What’s the Big IDEA?
In today’s globalised, digital and social media age we are witnessing an unprecedented pace of change that shapes all aspects of how people relate to one another, how we work, learn and spend our leisure time. Already, Facebook has become “old” – older in fact than our Year 7 students who will join the Academy in September.
Our young people have the world at their fingertips, but they also require new skill sets to thrive and succeed in a constantly changing environment. Like the digital world, education continues to evolve rapidly as new standards and performance measures are introduced. The new GCSEs and new grading system are all on the horizon for our students.
At Wayland Academy Norfolk we approach change with a clear focus on the Big IDEA, rather than rush for quick fixes or knee-jerk responses. Our sense of mission at the Academy is clear: - putting students first, enabling success and building essential life skills.
Every day the Academy is a rewarding and exhilarating place to lead. Working with students through their time at the Academy is a great privilege. Our students in turn inspire others to greater success in the future.
We would like our ideas to move education forward; we are not interested in just following others. We prefer originality. All of this requires students, teachers and leaders to Innovate. We must make changes to previous strategies and initiatives to enable us to predict and stay ahead of change. Like the Academy, students must be willing to adapt as the world around them changes. Innovation is different from invention - we don’t expect the reinvention of education, but rather the adaption of good practice and what is best for our students. Students are great with innovation; they have only ever experienced a world of rapid change. However, we must also support students to realise that creativity is not dependent on technology.
Our dynamic curriculum is designed to stretch students’ imaginations, raise their expectations and enrich their knowledge across all subjects.
Young people naturally seek out new products, ideas and trends in a desire to be the first to Discover something new and of value. We recognise that when students join us, they are their own person. We support this individuality and embrace difference and diversity. Students should be allowed to enjoy the fun of trying things out even if they don’t work and to know the joy of experimentation. Education should always instil a sense of discovery in students; we want students to look for the unexpected and to be willing to search for answers rather than expecting the answer to come easily.
This approach will help equip students for the latest curriculum changes which require students to have a greater than ever understanding of a subject.
We believe that students will only reach their true potential if they feel safe, secure and free to Explore. We focus on providing an environment that enables students to focus on their priorities, like learning, making friends and preparing for life after the Academy.
Students must examine in detail and inquire into their subjects so that they acquire a concrete understanding. They should not only know the answer but also, why that is the answer.
Students will discover what methods and strategies work best for them individually; this alone will make a big difference.
We support this exploration by offering a number of after-school clubs, regular holiday revision and skills training events and we work alongside business and industry to enable creative thinking and planning.
Knowing every individual student is at the heart of what we do because-, our job is to support and encourage them as they grow up during their learning journey at Wayland Academy Norfolk. We encourage students to make their own decisions and be responsible for their own actions. We remain aware that this is a process of trial and error but, we are always on hand to support our students, whatever their needs. At the core of this is the RESPECT campaign. This lays out a very clear Code of Practice for our expectations of students. All of this should Activate students and set them in motion for excellent progress here and beyond, to amazing careers. Students should be willing to collaborate, whilst dealing with the friction, exhilaration and delight that this can bring, and at the same time releasing shared potential.
Our Learning Support team, alongside other trained professionals, also help and support our families and their children.
We pride ourselves on a broad and varied curriculum, we don’t have a one size fits all model. We know that every student is different and that some students may benefit from following an alternative pathway. Our curriculum supports students that will progress to university as well as those that will apply for vocational courses, apprenticeships or employment. Throughout their time at Wayland Academy Norfolk students are being prepared for their next step beyond the Academy.
Provision is available for Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 students at the Academy to complete independent work before morning registration and at the end of the day. Many Key Stage 4 student complete additional GCSE qualifications through after school provision.
Over the past academic years students and staff have worked with numerous charities to raise awareness and funds. Whether it is a small non-profit or a worldwide organisation, charities are a vital part of every community. Charities can change the lives of people in need every day, even the smallest of donations can impact on a community.
Charity work is a vital part of the curriculum as it empowers students’ understanding of the world around them and increases their awareness of issues in the local community and beyond. As part of “What’s the Big IDEA?” we are planning half-termly charity events for local charities. These events will be planned and delivered by our students. The Academy’s newly created Junior Leadership Team will work alongside these events to involve the Student Voice and student councils, whilst maintaining an overview of community projects and charity work.
Face to face communication will always remain vitally important to us. However, we intend to continue to develop or digital connections. We now offer free Wi-Fi to all students and we will continue to encourage the use of phones and develop the use of tablets to support learning.
Parents can access their child’s attendance, progress and behaviour online via our portal.
We share news and successes through a termly magazine with articles and photographs from the many events and trips that students participate in.
The Academy as a whole and many subjects use social media as an informal communication outlet, sharing news, events and updates.
Our mission, then, is to create learning that enables students to Innovate, Discover, Explore and Activate, underpinned by our core value of
Improving life chances through education.
This is supported by our Three C’s Curriculum, Community and Communication