This morning, Swindon Academy and Marlborough College launched a brand new initiative for Swindon; an Academic Stream which will educate the most academically able students in the area.
From September 2016, the new Academic Stream will provide places for 30 students each year to enjoy a highly academic, Marlborough College backed education but based in, and part of, Swindon Academy.
Building on the extensive collaboration that has existed between the two schools over the past 8 years, the Academic Stream will:
- Be a joint working partnership between Swindon Academy and Marlborough College, hosted at Swindon Academy;
- Provide places for up to 30 highly able year 7 pupils each year and continue throughout their secondary schooling;
- Be open to children from across Swindon via the annual Swindon Schools Admissions process and an additional aptitude test held at the end of March/beginning of April each year;
- Provide a highly academic and rigorous curriculum to stretch and challenge the most academically able children in Swindon;
- Be free of charge;
- Be aimed at pupils who consistently achieve at Level 5 or higher in Primary School and who are hardworking and committed to the additional homework and prep need to achieve outstanding academic results.
Speaking at the launch, Jonathan Leigh, Master of Marlborough College said:
“This is such an exciting initiative that we are delighted to be offering with Swindon Academy. For the most academic children, their secondary education should be the launch pad for highly successful careers. This Academic Stream will be a life-changer for those who join it and we look forward to welcoming its first cohort in September 2016”.
Ruth Robinson, Principal of Swindon Academy said:
“Each year across the country, there are a number of highly able students within primary schools who do not fulfill their potential when they transfer to secondary school. We want to address this and, in partnership with Marlborough College, believe the Academic Stream is the way to do so in Swindon. Each year, 30 pupils will begin a different year 7 to other students and be taught a specifically, highly academic curriculum that will meet and challenge their potential as learners”
“Other than in the curriculum they study, Academic Stream students will be exactly the same as everyone else at Swindon Academy and will wear the same uniform, be part of the same tutor groups and enjoy the same enrichment activities. But what it will do is give these students the opportunity to maximise their potential in their secondary education and receive the support they need to go on to the very best world universities”.
Pupils who are currently in year 6 and want to be considered for the Academic Stream will sit an aptitude test. Parents who would like to find out more are being invited to attend the Academic Stream Information Evening on 28th September. There will also be an opportunity for parents and children to visit Marlborough College on 13th October.
Local MP, Justin Tomlinson is a keen supporter of the Academic Stream:
“I met with Swindon Academy earlier in the year to discuss the fantastic Academic Stream. The programme will help a number of bright students to reach their potential though a challenging, yet rewarding curriculum.
“Having attended a school that was bottom of the league tables myself, I am a big supporter of initiatives that provide opportunities to students based on their ability rather than their background.”
Cllr Fionuala Foley, Swindon Borough Council’s Member for Children’s Services said:
“I welcome the proposed Academic Stream at Swindon Academy as this will augment the range of high-quality education available for our young people. This will also help deliver the Cabinet’s newly adopted Vision, particularly Priority Two: to offer education opportunities that lead to the right skills and right jobs in the right places.”