What has Academy status ever done for us?

Readers of a certain age, or with a particular taste in humour, will remember this...


It is with a similar sense of irony that I pose the an adapted question:

"What has conversion to Academy status in May 2011 done for us at Park House?"

Three years ago this week...


Royal Wedding

Three years ago this week, our preparations were focused not on a Royal Wedding but conversion to Academy status two days later on 1 May.

We published this at the time.

Academy announcement leaflet

Click here to read >>>

It set out a vision of what we were hoping to achieve....

So, how have we done?

Our programme of university partnerships has grown significantly, with a range of cross curricular enrichment programmes now established with Oxford, Bath and Reading Universities. And later this term we are launching the 'Brilliant' programme, which will involve groups of students working PhD mentors across a series of Russell Group universities and enjoying 'matriculation' and 'graduation' ceremonies...


Our links with leading edge business have led to the establishment of leadership development programmes with IBM,  the 'Big Interview' careers preparation sessions and Sixth Form Careers Week. Their impact has been reflected in the remarkable achievements of former students such as Sadie Hawkins, whose experience of these programmes was the starting point on her journey to becoming the National Young Apprentice of the Year.

Sadie Hawkins National Apprentice of the Year

Our increased use of students as ambassadors for learning within and beyond of the school was instrumental in our achievement of the 'Inspired By 2012' Award from the Cabinet Office as Games Makers are now continuing to develop as 'Learning Makers'.

inspired by 2012 logo

Our equally inspirational leading teaching practitioners are now working as 'Learning Coaches' across the curriculum, delivering professional development to our own staff - and also those in other schools - so that fantastic learning experiences are translated shared across subject disciplines.

Our extra-curricular programme has further expanded, especially with the inclusion of the Monday afternoon Enrichment Session which includes, from this term, a weekly Duke of Edinburgh Award  slot for students from Year 9.

Our student volunteers, whose leadership skills are enhanced by so many of these extra-curricular programmes, regularly win both plaudits and national awards for their work...

Sainsbury's School Games

Our Year 7 Induction programme, grown out of the 'Being the Best You Can Be' initiative now guarantees all entrants to the school, an inspirational Olympic medalist as a role model and mentor. As my 'Inspiring the next Park House Generation' blog from last September described, Alex Danson fitted that bill brilliantly...

Alex Danson Inspires

Our Wellness Centre continues to develop as a community healthy lifestyle resource ... And 3G AstroTurf consolidates our role as focal point for local sport.

Our freedom to chose new business partners such as ICT consultants Ntegra means that we can introduce new and innovative practices, such as the 'Bring Your Own Device'' mobile technology scheme which begins to roll out next week! Watch this space!

ntegra logo

So, in answer to my question...