About Us

Welcome to Attleborough Academy. Whether you are a parent searching for the best school for your child, a member of the local community, a visitor from another school or organisation, a student or parent/carer looking for help and guidance or you are considering applying to work at the Academy, I hope that you will enjoy finding out more about us.

About Us by Principal Neil McShane

Attleborough Academy (AA) is an inclusive, friendly and effective learning community with high aspirations and a reputation for innovation. Excellent relationships between students and staff are at the heart of the ethos of the Academy and are often commented on by those who come in to visit.

The Academy is a hardworking and caring community of people with high standards and high expectations. Our core values use the word CARE as an acronym.

They are:

  • Commitment
  • Acknowledgement
  • Respect
  • Excellence

CARE therefore has a genuine meaning within our community as we want the Academy to be a place where these values are seen in all aspects of our work together. There is a strong sense of unity here whereby relationships are built on respect, kindness and genuine mutual support. I ask all students to give unconditional positive regard to each other no matter what.

Our students are our greatest asset. We normally have mixed age tutor groups and there are student leaders within each form who take a prominent role in the leadership of the Academy. Our team of Prefects in Year 11 and Sixth Form Presidents provide younger students with role models for behaviour and learning. At present, however, due to our current Covid prevention measures, we are organised into year group ‘bubbles’ with class leaders providing peer leadership.

Our vision is simple:

  • To be the best we can be
  • To have aspirational, happy and successful students
  • To have inspirational, happy and successful staff

For a student to be ‘successful’ though, we believe it is far more than just attaining results. Whilst, obviously, we recognise the great importance of qualifications, we are not just a ‘results’ factory. We take our roles as educators very seriously and so it is our aim to assist parents and carers to educate the ‘whole child’ into a thoroughly decent human being – such that when they leave us, they are able to compete in what we predict will be, for them, a globally competitive and challenging world but also that they are a friendly, respectful and admirable person and a conscientious citizen.

In order to educate the ‘whole child’ our excellent staff give many outstanding ‘extra-curricular’ opportunities for our students. I can honestly say that in all my years of being in education, I am working with the best set of staff I have ever worked with and I feel privileged to lead them. Their commitment and dedication to our students is admirable and totally genuine and sincere. Every year they organise and supervise a huge number of local, national and international trips and events. Please do have a look at the Gallery and Videos section of this website and also follow the link to our Facebook site and Twitter Feed which give you a flavour of the many outstanding ‘extra-curricular’ opportunities typically offered here.

We have high expectations of our students. Our expectations are quite traditional. We expect students to be punctual, well-mannered and well presented. We expect excellent behaviour and attitudes in lessons and we support this through our Student Support Team who work closely with students and their teachers in achieving a positive and effective working environment. The Student Support Team form an important link with our parents and carers and the whole community as we recognise that home and the Academy have to work together in a productive and genuine relationship of harmony and trust in order for our students to flourish.

“It takes a whole village to develop a child”

Old African Proverb

Student ability levels on intake are average compared to other schools nationally and students make good progress from a variety of starting points. Our GCSE results in Summer 2019 put us, again, within the top third of all schools nationally for progress. This is particularly pleasing because for me, this is the true measure of any school as it measures the progress starting from when each student enters the Academy after Primary school to what they achieve at the end of Year 11 – i.e. the value we add to the child.

We work hard to challenge all students to do their very best and make the most progress possible whatever their starting point.

In the past, we achieved the nationally recognised award for our work with Gifted and Talented students. Before conversion, as Attleborough High School, we were the first school in the Eastern region to achieve this award and the only school to have been re-accredited. We were also recognised as a specialist college for Mathematics and Computing. Even though Specialisms are no longer in vogue, the legacy of our Specialism has impacted positively across the Academy. Our ICT facilities are extensive and continually developing. They allow us to deliver exciting lessons which appeal to a variety of learning styles. Our sporting facilities are also continually developing and we achieve high levels of success at area, county and national levels in sporting activities.

The Academy was originally built for 250 students and we are now approaching 900 students. Our student roll has risen significantly over recent years and we have worked creatively with our buildings to develop high quality teaching areas to accommodate this growth. We have twelve impressive ICT suites, large playing fields, a recently renovated gym and assembly hall along with a large sports hall which we share with the community. Attleborough, as a town, is proposed to grow by a further 4000 houses over the next ten years and we therefore have exciting and innovative draft plans in place to provide even better facilities for educational, technical, sporting and community facilities on our site. We have just completed the first stage of a four stage  Master Plan, developed with Norfolk County Council. In September 2020, we moved into our new Reception Building at the front of the site. This includes a new Drama studio and three Art studios along with Student Support facilities, new Student and Visitor Receptions and a Leadership suite. We are now working on the plan for stages two and three which will be a new Sports Village/community facilities and a new Sixth Form Centre.

Our Sixth Form currently have a base in a purpose built study centre but are also integrated into the main Academy. We offer a wide range of Advanced Level subjects, BTEC Level 3 courses and an ‘Access to All’ (A2A) course that provides a stepping stone between GCSE and Level 3 courses, apprenticeships or employment.  We are most proud of our recent initiative for all Year 12 students to spend at least one hour per week involved in a volunteering programme. Working with the Lighthouse Charity, we have seen students flourish and grow through their work with local community organisations such as care homes, Primary schools and other charities in our area. Our students have made such a difference to the lives of others through this volunteering. The feedback received has been truly humbling. All Year 12 students also  carry out formal work experience during the Summer term with the aim of experiencing possible routes in their future careers. Our future will, therefore, offer strong opportunities for all students whether they wish to take a traditional highly academic pathway or a technical or vocational route. We are proud to be part of that journey.

We are now a proud member of the Sapientia Education Trust (SET) having transferred in June 2020. The Trust was established in 2016 with the purpose of bringing like-minded schools together to work in partnership to deliver a world class education to pupils in Norfolk and Suffolk. The term Sapientia comes from the logo of the founding school, Wymondham College, and means wisdom.

The Trust believe that collaboration and partnership work helps raise standards and so we will benefit particularly from our close proximity with Wymondham College and Old Buckenham High School, as sister schools in the Trust, to enhance the educational provision and opportunity for students in our local area.

Attleborough Academy is an Academy with ambition. We are committed to continuous improvement and we have an outstanding teaching and support staff who all genuinely care for the education and progress of of all our fantastic students. There already exists a great spirit here and so the impending growth of the Academy and the challenges and opportunities that will go with it make Attleborough Academy a very exciting place to work and learn.

Mr Neil McShane
Executive Principal 

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