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Boston Spa - Headteacher

Christopher Walsh – Principal

The opportunity to educate other people’s children is a privilege. It brings with it a great responsibility to provide an exceptional all-round education as we aim to prepare the students of our academy for fulfilment and success in their adult lives. At Boston Spa Academy we take this responsibility extremely seriously. Central to this responsibility is our care for the individual and our pride in the warmth of a community in which all our students feel valued.

Boston Spa Academy is a happy and harmonious place. That sense of fun and enjoyment is a key foundation stone upon which success is built. We see it as our fundamental responsibility to bring out our students’ talents, to broaden their interests and to develop their personal qualities. We aim to develop and foster confidence, the ability to persevere, kindness and rectitude; to enhance communication skills; to embrace creativity; to encourage teamwork; and to instil an open-minded and outward- facing mentality so that our students are equipped to make a really positive contribution to their wider community.

We begin 2019/20 with three great causes for celebration, our exceptional examination results at both GCSE and at A Level, the opening of new post 16 facilities after a £1,000,000 investment and the development of a new performing arts strategy.

Our examination results are exceptional, with our post 16 results in the top two of the city every year for achievement, and in the top 20% nationally for progress. At GCSE our indicative P8 is 0.44, with 78% achieving passes in both English and Mathematics.

In September we open our new post 16 facility, Elliott Hudson College Boston Spa. This brings together two high achieving providers to transform the post 16 landscape for our community. It is a genuine collaboration of excellence.

In the performing arts we have established a brilliant team who are revolutionising the curriculum and the extra curricular offer. In addition to music and drama lessons our children are participating in ensembles, choirs, soul and samba bands, Shakespeare plays and a musical production. We offer a broad peripatetic offer across percussion, keyboard, strings brass and woodwind. In addition we are unique in the area in also being able to offer opportunity to undertake the London Academic of Musical and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA) qualifications as a part of our curriculum.

The development of the performing arts will complement our already exceptional extra-curriucluar programme, which includes cultural visits to Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Poland, the United States, and in 2020 Nepal. Our sporting opportunities are unparalleled, with competitive opportunities in rugby, football, athletics, cricket, rounders, boccia, karate, rowing, volleyball, basketball, tennis, Gaelic football and table tennis.

Of course, Boston Spa Academy achieves all of the above inside a partnership of schools within The Gorse Academies Trust which is altering the educational landscape unrecognisably and for the better across the whole of the Leeds City region.

A website and prospectus can only capture a little part of our story, and you should feel welcome to make an appointment to visit and discover for yourself.

If you have any question about our academy or would like to arrange a visit please contact my PA, Michelle Rushton at rushtonm@bostonspa.leeds.sch.uk, and she will be please to advise.

Executive Principal’s Welcome

I am delighted you are taking a moment to read this welcome message.  I have been privileged to work within The GORSE Academies Trust since its inception having been appointed initially to Morley High School in 2005 as Second in Science under Sir John Townsley’s leadership.  In November 2013 I became Principal of The Morley Academy and had the opportunity to work even more closely with Senior Leadership Teams of the other academies within the trust; I am sure you will agree if you have visited that each academy is remarkable in its own right.  It was, therefore, a wonderful moment for me when I found out I had been successful in my application for the role of Executive Principal for secondary education within a trust that has such integrity and a strong moral compass.

Within the trust we are restless in our determination to provide our young people with the highest possible standards in teaching and learning so that they are all fully able to engage with adult life. To do this we ensure there are no barriers or limitations to our students achieving their potential so they are able to reach the highest possible standards of academic, social and personal development.

It is exceptionally important to us that students are able to work in genuine partnership with professionals so that they are empowered to be active in their learning journey and to make informed decisions.  Our students’ happiness now and in the future is always at the forefront of our minds.

I have conveyed to our students on many occasions that I firmly believe the greatest gift we can give them is the ‘gift of choice’. I passionately believe that it is our job to support them in the learning process so that they can acquire the skills they need to be able to learn anything they wish and ultimately to go on to acquire qualifications that allow them to choose their next steps, rather than have avenues closed off to them due to a poor skill-set or a lack of qualifications. We are determined to ensure that every young person emerges from The GORSE Academies Trust with the gift of a formal, academic education which equips them for study at the best universities in the world and to flourish in the most demanding jobs.

Now, more than ever before, our students need to be aware of the power of technology; the benefits it has to offer and the dangers that face those who misuse it. As professionals it is our responsibility to broaden our students’ horizons and give them numerous opportunities to consider and debate social, moral, spiritual and cultural issues. It is our fundamental belief that we must take opportunities with our students to tackle challenging concepts, to ensure they emerge as well-rounded citizens able to construct informed, articulate arguments and make impactful decisions.

As an organisation, The GORSE Academies Trust seeks to utilise our national connections to ensure we stay abreast of educational policy and are well placed to ensure our learners thrive within the ever changing educational landscape. We are committed to working collaboratively to enhance the learning experiences of our students and, ultimately, to facilitate outstanding rates of progress. The trust aims to enrich the lives of all that it touches, providing an environment in which students, parents, carers and professionals work together to explore new concepts and embark upon unique journeys. No one journey will be the same, undoubtedly no journey will be plain sailing, but the secret lies within the sturdy arms of support that our trust provides: a culture which develops resilience through challenge and empowers calculated risk taking for all.

Leanne Griffiths

Executive Principal: 11-16 Education