Aims of the project
In our RSA Academy classrooms young people are asked to be creative, imaginative and practical, are challenged to be the best, and are encouraged to show initiative, enthusiasm and leadership skills.
We will achieve our ambitions by securing:
Excellence in learning
Pupils who are creative and turn their ideas into action
The development of skills and networks for the future
Creative, resourceful teachers providing challenging and stimulating teaching
Increased impact, locally and nationally
Background and goals
We were born from the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, more commonly known as the Royal Society of Arts or the RSA. The RSA has a history of developing ideas and projects to improve people’s lives and we were set up to help schools with that mission.
The Headmaster, John Towers, Chairs the RSAA Board, usually meeting at RSA House in London.
He also leads on a Chairs Executive group, once per term, to support all Chairs of Governors from the 8 Schools currently engaged in the project.
Our approach is based on a partnership between the RSA and the schools in the RSA Family of Academies. RSA Academies operates as an umbrella trust with a multi-academy trust and standalone schools. This means that the individual schools and local multi-academy trust within the group are able to share ideas and provide support and challenge to one another, whilst also retaining the autonomy and flexibility to take decisions that meet the needs of their own local communities.
The RSA Academies team sits at the heart of a powerful network of people and organisations who, by collaborating effectively together, have the potential to improve the life chances of children attending our schools and influence education policy more widely.
RSA Academies’ use this network to impact in three key ways:
Directly deliver programme that support the standards and distinctiveness agendas. During 2018/19 we will focus on a small number of high profile events funded directly by RSA Academies, for example Festival of Arts and Creativity and Takeover Day, and also seek external funding for larger scale projects that involve the RSA Academies as part of a wider group of schools
Facilitate school to school support, challenge and networks in the areas of both standards and distinctiveness. Our focus in 2018/19 will be to ensure that the distinctiveness is reflected in the curriculum as well as in enrichment activities, and on reaching greater numbers of children and teachers by delivering more projects in schools with large groups of pupils, rather than in one-off, off-site events
Trial new approaches and share our findings: During May-August 2018 we will be evaluating the comprehensive approach to mental health project, and then working with the RSA to share our findings and producing a toolkit for other schools to use to be launched during autumn 2018. We will also work to secure external funding to extend other small scale projects to other schools, including the Opening Doors to business project that has run in Redditch and to extend our approaches to social action and pupil leadership from secondary to primary schools.
The eight schools in the RSA Family of Academies are all in the West Midlands. We are built around principles of democracy and collaboration and see ourselves as a ‘Family’. RSA Academies is working with one first school, one primary, two middle schools, one high school and three secondary schools. We have the complete age range from 4-18, giving an RSA Academies’ influenced education to nearly 5000 pupils and 700 staff. Our schools are:
Abbeywood First School
Arrow Vale RSA Academy
Church Hill Middle School
Ipsley CE RSA Academy
RSA Academy in Tipton
Sutton Park Primary RSA Academy
Frequency and duration
The Chair is a three years post with termly board and related commitments.