Aims of Specialist Schools
The government is encouraging all secondary schools in the country to apply to become specialist schools. As a specialist school we aim to:
Raise standards of achievement and the quality of teaching and learning, particularly in the specialist subjects (for humanities specialism the focus subjects are Geography, RE and History).
Develop personalised learning by extending the range of opportunities available to pupils that best meet their needs and interests
Develop the school’s characteristics in a way that signals our new identity.
Benefit other schools and the wider community and strengthen our links with business and the charitable sector.
The Vision for St. Joseph’s
At St. Joseph’s we have chosen to concentrate on humanities with a special focus on the environment. The title of our specialist school bid is ‘Stewardship’ and through this theme we aim to explore topics such as pollution, our ethical responsibility for the planet and sustainable growth. We have developed this focus because it is perfectly in keeping with our values as a Christian school. As stewards of the earth we have a duty to care for the world and behave responsibly. We aim to develop our pupils’ understanding of the beauty and uniqueness of their life as well as the life of the planet. We want to help our pupils and the community to understand our environment from a geographical, ethical and historical perspective.
Working for the Community
As part of our specialist school bid we must draw up a school development plan and a community development plan. The school plan will focus on raising standards and extending opportunities in the specialist subjects. The community plan will outline our proposals for working with a ‘family of schools’ in ways that meet their learning needs. It will also include proposals for working with groups in the community, local charities and local businesses.
The Benefits to St Joseph’s
The school will benefit from specialist school status in a number of ways. A sustained focus on the quality of teaching and learning will benefit all pupils and raise levels of achievement. In addition the school will receive substantial amounts of extra funding over a four-year period. There will be an annual grant of approximately £40,000 (dependant on pupil numbers). This will provide training and equipment to further the school’s specialist aims. There will also be a one-off capital grant of £100,000, which will provide extra facilities and quality educational equipment
How can you help?
Specialist school status, and the extra funding it brings, can only be accessed if we raise £35,000 in sponsorship and establish strong links with local business. We would therefore ask you to consider helping us to reach our specialist school status through sponsorship.
There are naturally a number of guiding principles. Sponsorship of our school must be unconditional. It must be from the private sector – private companies, individuals, charitable foundations or private trusts. The sponsor must not have a commercial relationship with the school. Sponsorship should preferably take the form of cash donations although goods, equipment and materials are eligible so long as they are relevant to the school’s needs as set out in the plans. Donations and pledges from individual parents and former pupils are acceptable.
What can St Joseph’s offer sponsors in return?
- Sponsors will be investing in the future.
- Donations from businesses and individuals qualify for tax relief.
- Sponsors are invited to develop links with the school that benefit their workforce in terms of training.
- A sponsor can enjoy a positive public relations advantage, through publicising their involvement with the school.
- Opportunities for staff placements or exchange.