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Excellence Academy – Schedule

Autumn 1:

Year 7 – Excellence Academy launch and expectations – We meet the new Excellence Academy students who have been initially selected from Key Stage 2 successes. We outline what it means to be in the Academy and our expectations of them and what they can expect from the school.

Parents and carers invited for a parental launch to inform them of the Excellence Academy philosophy and programme, points of contact and expectations. (Parents can opt out depending upon their child’s needs. Excellence Academy is not compulsory.)

Year 8 – Group session – ‘Equality and diversity’ – Students to attend a workshop held by one of our team looking deeper into equality and diversity in our society. We are to look at the Equality Act, acts of equality and people from history who have fought for equality. A piece of artwork, project or essay will be produced into an area of choice.

Year 9 – ‘Reaching the higher grades’ workshop – Our year 9s will meet with our successful Sixth Form students to discuss and learn how they were successful through their GCSE years. Year 9 is a significant year as they begin GCSE courses and we want students to have the best possible start. Students will explore the skills needed to succeed and produce a handbook of their findings and goals.

Year 10 – Cultural Enrichment visit – This year it is to The Globe Theatre, London. Year 10 Excellence Academy students will be visiting the Cultural Quarter in London this term and visiting the renowned Globe Theatre for a production of Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’. Students are to record a diary of the day and create a blog or vlog of their experiences.

Year 11 – Group session, ‘Target and goal setting’ – Students to reflect upon their GCSE journey so far and identify priorities and goals for the coming year. We discuss how to make targets S.M.A.R.T and how to incorporate that into their day to day.

Autumn 2:

Year 7 – Tutorial session – ‘Settling into Heath Park’ – With discussions with relevant staff, students complete an audit of how their subjects are going, which clubs or societies they have joined and set goals for the next term.

Year 8 – Cultural Enrichment visit – Students to experience and write a blog or vlog about their cultural enrichment visit. Compare their work to year 10’s blog and vlogs from their visit. We will have a showcase of their work.

Year 9 – Tutorial session – ‘Settling into Key Stage 4’ – Audit and goal setting for the coming year and beyond.

Year 10 – Group session – ‘Developing Motivation’ – Students explore personality types, strategies to develop motivation in themselves and others. We will set goals to develop their own motivation. Students will share motivation techniques to peers to showcase learning.

Year 11 – Tutorial – ‘Well-being’ – Year 11 Excellence Academy students will be hosted by staff who outline the importance of their own well-being and how to keep positive and ‘get the balance right’ for their own needs through the difficulty of the next few months ahead. Students will go through writing their own work and well-being schedule.

Spring 1:

Year 7 – Team Building trip – So the year 7 Excellence Academy students have been together for a term now and truly settled into Heath Park. The next step is to build even more confidence and show the strength of working as a team going forward into the years to come.

Year 8 – Tutorial – ‘Selecting GCSE options’ – It’s as though you’ve only just arrived year 8 but it’s time to think ahead to next year when you will begin your GCSE courses! Students will attend a group session followed by a tutorial to discuss the importance of selecting their GCSE courses and which would best suit them. This will be followed up very shortly by year 8 parents and options evening held at the school.

Year 9 – Group session – ‘Opinions of the wider world’ – Year 9 Excellence Academy will spend a morning looking into issues in the community or wider world such as politics and economics. A research project will be carried out on an area of their choice and presented in a showcase next half term.

Year 10 – Group session – ‘Overcoming obstacles’ – Students study the profiles of famous figures who have faced adversity. External speakers will be invited to share their experiences. Students complete a project profiling a famous figure who has faced adversity and how they have overcome it.

Year 11 – Tutorial – Post 16 choices – Year 11 will be making their course choices for year 12. They will work with staff to discuss the best options for them based on their interests and career preferences. We aim that all Excellence Academy students have well informed choice just like all our students, but we want to ensure they are doing courses that will help lead them on to appropriate University study or high-level apprenticeships.

Spring 2:

Year 7 – Group session – ‘Independent Learning’ – Students develop their knowledge of what it means to be an independent learner. It is vital that more able students know how to learn independently when required. Being an independent learner makes them ‘learners for life’ and teaching students these skills and how to develop them has a proven track record in making more able students reach and exceed their high potential. We then encourage them to embed this in their daily experiences.

Year 8 – Group session – ‘Exploring career pathways’ – Year 8 students will have a bespoke careers and guidance session which opens doors to what careers are out there for them and ideas of the pathways they can take to reach these illustrious careers. They will showcase their findings in a student written information page on the school website.

Year 9 – ‘Peer mentoring training’ – We’d like all Excellence Academy students to experience the peer mentor training we have here at Heath Park. Now they are more established here at school, they are old enough to be mentors to younger students. Being a mentor is not compulsory, but the experience of mentor training is highly beneficial.

Year 10 – Group session – ‘Getting the most out of work experience’ – With work experience shortly approaching, year 10 students will attend a session outlining what to look for and goals to achieve throughout work experience week. Upon returning to school, students are to evaluate their time in the workplace and share it with the group in a form of presentation.

Year 11 – Group session – ‘Managing exam pressures’ – GCSEs are just around the corner. Year 11 students have been working hard all year, completed two rounds of mock exams, learnt their areas of strength and areas of development and attended many workshops and interventions after school. Now it’s the real thing and the pressure will be felt. These students have high expectations for themselves and from their teachers. Working on how to manage these pressures is vital to their success. It isn’t always just about work – a balance must be struck between their mental wellbeing and the amount of study they do for them to do their best. This workshop will address such issues.

Summer 1:

Year 7 – Group session – ‘Opinions of the wider world’ – Similarly to the year 9 session earlier in the year, year 7 Excellence Academy will spend time looking into issues in the community or wider world such as politics and economics. A research project will be carried out on an area of their choice and presented in a showcase next half term.

Year 8 – Group session – ‘Role Models’ – Students explore different role models and what it means to be a role model. They are to realise how they can be role models in their day to day lives. They will present an assembly or make a video of their learning for the school.

Year 9 – Tutorial – ‘Preparing for Examinations’ – Year 9 have now spent nearly a whole academic year in GCSE study. This tutorial is aimed at guiding them through how you can prepare and study for end of year assessments. They will write a plan and schedule to help them organise revision for end of year tests and evaluate their performance next term after results are published.

Year 10 – Tutorial – ‘Career Pathways’ – A more in depth look into careers and more specifically, what paths can they take to get to careers they are interested in. Are A Levels required? Is University required? Is there an apprenticeship path? If so, what is the process and how do they get there?

Year 11 – University visit –  A planned school visit to Oxford University and/or other Russell Group Universities will commence this half term to inspire our most able into looking at the most renown education centres.

Summer 2:

Year 7 – Tutorial – ‘Reflection’ – Children will reflect/evaluate their journey through Year 7 and set goals for Year 8. They will showcase what they’ve enjoyed about their first year at Heath Park and what they’ve learnt from their experiences.

Year 8 – Tutorial – ‘Reflection’ – We will be reflecting upon their time in Key Stage 3 and set goals for Key Stage 4. They will showcase what they’ve enjoyed about their first year at Heath Park and what they’ve learnt from their experiences. We will celebrate with a graduation party!

Year 9 & 10 – University visit – A visit to a Russell Group University. Students are to make a vlog or write a blog or article for the school newsfeed on the website.

Year 11 – ‘Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)’ – The successful completion of the EPQ will help our more able students with the next steps in their educational journey. The completion of the project concludes during their time in Sixth Form and is worth UCAS points to aid their applications to university. It will be encouraged that our Excellence Academy take up this opportunity we offer here at Heath Park.