Vision & Ethos

Moral purpose

We strive for equity – to provide exactly what each learner needs, maximising their potential and fostering an unwaveringly positive outlook that is healthy and vibrant for all.

 

                          Be yourself. Be brilliant.

Our Vision

… is to support all vulnerable learners, raising their aspirations through high quality engaging education which empowers and liberates their futures.

At The Keystone Academy, we believe that:

  • Learning should be exciting and purposeful
  • Every student should have the opportunity to reach their full potential, whatever that may be, regardless of their abilities, needs, disposition or background
  • Neurodivergence should be celebrated and seen as a strength
  • Nurturing the whole child prepares them for success and happiness in school and life
  • Students learn best in a safe and respectful environment
  • We can overcome challenges and achieve great things through collaboration

We believe our approach to education will ensure that all students leave Keystone Academy happy, well-balanced, life-long learners who are well prepared for their future beyond school.

By nurturing our students to acquire a repertoire of skills and knowledge anchored around their personal pathways, we will support them to progress towards high quality post-16 destinations.  We will adapt to individual needs and provide a bespoke curriculum for academic, vocational as well as social and emotional learning.  This well-rounded approach will support and encourage all students to achieve their highest possible outcomes, enabling them to realise their hopes and dreams.

Principles and values

The key principles to achieving our vision and approach are captured in the YES Trust’s overarching goal to help everyone embrace and experience positive C.H.A.N.G.E by promoting a positive attitude and the ability to succeed in life:

  • Challenge yourself – Through bespoke teaching pathways we help all students challenge their ability, fostering accelerated progress no matter their starting points. Giving students clear pathways to improvement destinations in all areas of personal growth (academic, vocational, personal, social and emotional).
  • Help each other – Though all academies serve different cohorts and needs within their student bodies, we are committed to helping all achieve their true potential. Within each academy there is the explicit view that we are one community working together to benefit all. Together we learn, challenge and succeed.
  • Aspire to be great – No idea is a bad idea, and through our academies we foster curiosity and creativity. Our individual academies all have innovative models of delivery, which help every young person find their niche so they aspire to be great.
  • Nurture your potential – With a rich and deep curriculum in every academy we foster individual talent, stretching them to obtain higher qualification in their respective educational fields
  • Grow as an individual – We focus on each student’s skills and interests to help target specific study on progression into further / higher education, training and / or employment. With access to internal and external career days, all our students are equipped to make informed choices when they move onto their next step.
  • Enjoy learning – It is important to invigorate every student to love education so they can become confident lifelong learners. All our academies foster this in students inspiring them through well produced educational content and curriculum models, educational visits and guest speakers, allowing each student to realise they can succeed and will be a success.

Students are placed at the very core of all we do. All approaches are child centred, ensuring that each student can maximise their potential through a bespoke and tailored approach in an environment and climate which enables each and every individual to succeed.

Throughout the Academy we employ ‘First Quality Teaching’ which encompasses and builds upon the highly effective planning and skilful design of appropriate learning activities combined with a robust and effective system of tracking student progress, identifying gaps in learning and providing quality, timely intervention. Planning is sequential, based on prior learning, revised and tailored as each student progresses; the curriculum is broad, balanced and relevant, constantly reviewed to ensure it reflects the needs of the cohort and allows pupils to make maximum progress. Curriculum mapping details intent, implementation and impact with high quality schemes of work at all Key Stages providing the basis upon which a wide spectrum of distinctive teaching approaches, strategies and techniques can be applied to planning and teaching to meet the needs of all students across the Academy.

Student engagement is key to the learning process; we urge and empower students to articulate their ideas, develop their understanding and critical thinking skills by actively promoting discussion and participation within a learning environment which is safe and secure for each individual. Working with neuro-diverse/developmental students requires constant evaluation, reflection and review, so that individuals are regularly assessed to identify gaps in skills, knowledge and understanding in order to provide bespoke intervention tailored which will allow them to make progress.

Our focus is on Stage rather than Age so that we develop a curriculum which is continuously reviewed and allows a personalised approach to learning which is matched to students’ individual aptitudes, interests and dispositions; there is therefore a more holistic approach to developing the knowledge, skills and understanding of all students.

We are determined to provide a much-needed, specialist provision with an effective curriculum for students who have previously struggled to find much if any success.

Emotional Well-being and Resilience: In order to create a highly focussed successful provision, every detail of the Academy’s education plan has been developed to support the whole child. Within the academy we will offer dedicated mental health counselling, a variety of support therapies including speech and language as well as education psychology and bespoke parental support to make sure as many elements of a child’s life can be supported through informed practice. We also draw on our extensive experience of trauma informed teaching, known successful education strategies, and recognised education pathways that have successfully led to exceptional outcomes for all learners within the trust from those at risk of permanent exclusion through to high end bespoke individual 25-hour SEN curriculums.

We will be pioneering in our approach to whole-school emotional intelligence coaching and support, working closely in tune with any current developments within Shropshire local authority and moving on to helping the local authority meet the needs of all its children local through first-rate education as a focused joined-up approach. Furthermore, where ever possible we will develop close connections with the LA’s TMBSS and the NHS to help identify those students in need of immediate ‘triage’ to help prevent further trauma i.e. self-harm or exclusion.

ALL students get the support needed to become emotionally healthy, and to grow both personally and socially, by means of detailed ILP’s and a mix of in-house and linked support services.

Staff support students during social development times, encouraging appropriate social interaction, and working informally on interpersonal communication. Lunchtimes are a particular opportunity for students to bond and peer mentor/support one another. This develops a supportive, self-regulating cohort of positive role models, growing in confidence and communication skills. Our cohort may well have issues with confidence and self-esteem, requiring staff to create a positive environment, encouraging inclusion and participation. Love of learning is encouraged by belonging, feeling safe, and feeling respected throughout school. Staff acting fairly, respectfully and being excellent role models helps guide students to take ownership of their own behaviours and learning. Deploying a restorative approach to behaviour and offering a clean slate each day shows how overwhelming emotions can be dealt with and helps model how learners can develop coping strategies and thrive.

The Behaviour policy will clearly and consistently deal with situations positively and in a restorative way (this is an underpinning principle of the trust). The systems adopted by the academy will allow for parents/carers to track their child’s behaviour around school and in class, see what work their child is producing in class and communicate with all staff from admin to the Headteacher and local governors, all in real time throughout the school day. We pride ourselves on open and transparent communication with all stakeholders.

From the outset of KS3, students will be encouraged to work independently and develop organisational skills. There will be high expectations of behaviour and attitudes to learning to prepare students for standards required in mainstream education, the workplace and wider world. Older students will be given opportunities to take on further responsibilities such as independent travel planning, representation of the academy at events and becoming a student leader, focusing on a particular aspect of school development.

To allow students to spend vital time with peers in caring, supportive and informal settings, the extra-curricular programme will be integrated into a slightly longer school day, a half-termly Saturday programme; further supported by an Easter/Summer school club. At KS1/ KS2 & KS3 the range of activities will reflect the preferences and personal interests of students, at KS4 more of this time will be used for engaging with careers’ opportunities and wider educational advancement, but not to the detriment of PSED.

The bespoke curriculum for both academic and vocational learning allows and encourages ALL students to progress towards high-quality destinations.

The curriculum structure proposed enables students to achieve their highest possible qualifications both academically and vocationally, allowing them to gather a repertoire of skills and knowledge anchored around personal pathways. Students will develop positive learning habits – a basis for effective lifelong learning – when they are able to make links and identify patterns which are transferrable across all areas of the curriculum as well as everyday life.

Independent learning is a strong feature of all courses at KS4 in preparation for post-16 study and positive destinations, with students experiencing a broad and balanced SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-dependent) curriculum, accessing the same learning as their peers in mainstream where ever possible but in the effective environment set by the academy. It is vital that students become able to make informed choices for their next steps, and are encouraged to be inquiring about learning, themselves, their teachers and peers.

All students have an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) incorporating regular target setting and reviews. The Keystone Academy will foster close relationships with parents/carers bringing them into our learning community striving to maintain 100% online parental engagement, allowing parents to see student work / talk to staff through our parental portal. Progress reporting is facilitated through drop-in sessions, coffee mornings, formal reports and through regular correspondence/advice/classes on how to support their child. This set-up will form the basis of a vibrant parent partnership to help improve the Academy.