So what makes Leigh Academy Rainham a unique and first choice setting for children in our local community?

Leigh Academy Rainham will be the first mixed comprehensive school in the area. Providing the MYP, Middle Years Programme, to develop lifelong, engaged learners who are equipped with the skills and qualities needed to globally aware citizens and leaders of tomorrow’s world. We will have a brand new building with specialist rooms and state of the art technology available, running a 1:1 chromebook device scheme with all students having a chromebook. There will also be our wonderful new dog mentor, Brandy to support both staff and students wellbeing!

When does the admissions application process open and is there a specific catchment area? It is only open to year 7?

The admissions application process opens to Year 7 from September 2021, the Academy will grow in size each year. 

The application window will be opening on 7th September until 30th November. All free schools are required to manage applications separately to other schools in the local authority, which means we will have our own separate form that will need to be sent to Medway Council.

It is imperative that you not only complete a form for us but use Medway’s admissions services to apply for other schools in the area or you may be putting yourself at risk of not having a place for your child.  

We have no rigid catchment area but are expecting the majority of our pupils to come from Rainham town to the west of the Academy.

We recognise however the academy is on the border between Medway and Swale Councils and pupils from both areas are welcome to apply, even though the forms go to Medway Council.

What happens if you are oversubscribed / undersubscribed?

If we are undersubscribed, which based on the level of interest is highly unlikely, this has not detrimental impact on the Academy.

Alot of interest has been received through social media and our website and if over-subscribed, which is likely, places will be granted based on criteria which is in line with other Academies in the area. This criteria can be found on our Admissions Policy on our website. 

Will all the building work be completed or are there plans to complete periphery work once pupils are in?

The expected completion date is June 28th with handover to the Trust at this point for IT services to be fitted ready for opening. We are very confident this completion date will be met, our contractors have made excellent progress and are accustomed to meeting tough deadlines and will work the hours needed to ensure we are ready to open. There are two other academies opening in the Trust this year that our contractors have built and despite at one point being more than 2 months behind, they have both been completed during lockdown and are open!

1 of the 3 football pitches will have been sewn and ready to play on with the other 2 being sewn for the following Spring.  

If, due to unexpected circumstances the build does over run the necessary planning is in place to overcome any potential challenges. Leigh Academy Rainham will be a three story building so we would make sure the floors are completed one by one, enabling students to arrive safely, carry on with their learning while the building is being completed on other floors.

Will children be given a map of the school?

A pupil friendly maps will be provided to all students. Plans have already been shared on our social media to show the layout of the building and we will provide something similar for pupils. 

The map and all key school information will also be available via a portal on Chromebooks for instant access by pupils

Will pupils have access to the building outside of school hours?

There will be opportunities for individual study, after school clubs and sporting activities at the academy to help support families as long as this falls within the hours that staff are on site to supervise. Unlike primary schools, secondary schools do not provide supervised ‘breakfast clubs’, however the canteen will be open for breakfast in the morning should pupils arrive early and wish to eat.  

The Library will be a potential resource that may be available to pupils beyond lesson times.

What transport options will there be for pupils to access the new academy?

Due to the current cohort falling within 1.6miles of the academy it has not been deemed necessary by Medway and Swale to extend any of the current bus services for the academy. It is expected that the majority of students will walk / cycle or use the current public buses that drop off within an 8 minute walk.

How will traffic to the site be managed??

Staff will always be out on duty supervising the start and end of the day to support with traffic management. There will be a staff in the car park for the beginning and end of the school day to support pupil drop off using the one way system.

There will also be a new roundabout outside the Academy to support in managing traffic on the main road and pedestrian crossings for pupils to cross safely.

There are ample facilities for storage of bicycles for pupils who may wish to arrive on bike from the local area.

What will the uniform look like and where will we be able to buy it from?

Our uniforms have now been agreed and will provided by our partner, Brigade Uniform.  They run an online service and year 7 parents will have access to an on school site sizing session during the first summer to understand the measuring process or buying online. The uniform will be compliant with the Government expectations in terms of how many items of clothing are branded and the overall cost. The Brigade website can be found here.   http://www.brigade.uk.com/

Samples have been shared on our social media and through newsletters.

What are the timings of the school day and term dates?

The precise timings of school day will be shared on our website once they are finalised, however they will be similar to other schools in the area starting around 8.30am (with pupils arriving from 8.15) and finishing at approximately 3.10pm. We will finish at 2pm on Wednesdays for staff professional development. 

Term dates have been published on our website once these have been finalised, however we can confirm that there will be a two week holiday in the October half term.

How many forms and colleges will there be?

Based on an expected model of 180 pupils per year group there will be 6 forms – 2 per college with a maximum of 30 students. The form groups for year 7 will be different mixes of children to the classes in which they are taught their academic lessons to ensure pupils have more social interaction.

Will there be a grammar stream or any form of setting?

There is no defined grammar stream at Leigh Academy Rainham, but we will deliver on a curriculum that caters for pupils at all points on the academic spectrum. There will be high levels of stretch and challenge as part of the MYP curriculum, developing subject scholarship, as well as ensuring teachers have the training and toolkits needed to scaffold and guide pupils who need more support.

Subject classes will be set by ability wherever possible, so that the pace and challenge is appropriate to enable every student to meet their full potential and receive the necessary educational support to be successful.

What will the curriculum offer be?

A full range of subjects will be delivered to all students through a broad MYP curriculum.  In addition to the core subjects of English, Maths and Science, all pupils will study the Ebacc subjects of MFL, Geography and History. We will have a rich Technology and Arts offer, in addition to Sports and IT to ensure that pupils with a range of creative talents are able to flourish.

These subjects will be delivered on a fortnightly timetable with one hour lessons. 

What is the IB/MYP? Why has it been chosen and which year groups will follow it?

Marie Thérèse Mouret was a french educationalist who wrote an article called ‘is there a way of teaching for peace?’ after the second world war. Following this a group of educationalists in Geneva then came together to design the International Baccalaureate programme in late 1960s.

Not only does this programme ensure pupils receive a broad curriculum offer but its Learner Profile prompts pupils to be Caring, Compassionate, resilient, critical thinkers,  who are culturally aware and possess lifelong learning skills. Pupils shape their learning through structured inquiry, teaching them to ask questions and not take information at face value which is so important in our current world of social media.  

MYP lessons consist of quality first teaching that encourages pupils to ask questions,  explicitly teaches pupils how to learn and delivers content in specific global contexts. It is still tailored to pupils individual ability but promotes subject scholarship

What Year will the students start their options?

Pupils will study the MYP programme at KS3 which will provide them with the foundations needed to select their GCSE options ready to begin in year 10. Pupils will have a choice of traditional GCSE and vocational BTEC subjects as part of the broad curriculum offer.

What will the extra-curricular offer for pupils be?

It is our intention to deliver a rich extra-curricular offer with various sports clubs eg. football, rugby, dance, cheerleading alongside Arts, Gaming, Languages, Cooking, Crafts and Science clubs depending on the skillsets of the staff that we recruit.  Ultimately if there is enough interest in various activities and groups we will aim to provide them as long as we have the teachers with the skill sets to do so!

Where we cannot we will aim to look at local groups who may wish to come and deliver on site to children at a small cost.

What are the costs of lunches and what sort of food will be available?

Cucina is our Trust wide caterer and they provide high quality food that is prepared daily from fresh. The average cost of a main and dessert for this year was £2.30 and this included menus like Katsu curry, stir frys, roasts, chilli and fish and chips!

How will you staff the school and ensure that pupils are receiving a high quality teaching in all subjects?

As a new school we will had a highly competitive recruitment programme through which we have employed fully qualified, subject specialist teachers for all subjects and there will be a very clear teaching framework which ensures high quality teaching across the Academy. Monitoring of teaching and learning will be an ongoing process throughout the year 

Regardless of their level of experience, all teachers will receive weekly professional development opportunities based on the most current evidence based research and practices – this is why the day ends early on a Wednesday so we can ensure that teachers receive high quality ongoing professional development.

How will you communicate with parents and what will you provide to support them in monitoring their child’s home learning and engagement?

As an Academy we will use a platform called Bromcom which has a ‘My Child in School’ app that parents can access information through. In addition we will of course have parent evenings and newsletters will be sent to all parents, along with the Principal’s Blog on the website.  Teachers will also be able to communicate with parents about their child’s work through Google Classroom which the students will have access to from home as well in lessons. 

How will you support pupils who have additional needs?

The Academy will have its own SENCO who will take lead on SEND support across the Academy. It is recognised that quality first teaching is key to supporting any child with need through swift and appropriate interventions and in addition the Academy will be able to provide some teaching assistant support in some lessons. Pupils will have their own 1:1 Chromebook device which will support them in lessons to work at a pace appropriate to them, in addition to providing scaffolding and access to more resources. 

Teachers will have regular CPD and all teachers will be equipped with the skills and knowledge to support children with a range of needs including dyslexia, ASD, ADHD, Dyscalculia and anxiety.

The Academy will also have a Dog Mentor, Brandy, who will be on call to support pupils emotional wellbeing. 

Wrap around care, safeguarding and anti-bullying?

Leigh Academy Rainham will run on a culture and ethos of respect and integrity, while approaches to discipline will be traditional this will be implemented with warmth and understanding of the fact children have very different personal circumstances. 

There will be Designated Safeguarding Lead and dedicated members of staff to provide pastoral support to students in the college model. They will have an understanding of safeguarding and protecting pupils wellbeing. Through the Leigh Academies Trust we also have access to educational psychologists who will be able to support pupils in need. Our anti-bullying policy will be available on our website which will be in line with other schools within the Leigh Academies Trust