details contact the ECM Manager who will deal with all queries in complete confidence. Parents in receipt of either Jobseeker’s allowance, Income Support, Child Tax Credit, Incapacity Benefit or Pension Credits are advised to contact us to discuss financial support they may be eligible to claim.

This may include assistance with meals, uniform and sports clothing, transport and essential educational trips. Further details are available from the ECM Manager. Registration is absolutely confidential. For trips that are not an essential part of the curriculum there may be some assistance given in very exceptional cases at the discretion of the Principal.

Music tuition We do not make a charge for instrumental/singing tuition. Students who attend music tuition must commit to attending regularly as we may have to operate a waiting list.


Examinations In some circumstances (if a student fails to attend an exam, or chooses to sit additional entries for example), pro rata charges may be levied. Examination entry may be withheld for students who fail to attend lessons without a good reason.

Loss or damage of Shenley Academy property Students who lose or seriously damage our property which has been allocated to them e.g. books, will be charged for replacement of these items. Damage to other property is also likely to be charged for.

Lockers When students move into the new building they will be provided with a locker. They must however provide their own padlock or pay to hire a key (details will be confirmed). We take no responsibility for lost valuables, which should not be brought onto the site.

Quality assurance In 2009, Government Inspectors gave our predecessor school an extremely positive report, praising leadership and management, the curriculum, staff, the care they give and students. They commented that “Strong leadership has established an ethos of high expectations and rigorous evaluation.” OFSTED 2009.

Complaints and concerns Parents/carers may contact the academy at any time about matters which concern them. We will always investigate any complaint speedily, efficiently, fully and fairly and a response should usually be given within 24 hours. Complaints should be addressed to the member of staff best placed to respond. Our receptionists will help to put you in touch with the right person. Complaints about the curriculum and related matters will normally be resolved in consultation with the student’s tutor who will liaise with the appropriate departmental staff. However, when an outcome cannot be agreed, the tutor or parents should refer the matter to one of the Assistant Principals or the Vice Principals and ultimately the Principal, who will seek to find an acceptable resolution.

Community It is an aim that our students are involved as actively as possible with the community we serve and we encourage interaction with local groups. Our students raise a substantial amount of money each year for local, national and international charities. They support younger students in a number of ways and have also worked with them on collaborative projects, for example in Performing Arts and Sport.

Admissions We offer places to students on the basis of our admissions criteria which is the same as for Birmingham Local Authority schools. Parents and student should use the Birmingham local authority form for admissions.

Although we would hope that no parent would ever need to use the procedure, if no solution is found then the complaint should be put in writing and sent to us marked for the attention of the Chair of Governors. The Chair will acknowledge receipt of the complaint and outline the way in which it will be investigated. Parents’ views will be sought and every effort will be made to conclude the matter as quickly as possible.

Open Evening/Open Day/Visits Parents/carers of prospective students wishing to visit Shenley Academy can do so during the designated open evening and days or at any other reasonable time. Senior staff are always available to answer queries or to offer explanations about any matters relating to admissions. Please see website for details.


Shenley Academy & Sixth Form Shenley Lane, Birmingham B29 4HE T: 0121 464 5191 F: 0121 464 3711 E: W:

Bus routes 21 from City Centre 44 from City Centre and Turves Green 29 from City Centre and Northfield 103 from Quinton - connect to 29 at Harborne 69 and 18 from Yardley Wood Garage

Shenley Academy & Sixth Form Shenley Lane, Birmingham B29 4HE T: 0121 464 5191 F: 0121 464 3711 E: W:

Designed and produced by Happy Giraffe.

Shenley Academy Prospectus  

20 page prospectus