The staff within the Sixth Form at Accrington Academy are very pro-active in seeking out exciting partnerships with many institutions that allow us to offer enhanced services to our students. We have built up strong partnerships within the higher education sector and have developed a powerful mentoring programme.
Lancaster University Mentoring:
This is the Academy’s third year of being involved in this programme. Students are given the opportunity to be mentored by a student from Lancaster University who they meet three times throughout a 6 month period and can request mentoring support via email at any time. This culminates with the student visiting the campus in July for the awards day. All students who participate in the programme are offered an interview at Lancaster University. This has been really successful in helping to motivate students onto studying at a leading Russell Group university and forging effective partnerships with a local HE provider. This has opened up other opportunities, particularly with the PPE faculty.
Students were offered the opportunity to participate in a two-day taster course provided by Edge Hill University. The aim of the two days was to provide an insight into a teaching career. Day one focused on Outstanding Teaching and Learning with students given the opportunity to look at lesson planning, creative assessment for learning strategies and how to work towards levels of attainment. Day two looked at Managing Behaviour for Learning, where students were given real-life scenarios and how to handle these. This session also looked at the barriers to learning that students face, including Additional Needs and social-emotional wellbeing. Again, the students involved were invited to Edge Hill for a campus tour and encouraged through the UCAS application process.
University of the First Age (UFA)
University of the First Age work with the Academy, advising and training young people to support their peers and it focuses on helping students become effective leaders through their Students Today, Leaders Tomorrow programme. This intensive programme allows students and staff to attend a number of workshops to identify the need and skills required to help others, either in 1-1 support sessions, peer mentoring, Saturday Sixes, student-led booster sessions or student councils. The aim is for students to help to empower one another.
Young People Service (YPS):
The YPS provide much needed support to a number of our vulnerable students whether it’s through being supported by a case worker or just given advice and guidance on future opportunities. This has led to a fantastic partnership with their case workers to help and guide students in terms of budgeting, housing, relationships and substance misuse, amongst other things.
National Citizen’s Service (NCS)
All Sixth Form students are enrolled on the NCS programme as part of their induction. It is a government-led initiative, which seeks to give young people the opportunity to make a difference and develop valuable skills. We have a bespoke programme agreed with NCS to ensure that this runs in the autumn term and focuses on 3 phases: Phase 1 involves a residential, living with your team at an outdoor activity centre, where students get to know some amazing people and enjoy some quality time away from home. In teams, students get the chance to take on some adrenaline-fuelled challenges like rock climbing, canoeing, hiking and archery. Phase 2 focuses on developing skills for life within a team setting. This could involve learning to cook, budgeting or meeting organisations and important people from our local community, whilst developing valuable skills such as teamwork, leadership and communication. Phase 3 is social action – the part that most students really enjoy! All the fun and inspiration from the first two phases means they’re ready to step up and deliver their very own social action project. Plan; fundraise; make a difference! It is billed that the teams have the power to change the world around them. At the end of the process, all students go through a prestigious graduation ceremony where they are presented with certificates and awards.
United Learning University Fellowship
As we are part of United Learning, students have a range of opportunities to be involved in national projects. One of these is the University Fellowship. The Fellowship is a ground-breaking initiative for groups of sixth form students with outstanding leadership potential to become agents of social change, both within their own schools and wider society. The programme seeks to provide participating students – known as Fellows – with a set of leadership and project management skills that will not only offer a highly impressive addition to UCAS forms or job/apprenticeship applications, but also engage their social curiosity and support them in making lasting social impact. Fellows selected for this programme will be expected to deliver a leadership project which promotes higher education, either in their own school or another nearby. Fellows on this strand will be paired with a trained mentor, both to help them in the planning and delivery of their projects, and to support the Fellow in achieving their own aspirations to attend the academic institution of their choice. Students are expected to go through a rigorous recruitment and selection process and then are involved in a residential in the Easter break and regular meetings with mentors in school.
East Lancashire Scholars’ Programme
Lancaster University and Villiers Park Educational Trust have partnered together to participate in the East Lancashire Scholar’s Programme. The Academy is one of only 6 schools in Lancashire invited to take part. The four year programme is quickly gathering a national reputation as a flagship initiative that provides a comprehensive pathway to help able students from less advantaged backgrounds reach their full academic potential, gain access to leading universities or other centres of excellence, and to thrive once there.