While schools across the country return for another academic year, 52 new free schools will open their doors to pupils for the very first time. To celebrate, we take a look at seven exciting free schools opening this month.
Livingstone Academy Bournemouth
Livingstone Academy Bournemouth is a new all-through school for 4-18 year-olds with a trailblazing curriculum fit for the 21st century, featuring a “future skills” development programme. Partnerships with employers, especially those in the digital industry, are the foundation of an education model which will offer engaging learning experiences, as well as careers guidance for pupils. The curriculum is designed around the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) model, combining knowledge learnt in the classroom with real-world assignments so that pupils are prepared for life after formal education. The school has been established by the Aspirations Academies Trust, in partnership with Ian Livingstone CBE, co-founder of the Games Workshop.
BOA Stage and Screen Production
Part of the Birmingham Ormiston Academy (BOA) trust, BOA Stage & Screen Production will provide an education to young people who are passionate about working in film, TV, online and theatre production. Students will benefit from blended learning combining high quality learning with industry-led projects and work-based training. The aim of the vocational training at BOA Stage & Screen Production is to ensure that every pupil is fully equipped to to enter the workplace, and pursue the career of their dreams. The free school will serve 16-19 year olds in the West Midlands, a region where creative education models of this kind have traditionally been absent.
Cornerstone is a special free school located in Belvedere in the London Borough of Bexley. The school will serve pupils from the ages of 11-19 who have complex social, emotional and mental health needs. Young people will benefit from a specialised learning environment and a high level of therapeutic and pastoral care, to ensure their special educational needs are met. Cornerstone School is the seventh school within the Trinitas Academy Trust, and the first special free school to be established by the trust.
Clover Leys Spencer
Led by the Spencer Academies Trust, Clover Leys Spencer is a new primary school located in Derby. Its EVOLVE curriculum will challenge and stimulate pupils to ask searching questions, shape their learning and enable them to develop into independent critical learners. The curriculum will be delivered with an emphasis on communication, active, and outdoor learning, for pupils to develop important relational values of friendship, tolerance, forgiveness and respect. The school has been established in response to a significant population growth in the area over recent years, and will primarily cater to families from new homes built at Buttercup Leys area of the city.
Prince Albert High School
Prince Albert High School is a co-educational secondary school for 11-18 year olds located in Perry Barr, Birmingham. The free school is the first secondary school to be established by the Prince Albert Community Trust, which already sponsors five primary schools. The school’s motto of ‘pursuit of excellence’ underpins the drive to ensure that all pupils leave the school with a sense of purpose to contribute to, and benefit, from society. The school will use a unique Key Stage 3 curriculum featuring “year teachers”; pupils will be based in one classroom and be taught by one teacher for 70% of their curriculum in Year 7, which will enable teacher to get to know pupils on a deeper level, and support the transfer of knowledge between subject disciplines.
School 360 will offer a new and exciting primary education to families from Stratford. Led by the Big Education Trust, which founded School 21 - a 4-18 school with a reputation for fostering innovation in education - the vision for School 360 is no different. School 360 seeks to offer a comprehensive education that integrates and cultivates the head (academics), heart (growth and well-being) and hand (creativity and problem-solving). The aim of this learning experience is to ensure that every pupil can creatively solve problems and make an impact in the world.
Led by the highly successful XP Trust, XP Gateshead is a brand new 11-16 secondary school in the North East. It is the third free school to open within the trust, and the first school which is located outside of Doncaster. The trust has a particular focus on students’ character growth and beautiful work. Based on innovative models from the US, XP schools offer unique learning expeditions, allowing students to work collaboratively across subjects. This innovative education model has been designed to deepen subject knowledge, and widen skills and competencies for pupils to be successful in the 21st century.