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?
The main admissions route for the Academy is non-selective and follows the standard admissions policy within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. This means that places are allocated according to proximity to the Academy and there is no selection on the grounds of ability or religion. Applications are made through the Royal Borough, and online applications should be completed through this site: https://www.eadmissions.org.uk. The closing date for applications to RBKC secondary schools for September 2021 entry is 31 October 2020.
KAA also admits up to 18 students who are able to demonstrate an aptitude in Performing & Creative Arts (PCA) through an aptitude test. The first nine of these places will be offered to students who qualify for “pupil premium”. Our annual assessment day for the PCA aptitude tests will take place mid-October each academic year. The test consists of three sections: Music, Dance and Drama. These tests look at raw aptitude in these areas and are not something that your child needs to specifically ‘revise’ or prepare for. Each test will last for around 20 minutes; therefore, applicants will be required for 60 minutes in total. If your child qualifies for the pupil premium, it’s vital you bring proof of this to the assessment day. The academy will then post home the results of your child’s performance in each test. In this letter we will indicate whether you should apply through the PCA Aptitude route or via by the normal admission route. For further information about the Performing Arts aptitude admissions process please visit our PCA admissions page.
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 4pm to 4.45pm / 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. 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.
Kensington Aldridge Academy is a Performing & Creative Arts (PCA) specialist academy. We admit up to 18 students (10%) of our annual Year 7 intake to pupils who are able to demonstrate an aptitude in Performing and Creative Arts through an aptitude test. The first nine of these places will be offered to students who qualify for “pupil premium” and who score highest in the aptitude test. This safeguard ensures the socio-economic background of students coming via the aptitude route will reflect that of the wider school. The second nine offers can be for pupil premium or non-pupil premium students – they will be offered on the basis of the score in the aptitude test only.
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 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 age range does the Academy serve?
The Academy is co-educational academy for 11 to 18-year-olds.
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 Kensington Creates inside the Academy to help students and members of the community develop their business ideas.
Do the sponsors benefit financially from the Academy?
No. Aldridge Education 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.