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Avon Valley School and Performing Arts
College, Rugby,CV21 1EH Newbold Road
01788 542355
www:http://www.avonvalleyschool.org/e-mail:

The Avon Valley School and Performing Arts College is a successful, oversubscribed, Foundation School in the village of Newbold, to the north of Rugby.

It is a non-selective school and caters for students aged 11-16 years. As a Specialist College for the Performing Arts, we have extensive ties with the Primary and Tertiary (Post 16) sectors, particularly in this area of the curriculum.

The fundamental characteristic of the school has been shaped over a period of years by its stakeholders, our parents, students, Governors and staff, and is, we believe, quite unique. This view was endorsed by Ofsted in its report of June 2004, where Avon Valley was described as ' a special place to be (where anything is possible for everyone)'.

We believe very strongly in an orderly community and standards of discipline are high; all students must wear a smart, formal uniform comprising blazer, shirt and tie.

Another of our values we are determined to retain is the 'family' feeling which permeates the school. This is built upon exceptional relationships which exist between staff and students, developed through mutual respect and trust.

Underpinning all of this is our commitment to producing an environment in which all students can learn. This is our core purpose and academic results have gone from strength to strength, year on year. The school has received many accolades reflecting this progress, with our inclusion in Her Majesty's Chief Inspector's Annual Report 2004, as a 'particularly successful school' , being the pinnacle.

Further recognition of excellence has been achieved by considerable hard work, visionary leadership at all levels and a commitment to ensuring our students are taught well and given every opportunity to succeed.

Although the fabric of the school was destroyed by fire in June 2004, its ethos and culture remain as strong as ever. The values we have generated and built up over the years remain integral and, in fact, have been strengthened by the experience.

The future at Avon Valley looks extremely bright. The vision of a new school, up and ready for the start of the Autumn Term in September 2007, is now a reality and building work will begin shortly. It is a prospect that excites us all.

The pride we have in our school, is matched only by our passion and ambition to provide the best possible education for the students in our care. If you share this aim, and entrust your son or daughter to us, we will endeavour to produce a young adult who will be a credit to us all.

Aims of the School

Equal Opportunities Policy

The school aims to ensure quality of opportunity for all its students within the curriculum and everyday life of the school. The aim of the policy is to ensure justice and fairness for all members of our diverse community regardless of gender, disability, race, culture and religion.

Religious Education

This is taught as part of the Humanities curriculum and also the Life Learning Programme. Students also attend regular assemblies. Arrangements are made for individual students to be withdrawn from Religious Education classes on the grounds of conscience, provided parents inform the Headteacher in writing.

Sex Education

Sex Education is taught as part of many aspects of the School Curriculum and not as a specific topic or course. Some aspects are covered in the Life Learning Programme and in Science in Years 8 and 9. Reproduction in human beings is covered in Science.

Working with you for your child

Facilities

 Whilst the new state-of-the-art school is under construction, we are fortunate in that we  have the best temporary accommodation available.  Governors are still committed to providing the very best and latest equipment available for the school.  As before, we are always delighted to welcome any parents who wish to come into school to see the facilities available for their children.  Although the accommodation is temporary, all students study in rooms specifically designed for that subject and of a much higher specification than that of the old buildings!  Facilities  include:

  • 4 English classrooms

  • 6 Maths classrooms

  • 5 Science laboratories  – all fully equipped and with two prep rooms to service them

  • 5 ICT suites

  • 4 Modern Languages classrooms

  • 5 Technology classrooms/workshops

  • 5 Humanities classrooms

  • 6 areas for Performing Arts which will include a recording studio and dance studio

  • 2 PE classrooms plus sports hall and gym with changing facilities and showers

  • 3 Art rooms

  • 5 Toilet blocks (including designated disabled facilities)

  • 600 seater dining hall and state-of-the-art kitchen

 The ‘education village’, as described above, will provide your child with an extremely high quality learning environment. 

 Sporting Aims and Provisions

 Physical Education should involve students in the continuous process of planning, performing and evaluating a range of activities.  The PE department aims to:

  • develop positive attitudes towards sport, both competitive and non-competitive

  • promote and develop the physical, social and moral well being of students through sport and group interaction

  • promote active and healthy lifestyles, during and beyond the curriculum into adulthood

  • develop leadership skills through coaching work

 There are a wide variety of sports delivered at Avon Valley; students have the opportunity to take part in football, rugby, basketball, cricket, athletics,  cross country, netball, hockey, rounders,  softball, gymnastics and  trampolining, to name a few. 

 Within the formal curriculum in Key Stages 3 and 4, Physical Education is taught for 2 periods per week in Key Stage 3,  and 2 periods per week in Key Stage 4, as part of the core curriculum; where GCSE PE is taken is as an examination subject, students will study an additional 2 periods per week. 

 Every lunchtime, and after school, there is a full range of activities on offer which are open to all year groups, with a popular fixtures programme which runs after school and at weekends.

 The outdoor facilities at Avon Valley include: 1 senior football pitch, 1 junior football pitch, 2 Rugby pitches, 2 netball courts, an all weather cricket pitch and all the facilities associated with field sports eg.  full size athletics track and  jumping pitches. 

 Indoor facilities include a gymnasium and large sports hall, with a sprung floor which is marked out for most games.  The sports hall is booked by clubs from the community for such sports as badminton and our football pitches are used extensively by clubs at the weekend.   

 The GCSE PE course involves the use of two external coaches for Life Saving and in the past  we have been lucky to have had an input from coaches from Rugby Lions and St Andrew’s,  Rugby .   In the past, parents have helped with rugby and football coaching and refereeing and are always welcome if they are able to offer their sporting skills, or support the students as spectators at fixtures.  The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme is a highly successful scheme at Avon Valley .  Over the past six years a range of activities have been on offer to both KS3 and KS4 students.  Weekly meetings and expeditions have helped our students to gain this success.   

 Along with their GCSE course, students will also complete their Junior Sports Leader Award (JSLA).  This will enable them to begin coaching younger students. 

  Avon Valley has links with Newbold RFC, Rugby Lions, St Andrew’s, the Ken Marriott Leisure Centre and Rugby & District Athletics Club, Rugby Town FC, Rugby Town Girls’ FC, Old Laurentians RFC and Positive Futures.

 The school runs its own minibus which is used to enhance the experiences of all our students in both subject areas and in extra curricular activities eg: residential visits, industry links and sporting fixtures. 

Organisation of Learning

have adapted well to the many changes that have occurred in recent years. 

Since becoming a school specialising in the Performing Arts, they experience a wide range of Dance, Music and Drama.  This enhances student learning and improves their self esteem and confidence. 

The curriculum can be looked at in two parts, although it is of course in reality one unit.  Years 7 to 9 correspond with the National Curriculum Key Stage 3, and Years 10 and 11 correspond with Key Stage 4.  GCSE or Vocational Studies are the culmination of Key Stage 4. 

The principles of the curriculum are that it should be broad, balanced, relevant and differentiated.  It should also reflect the school’s specialist status in performing arts.    The principles relate to the development of skills, knowledge, concepts, values and attitudes.  It is the school’s intention to develop the education of its students in the widest possible sense, whilst taking into account the different levels of progress students make in respect of their age, ability and aptitude.  The school is committed to the idea that learning should be enjoyable and part of a life long process. 

The National Curriculum

The National Curriculum stipulates a broad range of subjects that are now a legal requirement for all children up to the age of 16.  During the past three years, the school has made many modifications to the curriculum to accommodate these changes. 

Key Stage 3 Organisation

Our aim is to achieve a smooth transition from Primary to Secondary School and much emphasis is placed upon knowing about our new students before they join us.  Each child is allocated to a tutor group, with the group’s tutor having responsibility for the guidance and welfare of the children in that group.  Ideally, the tutor would remain with that tutor group for a number of years.  Tutor groups are mixed and all ability.  Teaching groups are arranged on the basis of ability in that subject.  They are not rigid, and students are moved between groups according to their progress which is constantly under review. 

Subjects studied by all students in Years 7,8 and 9 (Key Stage 3) are:

  • English

  • Mathematics

  • Science

  • ICT

  • Modern Foreign Languages (French and German)

  • Art

  • Drama

  • Dance

  • Music

  • Physical Education

  • Life Learning (PSHE, Citizenship, RE)

  • Key Stage 4 Organisation

In Years 10 and 11 students are grouped in mixed ability tutor groups for administrative purposes but are taught mainly in option groups. 

Subject studied by all students in Years 10 and 11 (Key Stage 4) are:

  • English

  • Mathematics

  • Science

  • ICT

  • Physical Education (core)

Life Learning (PSHE, Citizenship, RE, Careers Education & Guidance,  Enterprise activities) this is taught by tutors in an extended registration in the morning and through specially dedicated ‘focus days’ often involving outside agencies and partners. 

In addition, all students are encouraged to undertake at least one performing arts subject (drama, music, dance, performing arts) to reflect the specialist nature of the school and can select from a number of other GCSE and GNVQ qualifications including:

  • Design Technology  - Textiles, Catering, Engineering

  • Humanities

  • History

  • Geography

  • French

  • German

  • Health & Social Care

  • Physical Education

  • Leisure & Tourism

  • Media Studies

  • Public Services

  • Art

  • Drama

  • Dance

  • Music

A further opportunity is provided  to follow a work-related curriculum.  This is available to some students where appropriate, leading to National Vocational Qualifications.  These courses are on offer at both the local College of Further Education and in the workplace.

Homework

Homework is regarded as an essential part of the curriculum and all students are expected to carry out homework assignments.  The nature, length and complexity of tasks will vary according to the age and ability of the student.

Homework is seen as a particular example of the school and parents co-operating to provide the very best for each student.  We hope that parents will become involved with their child’s homework, perhaps by checking work, advising on how to solve difficulties or helping with research.  Each student is issued at the start of the year with a personal planner which he/she is expected to use.  We encourage parents to check this planner on a daily basis as it provides a means of identifying issues at an early stage.  Good study habits are a vital part of success in both SATs and GCSE examinations. 

Assessment

The school has developed a system of monitoring the progress of students throughout their school life.  Each student’s progress is fully assessed throughout the year in terms of internal assessments and formal examinations.  Progress Reports are issued to parents for their information and comments, and a full Academic Report is issued annually.

Parents are invited to the school to discuss their child’s progress with the staff at intervals during the year.  A calendar of dates is issued to each student at the beginning of the year, which will include information to parents of all the dates when reports detailing the progress of their child can be expected. 

Special Educational Needs

The school recognises that many students have educational ‘need’ at some stage of their schooling.  It may be the requirement of support with a learning difficulty, or advice on organising their work to fit homework in with their domestic or social life, whilst for others, there will be a need to extend their horizons because they have specific abilities. 

Students with special academic needs are given support in the classroom, so enhancing their understanding of classwork and stimulating progress in basic subject skills.  Extra support is given, particularly in English and Mathematics and, where necessary, children are given help with reading, writing and basic arithmetic.  Help is also given to those children of high ability to encourage them to reach their full potential.  Progress is monitored closely by the Coordinator for Special Needs.

The school has an excellent reputation for special needs; the staff readily identify potential difficulties, diagnose problems and suggest strategies for help.  Practical help and advice is always available from experienced and caring staff.  The staff and students at The Avon Valley School work with one another.  Students who have a statement of special needs have 1-1 support through the academic monitoring scheme.  Students meet weekly with their mentor to discuss academic progress, homework, coursework and the organisation of work and meeting deadlines.

The newly constructed buildings will have built-in facilities allowing disabled students, staff, parents and visitors alike, easier access onto the school site.

Gifted and Talented Programme

We take the development of individual gifts and talents very seriously at Avon Valley .  All students are encouraged to strive for excellence in every aspect of their work, but we also support any areas of particular strength.   Our Gifted and Talented Programme enables students to participate in a range of workshops, masterclasses, extra tuition and mentoring for their particular gift or talent.  We also support students through the process of applying to the Warwick University Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth. 

Careers Education and Guidance

The Careers department is responsible for ensuring the provision of opportunities for young people to acquire the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to enable them to manage their career or ‘path through life’.

This involves providing students with access to high quality and up to date careers information through the school’s careers library.  In addition, the school has a partnership agreement with Connexions, which provides a careers adviser who regularly visits the school for a variety of purposes.  This includes the provision of one-to-one guidance interviews to all Key Stage 4 students regarding Post-16 options, which parents are invited to attend, and teaching Year 9 students as they transfer from Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 4, in preparation for GCSE study. 

All students from Year 9 onwards receive careers guidance during their Life Learning lessons and in Year 10 are placed in local industry for two weeks’ work experience

Citizenship

Citizenship gives students the knowledge, skills and understanding to play an effective role in society at local, national and international levels.  It helps them to become informed, thoughtful and responsible citizens who are aware of their duties and rights.  It promotes their spiritual, moral, social and cultural developments making them more self confident and responsible both in and beyond the classroom. 



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