Why Work at Atlantic Academy Portland
The Academy became Atlantic Academy in September 2017, joining Aspirations Academies Trust. We are quite unique in that we are a truly ‘all through’ Academy, with all years housed within the same school building. This allows for many opportunities and shared planning chances.
At Atlantic we are passionate about excellence in all aspects of a child’s life, giving students the very best start possible. We have high aspirations, and believe students should:
- Believe in themselves
- Be actively engaged in their learning
- See the connection in what they want to become and what they are doing
- Have disruption free learning
- Have access to a challenging academic curriculum offer
- Not dwell on barriers but seek solutions
We positively encourage you to come and visit, we love showing people around the Academy!
Our success so far
We have witnessed a remarkable turnaround in all aspects of the Academy, with the expectations having immediately raised outcomes. The calm and purposeful atmosphere supports all aspects of learning, the mantra of Work Hard, Be Kind permeates throughout the buildings and into the community. The success and recognition has created growing numbers on roll, and next year we expect both reception and Year 7 to be at capacity. We have year groups of 60 in Primary and 100 in Secondary which helps promote the unique and supportive atmosphere at the Academy.
In 2018, after one year as an Academy:
- Top 13 most improved (based on P8) Secondary schools in the country
- 2nd most improved (based on P8) Secondary school in Dorset
- Best performing school in Weymouth and Portland
- Top 1 % of Primary schools (based on combined KS2) in Dorset
- Top 8% Nationally for Reading
- Most progress, and top performing in reading in all Weymouth and Portland schools, 3rd highest performing school in Dorset.
- Moderated progress in Writing,TOP performing school in Weymouth and Portland, 3rd in whole of Dorset.Top 10% of schools nationally
- Top 20% of schools nationally for Maths – Primary
We have several further mantras that support our vision:
‘100% Every day. No Shortcuts’
‘Excellence is a habit’
‘Climbing the mountain to university’
Feedback from Visitors
‘There is now an air of calm, order and discipline, which was so badly needed, my congratulations for instilling it’
Richard Drax MP
‘Just been on an action tour of Atlantic
Academy wow, what a difference to this
time last year! Feeling positive.’
‘The happiness of my children and the progress they are all making is brilliant. This is purely down to excellent teachers who bring out the best in them as little individuals.’
‘I felt the students growing sense of ambition as I toured the school. The work that you and your staff are doing to raise aspirations and expectations of behaviour are obviously having affect’
Bradley Simmons HMI, Regional Director South West
Work life balance – not burnout
We believe in creating a lifelong career and supporting teachers to achieve this and their own personal ambitions.
- Feedback policy NOT marking policy, allowing for whole class feedback, using a visualiser. Saving hours from NOT having to write personalised comments in every exercise book
- Collaborative planning, centralised shared units of work – carved out planning time
- No written end of year reports – data report 3 times per year
- Homework is standardised to Knowledge Organiser – Practice books, and reading. Removing any marking expectations and detentions set and run centrally by SLT
- Expectation of disruption free learning, high SLT visibility ALL day, focus on students. Allowing staff to teach without low level disruption
- Visualiser (mini iPad) in every classroom – allowing for booklets, feedback, student work etc to be projected – as the teacher decides
- Full equipment and perfect uniform. Checked every morning, students will not attend lessons if full equipment is not present. You will never have to lend a pen, or look for a calculator again!
- Highly visible and supportive SLT, supporting you to keep high expectations
- Very clear and transparent sanctions – all detentions centralised and run by SLT each day. Allowing staff to focus on what really matters – the classroom
- No graded lessons, no high stakes observations. We believe in a coaching approach and ‘leverage leadership’ approach
- No work emails in the evening, weekends, or holidays
Teaching and Learning
We have weekly, short, CPD sessions, focussing on classroom excellence. Heavily influenced by Doug
Lemov’s – Teach like a champion, as well as Making Every Lesson Count, amongst many other blogs and research pieces. We believe the curriculum should include:
- Development of knowledge: Progress in knowing more and remembering more. The future requires the acquisition and application of a wide range of knowledge.
- The ability to apply knowledge: Progress in knowledge being applied in more challenging, relevant and more engaging ways.
- The acquisition of 21st century skills to translate knowledge into actions for success.