Vision & Ethos

The Raise Academy will work constantly to provide excellence for every student. With a highly-trained, specialised team, we will support the entire cohort’s needs, particularly focusing on those students with mental-health issues, needing a safe, but aspirational, environment to recapture an often lost passion for learning and creativity.

‘Raise’ represents far more than just a name for a school.  It neatly summarises our vision for the Academy, and expresses the ethos for education we strive to provide; an ethos focused on positive achievement and success at every stage.

Raise – Self-Esteem: Student-centred education.
Raise – Ambitions: Specialist curriculum; engages, inspires and achieves.
Raise – Self-Belief: Individual support plans engendering emotional resilience.
Raise – Outcomes: Successful learning; leads to positive destinations at post-16

Ultimately we plan to raise all learners to a level they can sustain achievement, contribute to local communities and wider society, be proud of their outcomes and strive or better life destinations.

These four core values are deliverable with the suggested staffing structure and budget. The plans will be driven and overseen by the YES Trust providing the capability and capacity to develop an excellent school. The LA specification proposes that students would join +Raise, in its first 2 years, At KS3, the focus turns to the development of literacy and numeracy skills across all areas of the curriculum. The breadth and depth of learning increases and students start to develop greater interest in option subjects and useful life skills, such as cooking. At KS4, students follow an individual learning pathway, through our ‘webbed curriculum’ over a broad range of ELC and GCSE qualifications; the most-able access a full Progress 8 offer, gaining relevant qualifications to support post-16 destinations. Progression across the curriculum is tracked and monitored, with whole-school data collated every half-term; starting points are identified by a thorough initial assessment

Each student is the centre of their education, making the experience as personally tailored as possible and providing the right environment for all to succeed.

Throughout the Academy we employ ‘Quality First teaching’, building upon the effective planning of learning and skilful design of learning activities, and the efficient and effective tracking of student progress, which is explained more fully in section D2.  Planning is revisited as each student progresses, and the curriculum is methodically adjusted to deliver efficient steps of progression. Following high-quality schemes of work at all Key Stages, ‘Quality First teaching’ draws on a wide repertoire of teaching strategies and techniques closely matched to the specific needs of the students. We urge students to articulate their ideas, understanding, and critical thinking, by actively promoting engagement and discussion. Our current experience of SEMH needs and AP has highlighted the need to assess individuals throughout this process and specifically target further identified gaps in skills, understanding and knowledge.

We continue to develop and extend our approaches to the curriculum and our learning offer, through a personalised approach to learning. We closely match learning with students’ aptitudes. A common theme is the focus on ‘Stage’ not ‘Age’, whereby knowledge, skills and understanding are considered using an overview of ability stages.

We are intending to provide a much-needed, specialist provision with effective curriculum to students who have previously struggled to find any success.

Emotional Well-being and Resilience curriculum: In order to create a highly focussed provision, every detail of the Academy’s education plan has been developed in collaboration with students, parents, and experienced professionals.  It draws on the experience of existing research, known successful strategies, and recognised qualifications to create an inspiring educational experience for every learner. We will be pioneering in our approach to whole-school emotional intelligence coaching and support, working closely in tune with current developments within Local Authorities (Halton and St.Helens) – eg, the new CAMHS self-harm pathway, any emotionally healthy schools initiatives such as ones we have already implemented in our current schools. In addition, we will develop close connections with medical needs teams and the NHS which will help all students get the best-available therapeutic and mental health support needed to become effective and resilient communicators (expanded in D1).

Personal and Social Development curriculum (PSED): The curriculum aims to develop relationships with students based on mutual trust and respect, engaging interest and participation in activities, experiences, or on issues, by being rooted in personal experience. It develops inclusive behaviour by involving young people actively in their own development. It further facilitates creation of lifelong learners, who access the wider world appropriately, through encouragement and by allowing reflection on personal progress in social skills, emotional intelligence, and self-efficacy. Reflection affirms learning and promotes confidence and self-esteem. All programmes of PSED result in specified outcomes, which, if they cannot be measured, can at least be identified and recorded through such assessments as Boxall profiles and PASS.

ALL students get the support needed to become emotionally healthy, and to grow both personally and socially, by means of detailed ILP’s and a mix of in-house and linked support services.

Staff support students during social development times, encouraging appropriate social interaction, and working informally on interpersonal communication. Lunchtimes are a particular opportunity for students to bond and peer mentor/support one another.  This develops a supportive, self-regulating cohort of positive role models, growing in confidence and communication skills. It helps teach how to work with others and be respectful members of the whole school and wider community.

Our cohort may well have issues with confidence and self-esteem, requiring staff to create a positive environment, encouraging inclusion and participation. Love of learning is encouraged by belonging, feeling safe, and feeling respected throughout school. Staff acting fairly, respectfully and being excellent role models help guide students to take ownership of their own behaviours and learning. Deploying a restorative approach to behaviour and offering a clean slate each day shows how overwhelming emotions can be dealt with and helps each individual better cope and thrive.

Behaviour policy will clearly and consistently deal with situations positively and in a restorative way. To allow students to spend vital time with peers in caring, supportive and informal settings, the extra-curricular programme will be integrated into a slightly longer school day, a monthly Saturday programme, and additionally be supported by an Easter/Summer school club. At KS3 the range of activities will reflect preferences and personal interests of students, at KS4 more of this time will be used for supervised homework / educational advancement, but not to the detriment of PSED.

From the outset of KS3, students will be encouraged to work independently and develop organisational skills. There will be high expectations of punctuality and conduct to prepare students for standards required in the workplace and wider world. Older students will be given opportunities to take on further responsibilities. eg: becoming a student leader for a particular point in the school development plan (expanded in D).

The bespoke curriculum for both academic and vocational learning allows and encourages ALL students’ to progress towards high-quality destinations.

The curriculum structure proposed prompts students to achieve their highest possible qualifications both academically and vocationally, allowing them to assemble a repertoire of skills and knowledge anchored around personal pathways. Students will develop positive learning habits – a basis for effective lifelong learning – when they are able to make links and identify patterns which are transferrable across all areas of the curriculum, and eventually life. Independent learning is a strong feature of all courses at KS4 in preparation for post-16 study, with students experiencing a broad and balanced SMART curriculum, accessing the same learning as their peers in mainstream. It is vital that students become able to make informed choices for their next steps, and are encouraged to be inquiring about learning, themselves, and their teachers and peers.