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Historically, the academy had specialisms in Sport and Health Sciences. We still support these subjects and endeavour to offer a wide range of opportunities in them. We also have Enterprise as an additional area of focus.
The tangible central point of our enterprise thinking is HOPE, our social enterprise. HOPE stands for Helping Others, Promoting Enterprise.
We raise money through the creation of high quality artefacts developed and made by students. The money goes to charity and is used to improve the life chances of others less fortunate than ourselves. The value of this work is multiple:
- Students gain proficiency in skills which equip them for the workplace
- Students understand the standard needed in a high-quality outcome which has value in the wider community
- Students develop their empathy and awareness as a global citizen
- Others are supported with their core needs
We constantly seek to build the robustness of this business, its remit and its impact and experienced staff including those who have run their own businesses previously, work with students in partnership as we do this.
Additionally in Enterprise, we seek to build entrepreneurial skills in our students. These include decision-making, problem-solving, presentation skills, risk analysis, self-confidence and independence. Our key skill focus at the current time is resilience – learning from mistakes, normalizing error and developing a growth mindset.
Further, we aim to build the capacity to achieve well in class through engaging in enterprise education in the classroom. For us, this means:
- Thinking/behaving like artists in Art
- Bringing in industry or taking students out = real world applications of learning
- Critiquing each others’ work; being equipped to do this properly (see Ron Berger ‘An Ethic of Excellence’)
- A sense of enterprise – making money/alternative gain for self or others – a win-win situation
- Working with local businesses
- Demanding high standards and doing things better than the norm
Lastly, we do various other things to support enterprise and financial management, such as:
- Natwest Bank, supporting all students to open a bank account and earn rewards to it
- Enterprise dropdown days
- Summer holiday work experience opportunities for year 10
- Year 12 2-week work experience placements
Our engagement with Health Sciences covers the full spectrum from academic study to individual wellbeing.
We have strong provision academically for Physics, Chemistry and Biology to A level as well as Sport and Fitness extended diploma, Psychology and Sociology A levels and Health and Social Care at A level and BTEC extended diploma. Students leave the sixth form and go on to a wide range of university training in the health sciences.
Through our partnership with the Evelina Children’s Heart Organisation whom we support through HOPE, we have entrance to internships and other opportunities in London hospitals.
Our Health Hut provision is the hub for a range of other provision, including:
- Virtual Babies programme
- Wonderful Me programme
- Peer mediation and mentoring
- Sex and Relationships Education
- Support groups
- Relaxation and meditation
- Health-related support on topics such as allergies, healthy eating, diet, self-image etc
- Mental health support
We regularly support the Evelina Children’s Heart Organisation with their Christmas party for families with children having heart conditions and sixth form students support their other events throughout the year.
Sixth form students run a Health Fair once a year to educate younger students in a wide range of health topics which are particularly relevant and current for young people.
Sport and Fitness
We run a range of extra-curricular sporting activities on a regular basis throughout the year and work in partnership with a range of coaches to do so.
We offer community sporting opportunities out of hours through Harris Fitness, our community leisure facility. This is open till 10pm on weekdays and all day Saturday.
We survey students on sporting opportunities they would like to have and aim to offer these subsequently.
We celebrate National Sports Week every year and aim to give every student a taste of a sport they have not previously tried. Examples include boxing, horseriding and archery.
Sports staff train students to be sports leaders and to support festivals and competitions for younger students. They also run our Loan Zone, offering students the opportunity to do something healthy and fun during their breaks.
The academy aims to move students on to club-level competition and to take part in tournaments and leagues where possible. Our year culminates in the Harris sports day run across the whole Federation and held at Crystal Palace National Sports Arena.
Our Handball team (U15s) have been national champions for two years running – 2013 and 2014.