Frequently Asked Questions
We have summarised here the main questions asked by parents and carers at our Autumn Open Evenings. We hope the answers provided are helpful to prospective students and parents.
1) How do admissions work?
Entrance to the academy is based purely on distance from the school – there is no banding or aptitude test, or any other form of selection based on attainment or ability. On arrival students will be grouped into different attainment bands, but we are not selective on entry.
Applications are through the Royal Borough. Online applications are encouraged through this site: https://www.eadmissions.org.uk. If you are applying from Hammersmith & Fulham, Brent, or Westminster please go through you home borough.
NOTE: The academy has a priority area but all parents can apply – even those outside the priority zone or borough.
2) What is the exact Curriculum at KAA?
The table below shows the current number of lessons each week:
|Subject||Number of weekly lessons||Subject||Number of weekly lessons|
|Mathematics||4||Art and Design||1|
|Modern Foreign Languages||2||PSHE||1|
|Compulsory Subject||Subject Options|
|English - AQA||Art - Edexcel|
|Mathematics - Edexcel||Computer Science - OCR|
|Science - AQA||Dance - AQA|
|Core PE (not examined)||Design & Technology - AWA|
|PSHE (not examined)||Drama - Eduqas|
|Food & Nutrition - AQA|
|French - AQA|
|German - AQA|
|Geography - Edexcel|
|History - Edexcel|
|Music - Eduqas|
|Physical Education - Edexcel|
|Psychology - AQA|
|Religious Education - Eduqas|
|Statistics - Edexcel|
3) What does the Enrichment programme involve?
From Monday to Thursday formal lesson finish at 3.50pm and students have the opportunity to attend Enrichment lessons (extra-curricular clubs) from 3.50pm to 4.30pm / 5pm. On Friday we finish early (at 2.55pm) and there is no enrichment.
To see the latest enrichment timetable, visit our Enrichment page.
Do you have to pay to send a child to this Academy?
No, academies are state schools and they are completely free of charge.
How many pupils will be admitted each year?
In total 180 pupils will be admitted each year.
What does the Academy specialise in?
Aldridge academies have a focus on entrepreneurship, developing in students a state of mind which strives to solve problems rather than accept defeat. It provides context for the learning of core subjects and is integrated into all areas of Academy life. Attributes such as determination, passion, risk-taking, problem-solving, teamwork and creativity are encouraged through lessons, enrichment activities such as after school clubs, the rewards system and our work with the broader community.
In keeping with the sponsors’ commitment to developing a curriculum that makes learning relevant and provides skills for life, the Academy’s specialism is performing and creative arts. This part of the borough is rich in its vibrancy and enthusiasm for the expressive arts and the Academy will contribute significantly to the cultural life of the community through this specialism.
How are admissions arranged? Are they based on proximity to the Academy?
The Academy will be a local school serving the local community and will adopt the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s admissions criteria. There is no selection by ability, gender or religion. Admissions are based on locality – an admissions priority area exists as part of the admissions criteria. This does not exclude parents outside the area but ensures it is first and foremost a neighbourhood school. The postcodes included within the priority areas are W10, W11, W12, W14 and a small area of W2.
How is the Academy able to deliver a full sports curriculum?
The Academy offers a full sports curriculum in line with other state schools. The Academy benefits from a modern sports hall, a multi-use games area, and shared facilities at the leisure centre. In addition, other off-site local sports facilities are fully utilised, further building community links. The Academy itself has the facilities to offer opportunities ranging from gymnastics to basketball, and table tennis to fencing, as well as a five-a-side football pitch.
What provision does the Academy provide for special needs education?
The Academy welcomes local students, including those with special educational needs. Children of all abilities will be able to benefit from the new Academy.
In addition, the ASSC (Autism Spectrum Specialist Centre) is a unit within the academy that provides specialist provision for students with social and communication difficulties, including autism and Aspergers syndrome. The centre provides specialist staff, including teachers and trained teaching assistants. The purpose of the provision is to enable students to participate, progress and achieve both in the centre and alongside their peers in mainstream lessons.
The centre currently provides four Year 7 students, this provision will grow up to twenty students from Years 7 to 13 when the academy is full. The centre is funded by the Royal Borough and run by the Academy. Admissions to the centre is through the Special Educational Needs team at Kensington and Chelsea, based on need and suitability of the centre for each individual child.
What will the age range be at the Academy?
The Academy is co-educational and will grow to eventually accommodating 900 11 to 16-year-olds. From 2016, a sixth form will also start with a single year intake and will grow to up to 240 students.
How can parents get involved in the Academy?
We hope that all parents will want to get involved in the life of the Academy and play a part in the success of the school. A Principal Designate has been identified and we expect to be able to make an announcement on this shortly. One of their first priorities will be to define the many ways in which parents will be able to get involved.
Is the Academy available to the community?
The Academy plays a full part in local life and facilities such as the sports hall, dance studio and theatre are available for students, adults and community groups to use outside of school hours.
Dedicated entrepreneurial areas or ‘pods’ are located in the Academy to help students and members of the community develop their business ideas.
Do the sponsors benefit financially from the Academy?
No. The Aldridge Foundation is a not-for-profit charitable organisation.
Why is this an Academy and not just a regular school?
Establishing academies is the Government’s preferred method for funding schools in the UK. To qualify for financial support from the Government for this school we needed to ensure that it was an Academy.
Academies were introduced in 2000 to bring a distinctive approach to school leadership by drawing on the skills of their sponsors and supporters. They are an integral aspect of the Government’s strategy to raise education standards in disadvantaged and challenging areas.
Academy status also gives the school greater freedom to promote enterprise and innovation while offering students the opportunity to specialise.