The aims and ethos of The Glasgow Academy
as perceived by its Board of Governors and Senior Leadership Team in November 2011
The aims of The Glasgow Academy are
- To foster a spirit of 'can do, will do' in every member of the community, enabling successful learners, effective contributors and rounded individuals.
- To encourage and assist the individual talents of each pupil to be developed to his or her full potential.
- To develop in pupils the confidence, resilience, knowledge and attitudes necessary for self-fulfilment in their personal and social lives, in continuing education and in their chosen occupations or callings.
- To encourage pupils to be independent, to develop a spirit of caring and responsible citizenship and to become active members of the wider community.
To achieve the above aims The Glasgow Academy
- Provides a broad education which offers a curriculum of sufficient variety, depth and rigour to develop all pupils.
- Ensures that the core subjects and the skills of literacy, numeracy and communication are given due prominence.
- Provides structures and disciplines which enable pupils to study and learn in an atmosphere that is orderly but secure and relaxed, and which are responsive to the needs of individuals.
- Fosters debate and independent and critical thinking, and an interest and proficiency in independent study and research skills.
- Provides the opportunity to participate in a wide range of sports, outdoor education, and co-curricular clubs, societies and activities.
- Nurtures within pupils the qualities of leadership, creativity, teamwork and responsiveness to the needs of others.
- Values the development of character just as highly as academic attainment, sporting or other prowess.
The Academy encourages a family atmosphere by positive discrimination in the admission selection in favour of boys and girls with family connections with the school.
The Academy aims to ensure that all pupils are happily and appropriately stretched and challenged so that they fulfil their potential. It strives to enable pupils to value endeavour, contributing and hard work, and to benefit from support through pastoral care, through the encouragement and development of appropriate study skills, and through the provision of specialised assistance for those who experience specific difficulties in their learning.
The Academy caters for a spectrum of pupils whose levels of attainment may range from a total of four Highers to six or even, in exceptional cases, seven Highers achieved in S5, followed by three or more good Advanced Highers in S6. To maximise the opportunity for pupils to reach their potential the curriculum seeks to enable our pupils to develop the 'four capacities' of A Curriculum for Excellence:
The aims and values of A Curriculum for Excellence are central to the exceptionally rounded education, wide-ranging opportunities and personalisation and choice provided by The Academy. The curriculum at The Academy incorporates outdoor learning and inter-disciplinary learning and follows the following guidelines:
Nursery - S2 A Curriculum for Excellence
S3 and S4 Standard Grade/Intermediate 2/GCSE Art/National 5
S6 Advanced Highers, Highers, AS/A level
Nursery and Kindergarten
Our pre-school facility of Nursery and/or Kindergarten stimulates early learning skills and activities in the company of other children. The benefits of organised pre-school care, guidance and active learning give the children the ideal start to their more formal education.
The Prep School
Pupils develop the attributes and capabilities of the four capacities through a wide variety of experiences and outcomes. In the Prep School these are achieved through the levels: Early, First and Second.
Early level: the pre-school years and P1 or later for some
First level: to the end of P4, but earlier or later for some
Second level: to the end of P7, but earlier or later for some. In Maths especially, some P7 children are likely to be working at the Third level (S1-3).
The experiences and outcomes are grouped under the following headings:
Health and Wellbeing
Religious and Moral Education
Important themes such as Literacy, Numeracy, Citizenship, Creativity, Enterprise, Global Education and Sustainable Development are developed through the above curriculum areas.
All our pupils are encouraged to take part in activities which engage and motivate them, with as many opportunities for personalisation and choice as possible. We look for opportunities to nurture their talents and develop the skills they will need for Senior School, life and work. Teachers discuss next steps with pupils and set targets to enable future success, using their professional judgement and a range of assessments and other evidence to evaluate progress.
The basic skills of sports, music, arts and crafts are taught early and developed throughout the Prep School. We introduce French at P4 (earlier at Atholl and Dairsie) and Spanish at P7.
Senior 1 and Senior 2
During the first two years of the Senior School, English, maths and French/Spanish have the largest share of the timetable, about 121/2% each. Science expands into three separate subjects and time is devoted to history, geography, computing, Latin, modern studies, music, art, personal and social education, religious and moral education and physical education.
In S2 pupils choose one subject from Latin, Spanish, modern studies, craft and design and Arabic.
Senior 3 and Senior 4
All pupils follow the Standard Grade/National 5 programme, sitting the examination at the end of S4, with the exception of Intermediate 2 Chemistry, Hospitality, Latin, Mathematics and GCSE Art and Arabic. English is sat at the end of S3 to permit more time to prepare for Higher. Choosing 8 subjects maintains breadth and ensures that every pupil takes at least one social science. The options are set up in such a manner as to allow one, two or three sciences, and one or two languages. Only a few combinations are not possible.
Senior 5 and Senior 6
Pupils entering S5 usually select five subjects from a wide variety. It is possible to proceed to a Higher in one year in all academic subjects, or to take two years over a Higher in most academic subjects, sometimes taking Intermediate 2 in S5.
S5 pupils attaining university entrance on the basis of their Highers usually take (in S6) three Advanced Highers or 2 Advanced Highers + 1 Higher or 1 Advanced Higher + 2 Highers. Those still to gain university entrance in Scotland take Highers.
In a friendly and supportive environment conducive to academic study there is the opportunity to study in greater depth subjects which may be pursued at university or, for those who are interested in broadening their academic background, completely new subjects. We offer pupils opportunities in a variety of co-curricular pursuits and many opportunities for teamwork, responsibility and leadership that aid the transition from school pupil to young adult and help them develop into well-rounded and valued members of the community, equipped with the life skills to make a success of their study at university and on into their future careers.
In the Senior School Religious and Moral Education is addressed through visiting speakers from a wide range of backgrounds and beliefs, through assemblies, through discussion and debate, and through curricular and co-curricular activity.
The school aims to prepare every child for adult life. Pupils are encouraged to develop their interests, talents and initiative through sports, music, drama and other cultural pursuits, clubs and societies, and social and leisure activities. A wide range of clubs and activities provide pupils with the opportunity to participate in such diverse activities as debating and public speaking, chess, scientific experiments, rowing and skiing, as well as a wide range of individual and team sports, including the principal team activities of rugby, hockey, cricket, tennis and athletics, all of which are supported by coaching, training and physical education.
The development of a concept of service is of great importance. Activities with a strong service element include pupils mentoring other pupils, CCF, the Duke of Edinburgh's Award and the school's charity fundraising.
Through all aspects of school life, pupils are encouraged to develop initiative, self-discipline, a creative and enquiring mind, the capacity to work as a team, and an enthusiasm for self-development, care for and support of others.
Healthy competition is encouraged through inter-House competitions, sport, music competitions and debate.
The school aims to establish and maintain a positive, caring ethos which fosters equality, fairness, mutual respect and responsibility.
Although The Academy has a Christian foundation, assembly provides moral or spiritual leads from a variety of speakers, and pupils and staff from many religious and cultural backgrounds play important roles in the Academy community.
The Academy is a family school offering a comprehensive, flexible and integrated education and childcare service. There is a Breakfast Club from 8.00 am, After School Care until 6.00 pm and a Holiday Club for 50 weeks of the year.