When I accepted the position of principal at Gloucester Academy, I was informed that the school was in the process of redesigning its curriculum. While schools often make minor changes and alterations to their curriculum, redesigning one is definitely not a common occurrence. However, as I learned more about the redevelopment, it became clear that this was a positive change and a truly unique opportunity.
For many years, the UK schooling system has been biased toward academically gifted students, placing an ever-increasing importance on achieving the highest grades possible. The result is a reduction in the employability skills of secondary school leavers and a wealth of young people who have been told by the education system that they are failures.
The aim of Gloucester Academy is to become a school that prepares all students for the next stage of their lives, whether that involves further education, an apprenticeship, or a full-time job. That means redesigning the curriculum to deliver a blended offering of academic and vocational learning.
It was clear Gloucester Academy needed to do more to accommodate learners of all kinds and provide every student with a path to success regardless of their interests, appetite for learning, and aspirations. To that end, the school launched its A Different Path to Success campaign to get local businesses and organisations involved in the education and preparation of our students for employment.
Although the campaign is still in its early stages, we have already enjoyed a number of successes and have been building relationships with employers in anticipation of providing these opportunities to young people.
As we continue to redesign the curriculum, and explore how we can better meet the differing needs of our students, we will keep our parents and school community up to date with ongoing communications. If you would like to learn more about our A Different Path to Success campaign, visit The White Horse Federation’s website.
I would also like to invite anyone who wants to contribute to this unique approach to the curriculum to get in touch. There is always a way to help, and we would welcome any offers of support to ensure we prepare all our students for life after school. If you are interested in getting involved, read more about the campaign or contact the school on 01452 428800 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.