Two more primaries join the Burnt Mill Academy
Burnt Mill Academy / Mon 23rd Sep 2013 am30 09:33am
BURNT MILL is taking neighbouring primaries under its wing on its journey to becoming world-class.
Education and achievement at Burnt Mill Academy, in First Avenue, continues to go from strength to strength after once again securing the very best GCSE results in the town this summer.
Despite making incredible progress since becoming a co-operative school – leaping from GCSE pass rates of 56% to 72% to 76% this year, including English and maths – the school has its sights set firmly on further improvement.
Headteacher Helena Mills said: “We have had this success without losing any of our core values of equality, democracy and solidarity. Being a co-operative school means we have a social responsibility. We have a student leadership team who have a massive input into how the school is run.
“We now want to make sure other schools sign up to these co-operative values so they permeate throughout the whole of the town.”
The Burnt Mill Academy Co-operative Trust was set up in December 2011 and so far has welcomed Roydon Primary School and Freshwaters Primary Academy (formerly Broadfields Primary School) to the co-operative family.
The primaries will benefit from the larger back-room services available from their partner secondary school, including finance and IT, so they can concentrate on teaching and learning and raising attainment.
Miss Mills said: “They get the opportunity to be a part of the bigger co-operative network where best practise is shared.
Teachers from within our Harlow network can also be shared and some of the strategies we use in secondary school can be really effective in primaries, too. Basically, we will offer a level of support to the primary schools; we will care for each other so everyone in the network is as good as each other. That is the co-operative value of solidarity; we will stand by each other. If one is weak, we are all weak.”
The links will see primary school children offered free music lessons, a resource often out of reach for primary school budgets. Sport clubs will also be launched and run by Burnt Mill’s many PE experts.
Miss Mills said: “We want every student to have the opportunity to be musicians and to be fit and healthy.
“We are on a journey from outstanding to world-class. We want our children to be competing on the international stage. We have made a commitment to giving our children at least one life-changing experience during their five years with us; that could be our trips to Kenya, China or Canada or through our many other enrichment programmes. We are pushing them out of their comfort zones.
“We have already proven you can raise attainment in very difficult times of a national trend of results going down and holding on to our co-operative values. This is about helping those in need.”
The Trust is also looking to grow its own teachers, with the Teachers for Tomorrow course helping youngsters on the path to being outstanding teachers of the future in Harlow.