The academy is inclusive and caters for the needs of all students. The central importance of spirituality is the driving force for the academy’s ethos. It inspires all that the academy does – leadership, learning and personal development.
A whole child approach to education has been adopted so that every student is given opportunities to develop knowledge, skills and understanding through an open mind.
Our ethos is realised through personalising the curriculum and academy experience for each student, responding to their learning needs by creating provision that is appropriate whether it is academic, personal, social, moral or spiritual.
The St Lawrence Academy will serve a diverse community with complex needs. The unique feature of the academy will be the central importance of spirituality, which will be the driving force for the ethos of the academy.
Spiritual Development Through an Open Mind
Placing spirituality and the spiritual development of everyone at the heart of the academy is the central distinctive contribution of the Church of England as sponsor of the academy. The Academy strives to create a learning environment, curriculum, experiences and relationships in which the passion of all our students can find expression, be nourished and developed. Academically, the Academy seeks to bring coherence to both the Christian story and the story of other faiths in the community as resources for cultural understanding and personal growth.
As an academy, we are committed to the values of:
These values are used to determine the policies and practices of the academy.
The academy ethos takes a whole-child approach to education in which every student is given opportunities to develop their knowledge, skills, understanding and their open-mindedness. Central to this is spiritual development, which will give students the self-belief that will enable them to improve their basic skills, and attain standards at KS3 and KS4 in excess of normal expectations. The academy ethos will be realised through the following:
- Developing open-mindedness and taking spiritual development seriously. The discovery of value and possibility beyond self will be reflected in the nature of the every day interactions that take place in the academy. They will be developed through a range of experiences that students and staff can draw on to better understand themselves and their relationship with others and the wider world. These interactions and relationships are characterised by truth, justice, forgiveness, generosity and respect.
- Personalising the curriculum and academy experience for each student. Personalisation will be achieved through the careful use of data and mentoring to ensure programmes are tailored to meet students needs. The academy will explicitly teach personal, social and thinking skills that allow students to manage their own learning and gain independence.
- Fostering a culture of inclusion in which students of every background are welcomed, nurtured and developed and every student is personally supported in their lives. This commitment is inspired, informed and underpinned by the core Christian values of truth, justice, forgiveness, generosity and respect.
- Partnering with other schools, colleges, the local authority and the wider community. These partnerships will provide the support and range of opportunities that learners need to succeed. The academy will work with the local community to enhance social cohesion and to encourage life long learning.
The staff at the academy will create excellent opportunities for the spiritual development of students. Their relationships, based on the values, will create an environment that enables spirituality to flourish. Working with staff to develop their individual and collective understanding of spirituality and how it can be developed, will be an important aspect of the professional development plan.
In addition to this investment in staff, the academy will organise itself to maximise the opportunities for spiritual development. Spirituality will:
- Inform the vision and exercise of leadership throughout the academy by:
1) championing the importance of spiritual development in a crowded list of priorities;
2) encouraging and enabling staff to express their vocation in serving students and;
3) recognising the talents of each individual through distributed leadership and creating opportunities for students to take responsibility in the life of the academy.
- Be central to the students experience of the curriculum (informal and formal) and the way it is taught which will provide intentional opportunities for spiritual development and reflection through:
1) a holistic curriculum;
2) physical pursuits, endurance and perseverance;
3) the appreciation of beauty and wonder;
4) team membership and group learning;
5) discovery, experimentation (Eureka!);
6) collective worship, prayer, reflection, discussion;
7) questioning and challenging.
- Be developed intentionally. This does not mean programmatically – meaning cannot be forced on any individual – but equally, cannot be left to chance and circumstance. Ways of assessing whether individual students have been given a range of meaningful opportunities, which allow them to develop spiritually will be explored; perhaps using “can do” and “have experienced” statements;
- Be enriched by the values that will underpin behaviour for learning for students and staff (truth, justice, forgiveness, generosity and respect). These values will be exemplified through:
1) the way in which students, staff and guests interact with each other. Students and staff of all faiths and none will be expected to be concerned with the spiritual development of each other, and behave accordingly;
2) the use of Achievement teams as described in academy organisation;
3) mentoring and nurture groups to create and sustain close personal relationships;
4) all school policies.
- Underpin the academy’s relationship with families and the local community. The academy exists to serve students from the local community and so will strive to:
1) be responsive to the particular needs of each student and their family
2) support families and carers in being good parents;
3) provide facilities and resources to the local community;
4) draw on and contribute to the wider Church community in the area;
5) inform the way in which the academy is designed and organised to ensure:
6) inspiration through the built environment;
7) Space and time will be given for quiet reflection;
8) Opportunities for informal group interaction are given in circulation areas.
The academy’s specialisms will be sport (including games, dance and physical education) and science. Both subjects will provide many opportunities to develop students’ spirituality through:
- Individual and team performance;
- Celebration of personal success and of others;
- Creative expression and an appreciation of beauty;
- Experimentation, observation and discovery;
- Awe and wonder;
Personalisation means treating every student as an individual and seeking to develop that individual as fully and as profoundly as possible. It means responding to their learning needs by creating provision that is appropriate whether it is academic, personal & social, moral or spiritual. Accordingly, the academy will:
- teach a skills-based curriculum alongside subject-based knowledge that will enable the students to enjoy their learning and achieve economic well-being. This will emphasise; basic skills (literacy, oracy, numeracy, ICT), thinking skills, learning to learn and personal and social skills (teamwork, self-management, empathy), citizenship and ethics and spiritual development;
- use theme/project days, community service and other cross-subject learning opportunities to stimulate teamworking, discussion, synthesis skills and civic awareness and enable all students to make a positive contribution;
- to pursue a range of personal and group learning experiences that build their independent and team learning skills and encourage safe and healthy living;
- explicitly teach students to learn from each other through collaboration, discussion and mentoring;
- use qualitative and quantitative measures to inform both summative and formative assessment for learning techniques to ensure that all students achieve;
- work with students to guide their learning and development;
The vision for personalisation is further elaborated in the curriculum statement.
The academy will foster a culture of inclusion in which students of every background will be welcomed, nurtured and developed. This commitment is inspired, informed and underpinned by the core Christian values of truth, justice forgiveness, generosity and respect.
The admission criteria will ensure that students will come from the community around the school irrespective of their ability or their beliefs. They will be placed in tutor and teaching groups according to their learning needs and be allocated a mentor to support them to be healthy and safe, to enjoy and achieve, to make a positive contribution and to achieve economic well-being. All students will have an entitlement to a learning environment that will give them access to the curriculum and that addresses their individual learning needs. All staff will be engaged in continuous professional development so that they are excellent practitioners and can deliver the Academy learning entitlement. Special educational needs staff will contribute to this entitlement through support in the classroom, training for staff and additional provision for students.
Inclusion is more easily achieved when the student body gains a sense of ownership for the organisation and daily life of the academy. This will be achieved by developing the student voice through a variety of opportunities, which will include:
A student learning council for each year group which will mirror the staff achievement teams;
- Issue based focus groups;
- Peer mentoring;
- Student leadership and ambassador roles;
- Sports leadership programmes.
All academy policies will be quality assured for inclusion and their contribution to the every child matters agenda.
The academy will work in close collaboration with the local community, other education providers and the local authority. Relationships with parents will be focussed around Academic Review Days (ARDs) and Consultation Evenings for each year group. We will use this opportunity to:
- ensure parents understand their child?s progress, their learning objectives and the ways in which they can support their child;
- agree the PLP for the student for the next term and beyond;
- facilitate parental engagement and participation.
In addition, half-termly updates on student progress will be sent to all parents and they will have the opportunity to meet with subject teachers, at least, once a year. Particular information and discussion evenings will be organised so that parents will be clear about option processes, the requirements of courses and guidelines about supporting students at each Key Stage. Courses in parenting skills and success through adolescence will be offered on a regular basis.
Parents will be encouraged and supported to play a role in the life of the academy in other ways. Family learning will be offered as part of the wider community engagement strategy wherever demand can be created; basic skills, English as a Second Language, ICT, dance and sport will be the initial focus. The academy will build on existing good practice, working with families through a range of activities (e.g. the Sports Partnership). Information will be available to parents in a variety of forms including remote access using varied technologies with appropriate safeguards. This will include attendance, achievement tracking and curriculum data relevant to their child. The academy will seek to use a range of events, venues and staff to engage parents (and potential parents e.g. of local primaries).
To ensure that academy students have access to a broad curriculum, particularly in relation to the 14-19 agenda, the academy will be active partners in local consortia arrangements by working with the Local Authority and other schools and colleges in Scunthorpe and the surrounding area.
The vision for partnerships and working with others is further elaborated in the working with others statement:
- is open to discovering values from beyond their immediate experience of life and to being changed by what they discover;
- has the spirit to persevere, show moral courage and represent their values;
- is motivated by the love of others, who accords importance to the views and needs of other people and who draws on this in their relationships with others;
- empathises with others, sharing their joys, pain, distress, success or failures;
- serves others, and seeks fulfilment through service;
- can appreciate beauty and the wonder of the world around them;
- is motivated to ask and seek answers to the ultimate questions of the human condition.
Opportunities for spiritual development will be found across the whole curriculum, in the nature of the interactions between people, the approach to learning and teaching and the range of experiences, both routine and exceptional, that are offered to students and staff.
The Local Authority vision for BSF establishes the Diversity Resource Base for North Lincolnshire at the Academy. The academy supports this development and is committed to working with the LA to provide inclusion and diversity support to students, families and other schools.