The Dorcan Academy is committed to serving its local community and places great importance on partnerships with parents, local schools and local businesses. We work closely with our partner primary schools, known as the Dorcan Learning Cluster, to ensure a smooth transition to secondary school. Our transition programme, which is both academic and pastoral, ensures that there is a seamless transition between the primary and secondary phases to enable continuity of learning and progress. Good communication with parents is essential for the ongoing support of students. Tutors provide the main point of contact through the Link Books and via email or telephone. We know that the home-school link is vital for students to make the most of opportunities offered, enabling them to grow into successful young people ready to become confident citizens and contribute to society in the future.
The Dorcan Academy has formed various partnerships, both formal and informal, with other organisations in order to continuously improve the services we offer.
The Education Strategy Partnership (ESP) is a group of 12 local schools who work collaboratively in the best interests of students in the Swindon area. We are committed to improving learning outcomes for over 4000 students on roll in the 12 schools, across all educational phases.
Currently the ESP comprises:
The ESP was formed in September 2017 (inaugural schools depicted in the hands above) and, by engaging only in activity which is high in impact, and operating in a spirit of trust and transparency, we believe it is:
There is very little in the way of formalised bureaucracy or superfluous administration and the only financial outlay for each of the schools is a modest contribution to the costs of an Education Strategy Partner. The Partner is responsible for co-ordinating, planning, recording and celebrating the annual programme of activity.
The core business of the ESP focuses on strategies to improve teaching and learning, but we recognise that to achieve this the well-being of the whole school needs to be nurtured. Thus, there is a good deal of CPD work related to supporting other key stakeholders to directly impact on outcomes.
Current projects include:
What we are not… We are not a Multi-Academy Trust.
Over the past 12 months we have become members of the Greenshaw Learning Trust (GLT) School Improvement Community. Initially, the community was an opportunity to learn from best practice within the Greenshaw Learning Trust, via live webinars led by successful school leaders and sharing of resources. However, the partnership has now developed and expanded into a national community known as ‘Curriculum Thinkers’ where participating schools across the country are able to share the strategies of the most successful schools, facilitated by the GLT. Through this forum we have been able to benefit by having access to a wide range of tried and tested school improvement strategies from some of the most successful leaders, schools and Multi-Academy Trusts, and we are delighted that some of our own outstanding practitioners have also had the opportunity to contribute to the community. It is important that as a Single Academy Trust we have access to the best professional development and being part of this community enables us to do this. Our subject leaders are able to meet virtually with their counterparts in other schools across the country, ensuring that they are continually challenged and supported. Joining the GLT community has been one of the best forms of CPD we have ever experienced.