The Portsmouth Academy is expanding its pupil places to meet the needs of the growing population of Portsmouth, and will offer 250 places to the Year 7 cohort who enter the academy in September 2020.
The building work to support this change is well underway with a new three storey building at the front of the school to house Art, Humanities, Drama, and state-of-the-art new music rooms with a recording studio. During the next academic year, the builders will move inside the school and completely refurbish the Design and Technology rooms, as well as build other new classrooms and a Student Services area to ensure that the new cohort benefit from the best possible facilities.
Research from organisations such as the Sutton Trust has repeatedly demonstrated that when children understand how their brains work, they achieve better academic and personal outcomes than those who do not. This is known as meta-cognition and schools in the Trust respond to this though their ‘Thinking School’ approach.
The increase in pupil places means that should parents choose, they can opt for their child to stay in a ‘thinking school’ from infant school all the way through to sixth form. The emphasis placed on the benefits of an all-through model of education means that pupils at a TSAT infant school such as Moorings Way Infant School, Meon Infant School and Penhale Infant School also gain priority admission to a TSAT junior school.
Children leaving a TSAT junior school such as Isambard Brunel Junior School, Meon Junior School or Newbridge Junior School, are also given a priority preference through The Portsmouth Academy’s admissions policy. This September, 51% of Year 7s entering the school will have come from a Trust junior school. As we have seen at The Portsmouth Academy, staying within a group of schools that have the same ethos can help Year 7s to settle in more easily, and can accelerate their progress. Students can enjoy the benefits of the ‘Thinking Schools’ model the whole way through their academic career.
As an ‘island city’, Portsmouth has a sense of family and community at its heart. The Thinking Schools Academy Trust is committed to enabling its schools to work together in deep partnerships, so as to create an outstanding education for every child. Natalie Sheppard (previously Principal of The Portsmouth Academy), has been appointed as the Director of Education for TSAT Portsmouth schools, and will take up post in September 2019. She says:
“I am enormously excited by this opportunity and have enjoyed meeting all of the staff from our different schools here in the city. My goal is to bring the Headteachers of our schools together to create an innovative model of an ‘all through’ education for those parents who feel that this is the right choice for their child.
“Between us, we will be serving a growing number of children in the city currently standing at 3000. As a Headteacher here for six years, I know that with leaders working together, teachers and support staff working together, and students working together, we can empower everyone to be their best selves. It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes a city to raise a generation! I look forward to building our network of schools and ensuring that we prepare our young people to be able to shape the future of Portsmouth.”