Our Academies

The Discovery Academy

Our largest Academy opened in September 2011 and moved into a new £25 million accommodation in September 2013. Student numbers are increasing and attainment for all students is improving steadily. The highly qualified and committed staff follow the ‘mission statement’ of Expect Excellence. Steady improvement was validated by Ofsted in 2016 with good judgments for teaching, behaviour and leadership. In 2017 we are very proud that Discovery was the most improved Academy in the City.

“The quality of teaching and the curriculum have improved significantly. Both suit the needs of pupils and accelerate their progress.”

“Governors are relentless in their drive for higher standards. Their support and challenge are effective in improving current standards.”

“There is a clear sense of equality and inclusion in the school. Diversity is recognised and valued. This encourages harmony in the community in which the school is located and in the wider area. Pupils told inspectors, ‘Everybody is welcome here’.”

Excel Academy

Holden Lane High School converted to become the Excel Academy in March 2014 and has consistently been one of the highest performing academies in Stoke-on-Trent. Student numbers are increasing rapidly as the success of the Academy has led to many years being oversubscribed. It is the school of choice in the north of the city and is housed in new build and refurbished buildings.

The Academy was inspected by Ofsted in November 2016 and maintained a ‘Good’ judgement and is focused on becoming an outstanding provision.

“Expectations of staff and pupils are high. There is a strong team spirit across staff at all levels in the school and they are very committed to the school’s ethos of ‘Pride and Respect’.”

“Excel Academy is now the school of choice for an increasing number of local parents and, consequently, it is now oversubscribed and has large cohorts in lower year groups.”

“The great majority of parents who responded to Ofsted’s online questionnaire, Parent View, confirmed that their children make good progress in school and that they would recommend the school to other parents. One parent wrote, ‘I am very happy with my child’s education. My child enjoys school and is happy to attend Excel Academy. I couldn’t wish for more.’”

Maple Court Academy

Maple Court is a large primary academy with over 400 pupils located in the Bentilee area of Stoke-on-Trent. Pupils historically enter the Academy with very low literacy and numeracy skills.

Since it became an Academy in 2014 standards have steadily improved. As a result the Academy achieved a good grade in its 2016 Ofsted Inspection. Governors have supported significant investment in buildings and facilities over the past years creating a stimulating learning environment.

“The College Academies Trust (Alpha Academies Trust) has set a clear vision for the academy to provide an excellent quality of education for its pupils. The trust and the local governing body hold leaders rigorously to account for delivering this strategic plan.”

“The College Academies Trust (Alpha Academies Trust) sets a very clear vision for all its educational providers: to champion the life chances of learners in the community it serves. This vision is systematically implemented in Maple Court Academy. As a result, pupils now receive good-quality education in a safe environment in which their best interests are uppermost.”

“The approach to teaching is very inclusive. The individual challenge, support and feedback given to pupils ensure all groups learn equally well in lessons. For example, disabled pupils and those with special educational needs are well supported in lessons, and so learn as well as other pupils.”

Stoke Studio College

The two Manufacturing and Design Excellence (MaDE) Studio College were established in 2012 and 2013 offering high quality vocational pathways for students aged 14-19 years. Most pre-16 students join from partner schools in the Trust, whilst post 16 students join from across the City. MaDE was judged ‘requires improvement’ in 2015.

“Leaders’ actions to improve attendance are effective. Attendance is above the national average.”

“Students spoke to inspectors very enthusiastically about their studies. They behave well in lessons, say that they feel safe and benefit from highly productive relationships with both staff and their classmates.”

“Students receive good quality guidance, care and support from personal coaches. This enables students to review their progress, and discuss their plans for the future.”

Reach Academy

Reach Academy was established to give the students in Stoke-On-Trent the very best in Alternative Provision. It is an Alternative Provision Academy that is now situated on two sites in Longton and Burlsem having moved from Trent Vale. Longton site caters for students in years 7,8 and 9 and Burslem site caters for students in years 10 and 11. The Academy opened its doors to students in September 2018.

With facilities to cater up to 120 students aged 11-16 at any given time, the Academy is a safe place of learning for those who for whatever reason have become disengaged from mainstream education. The Academy delivers a broad and balanced curriculum designed to enable all students to leave the school with the same academic currency as any other student attending an outstanding mainstream school.

Wider Federation

Three schools in the City are federated to the Trust. Sneyd Academy and Birches Head Academy are located in the North of the City. This enables the schools to access a range of services provided by the Trust whilst remaining a Local Authority School. All three schools have recently received academy orders to convert as Academies within the Trust.

In total, over 2,500 students aged 4-19 years are currently on roll in our Academies. Together with the wider Trust federated schools, the numbers of students supported by the Trust extends to around 3,600.

We employ approximately 330 staff across the Trust.

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