At Phoenix Academy our core belief is that all pupils can succeed if given highly effective teaching and well directed pastoral care. Our mission is to create a school of the highest standards that achieves this through recruiting and training excellent teachers and support staff and in developing a pastoral system that ensures no child is left behind. Our ethos and vision is clear and takes the form of 2 main pillars – the importance of academic study and the importance of co-curricular experiences.
The Importance of subject disciplines at Phoenix
At Phoenix we believe that academic knowledge and the ability to think scientifically is the passport to a brighter future. We therefore place real importance in the study of the academic disciplines and the development of domain-specific knowledge. This means that we believe that all students need and have a right to develop a large body of knowledge that will help them access and make sense of the world around them.
This belief in the centrality of the curriculum to the school experience shape everything we do at Phoenix and the words of Michael Young perhaps best outline why we believe in the importance of a disciplinary curriculum at Phoenix Academy.
“I want to make an argument for a view of school leadership and a new way of thinking about leadership. It places the curriculum – the principles on which we decide what a school should teach ‐ as shaping all the other responsibilities that face a Head teacher....It is a school’s curriculum priorities that convey to staff and students and to parents, (and ultimately, government) what a school’s purposes are ‐ what it can (and cannot) do. Schools are not social work agencies nor can they solve the problems of youth unemployment. So what can schools do that no other institutions in our society can do?”
Schools can teach, and develop understanding, of academic subjects to as wide a group as possible. This is the democratic promise of state education. Therefore at Phoenix we believe that all learners should encounter and wrestle with ways of constructing knowledge and ways of thinking that are above their everyday experiences, and see that academic concepts are different from everyday concepts and ways of explaining the world.
The importance of co-curricular experiences at Phoenix
Whilst we want all of our students to leave Phoenix with the currency they need to access the next stage of their education and have an unrelenting focus on hard work; we know that getting great exam results is only half of a good education and we are determined to deliver as many opportunities as we can for every child to flourish outside the classroom.
- Six Drop Down Days a year - a day entirely off curriculum where the students can explore a subject in depth - but focussing on mastery and extension of a subject beyond the curriculum rather than a whole day of project based learning.
- A dedicated Adventure Learning Programme from Year 7 which includes the Duke of Edinburgh programme for Year 9, 10 and 12 pupils.
- Highly-structured Peer Mentoring and peer reading programmes.
- Deliver compulsory after-school sport each day.
- Put on at least one school play each year.
We organise and deliver all of these experiences as we believe they will help equip all of our pupils with the experiences and habits they need to live a happy and successful life.