At The Dorcan Academy we are on a journey to become an outstanding school of first choice at the heart of our local community. Currently, there are no outstanding schools in Swindon but we are ambitious to become the first one. We believe that in order to achieve greatness we should concentrate on our potential to become better than any other organisation. In other words, ‘Good’ isn’t good enough!’
Our strapline is ‘Aspire to Greatness’, because we are striving for the highest standards, the absolute best in everything so that we become a school of first choice. At Dorcan, every single person is recognised for having their own unique strengths and talents and we believe that everyone has the potential to be great at something. It is not so much an aspiration, but a possibility. All of our students can achieve greatness, and they can choose to be great on a daily basis.
Every year at The Dorcan Academy we have students who achieve between 10 and 12 top grades (9-7) at GCSE. This demonstrates that if your child wants to learn and makes the most of the opportunities on offer here, they can and will achieve as well as students in the top schools in the country! Our examination results have been improving year on year and our progress is now in line with national, however, we are not where we want to be yet and are still aspiring to achieve in line with the top 5% of schools in the country. Our aim is to offer an education as close as possible to that which you would get in a private school – without paying for it! Why? Because our students deserve it. That is why we have a fabulous uniform – we are definitely the smartest school in Swindon!
Recruiting outstanding teachers that really care about ensuring our students receive the best quality teaching possible is my highest priority. We have some fabulous teachers at The Dorcan Academy; teachers that have chosen to work here because they want to make a difference. In my experience, the best teachers are those that can work with the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in society. All our teachers are expected to deliver consistently good lessons through our Principles of Teaching and Learning, which involves both staff and students working together in partnership to achieve success. Teachers plan lessons in detail, taking account of each student, what steps they need to take to improve, and how to achieve it. This attention to detail, backed up by high quality feedback, engages our young people effectively in their learning and is reflected in their enjoyment of lessons.
Ofsted recognised the high quality of our Special Educational Needs provision however, we are also dedicated to ensuring that our more able students, and those with high learning potential make exceptional progress and we offer an Extended curriculum to meet the specific needs of these students.
At Dorcan, we offer a broad and balanced curriculum, with different pathways to suit the needs of all learners, and the opportunity for everyone to achieve the EBacc suite of qualifications should they wish to. All of our students will gain qualifications that are required for entrance to the top Russell Group universities whether they choose to go to university or not; they will be equipped to make that choice. We are passionate about providing a curriculum where all subjects are valued and we promote music and the arts, sports and technology. Over the past three years, Music, Dance and PE students have all achieved results on par with the top schools in the country. PE and Sports is a particular strength of ours along with some exceptional facilities.
Our vision is that every child is cared for in an ‘extraordinary’ way – in other words, better than what they might receive in any other school. Our small school ethos enables us to care for each child individually. We have an excellent transition programme to ensure that students settle in well and feel confident when they start here in Year 7. If your child is coming from out of area, we hold a special event to help them get to know others in a similar situation so that they already have friends here on arrival. This is unique to Dorcan. We also have an exceptional pastoral system, which was highlighted by Ofsted. Each student is placed in a Tutor group within a House; this enables our older students to nurture our younger ones and creates a family atmosphere in which everyone feels valued and belongs.
We have a strict behaviour policy and consequently, standards of behaviour are very high. We do not tolerate disruptive behaviour of any kind as it interferes with the rights of other students to learn and goes against our values of justice and fairness. So, you can be sure that at Dorcan your child will be able to learn without interruption. Put simply, we expect our students to ‘Be Kind, Show Respect and Do their best’ and if they follow these 3 simple rules they will do very well.
At The Dorcan Academy, who you become as a person is as important as what you achieve. There are plenty of people who have great GCSE results who are not the sort of people you would want to employ. We believe it is important to be a well-rounded individual and a genuinely ‘nice’ person in order to succeed in life. Having excellent qualifications without these will be a barrier to success! We work closely with local employers to ensure that the skills and qualifications our students acquire are the ones needed to succeed in today’s job market and enable them to stand out.
At Dorcan we are known as ‘an academy of opportunity’ because, as well as focusing on academic progress we are committed to educating the whole child. Staff here are highly motivated and go to great lengths to provide a range of exciting learning experiences for students from the extensive extra-curricular programme to a wealth of school trips and events, both locally, further afield and abroad. We also have over 100 students taking part in the highly acclaimed Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme (the highest % in a Swindon school).
At The Dorcan Academy we encourage our students to be involved in and make a difference to their local community and to experience a sense of purpose and fulfilment as they take an active part in society. Everyone works together to achieve our vision, from the cleaners to the Headteacher! Dorcan is a very special learning community where students are valued and nurtured to become the very best they can be. We see it as our job to enable them to achieve their dreams and it is a wonderful job to have. The views of students and their parents are very important to us. With the staff and governors working in partnership with you and your children we have a powerful combination that serves as an excellent foundation to achieve our long term goals.
We are now a GOOD school. We have a strong governing board and a strong leadership team, however, our greatest asset is our students. We would love you and your child to join us on our journey to outstanding.
I very much hope that you will come and see the Academy for yourself. We are always open to visitors and we warmly invite and welcome you to see The Dorcan Academy students and staff in action. If you would like to visit Dorcan, or to discuss any aspects of our work please do contact Louise Hitchen at email@example.com to arrange a time.