Pride in our schools: Outwood Academy City
Outwood Academy City, in Stradbroke, joined Outwood Grange Academies Trust in January 2014 and is continuing to build on a rapid transformation.
Looking around the school it is clear students and staff are passionate about the school and learning.
It is 2.30pm and the school day has officially finished but there is still a hive of activity.
Every day there are up to 400 students who stay behind for an hour to take part in enrichments. Whether its basketball, gymnastics, art or reading, there is an activity to suit everyone.
Exams officer Kerry Harrison said: “We have up to 400 students an afternoon stay after school to take part in enrichments.
“For every enrichment students take part in they get a pledge and by the time they leave school we aim for them to have 10 pledges.
“It all relies on the volunteering of staff who give up their time to help.”
For pupils in key stage three – Years 7 to 9 – the activities vary, but for key stage four – Years 9 to 11 – the activities are much more academic.
The basketball court is bustling with activity, while in the art classrooms there is a much more relaxed atmosphere. Pupils’ artwork is proudly displayed on the walls around the school – stunning paintings, beautiful ceramics and striking ceramics.
Year 7 pupil Lily Greaves is busy with her artwork portfolio, alongside friend Kasey Marriman-Hector.
Lily said: “I love art and I’m going to try to do it as one of my options. I want to do PE as my first option so hopefully I will get art too.
“One of the others has to be an EBacc subject.”
In a computer room, catering students are busy finishing their work ahead of the exams starting, while in the music department Year 9 student Liam Rollinson is practising on his guitar for his BTEC in music.
Mrs Harrison said: “We start our options in Year 9, earlier than many other schools, so students can take some exams early in Year 10 and then can concentrate on maths, English and science.”
In the maths department, 113 students out of 180 have stayed behind to revise before their exams. The school provides youngsters with refreshments and food in an effort to encourage more to stay behind after the bell has gone.
Mrs Harrison added: “We have maths club on one dinner time a week where we put on lunch for the students who want to attend.
“There is a science club on three mornings a week, like a breakfast club.
“Whenever we get a spare bit of time we put on a club so children can get extra studying. It wouldn’t be made possible without staff giving up their time.
“When exams are on we put drinks and toast on in the mornings to get pupils in the right frame of mind.”