Community is a core value at Aspire Academy
Aspire places a huge importance on student recognition of the communities to which they belong. Only then can they begin to assess their own community and their impact on it.
The term ‘Community’ does not just refer to one sole community. For example, the term ‘local community’ includes smaller communities such as: School, sports teams, street and family home, as well as the larger local communities of: East/West/North Hull, Hull, East Yorkshire, Great Britain.
Students must be able to recognise the communities they belong to, their potential impact on that community and their responsibility to the wider global community as a whole. This is essential if they are to be successful post-16 and become positive contributors to society.
Aspire Academy allows students to recognise their immediate roles within their local communities (including academy, team, family home, area and city).
Students follow the CAP (Community Award Programme) which not only supports them in the above aim, but further encourages them to become positively involved in what is going on around them.
The programme requires them to self assess and evaluate their contributions at regular intervals throughout the academic year. The programme requires them to collate and liaise with various members of their local communities in order to evidence their contributions. Each community impact is awarded points or differing values. The programme is designed to award the big one offs as well as the consistent every day; though often smaller acts they are just as important and require a sustained dedication of time.
Students move through the awards, starting at Community Recognition before working towards achievements at Bronze, Silver, Gold, Diamond, Platinum levels. These are recognised with pin badges and certificates, providing a useful evidence base to present to employers and post-16 training providers during applications and interviews. This also allows the community to view them in a different light, amending any negative perceptions some may have of young people, allowing young people to feel pride and confidence in what they can do for others and recognise the positives in much of what they do already. It’s a programme that can be accessed at any age, at any point in the academic year meaning students joining us mid-year can also be awarded and recognised for what they have achieved up to the point of joining us.
Aspire Academy has close relationships with local sports teams such as Hull KR. Partnerships with Hull KR benefit our students in terms of the rewards they can obtain, training and sporting opportunities and the learning opportunities from them as a provider.
Wider Local and National Communities
Aspire students, in 2016-17, will work collaboratively with schools across the U.K, where links are being developed, and across the world, where strong links already exist. Aspire students have already taken part in school residentials with students from other schools both in Hull and the UK, including two visits to the Battlefields Tour in Belgium.
Aspire Academy provides opportunities to engage with the wider community and the international community.
Aspire Academy is in the process of applying for the International School Award (ISA) and hopes to have obtained this by Summer 2017. Aspire has developed links with schools in Poland, Sierra Leone and China; three contrasting cultures whereby students can learn about the lives, traditions, beliefs and challenges facing young people around the world.
As part of the links, students are to produce projects and communicate regularly with other students. Activities like this not only encourage understanding, tolerance and perspective but empathy and communication skills, not least the importance of using Standard English in order to do so effectively.
Aspire students have the opportunity to take part in various visits exposing them to the wider or global community.
Aspire students have already visited Poland and our link school there. In 2017, students also visited our link school in China.
The visits provide opportunities to work in partner schools and also learn from historical sites such as Auschwitz,of which pulls the wider community together.
Aspire is also part of a cluster Erasmus programme, working collaboratively with schools in Romania, Italy, Portugal and Poland.
Charity and Fundraising
The Community Award Programme encourages students to see ways in which they can positively contribute to society without necessarily raising money. CAP enables students to see the benefit in their biggest commodity, time.
Aspire Academy also demonstrates to students the importance of time and personal and sacrifice to raise money for organisations, communities and charities on local, national and international levels.
Annual fundraisers and events for Comic Relief and Children in Need, along with local charities such as Dove House, Freddies Friends and a local shoebox appeal. This list isn’t exclusive and changes according to national and international need, which the students learn about.
An example of this was the Ebola epidemic in 2014-2015, where students and staff worked with local schools and business to coordinate and lead regular shipments of cleaning and medical supplies to our link school in Freetown. Aspire’s Colour Run for Sport Relief raised money for a national charity.
The aim with all such events is to show how a little sacrifice each can have a big impact when we work together. Aspire students can make a difference, no matter what their circumstance.
Takes places at the end of the Summer term each Academic year. Students take part in a range of creative activities which either benefit a community or enhance their understanding of different communities.
Work Experience Week
This takes place towards the end of the Summer term for year 10 students. Students go into the work place to experience what it is like to be in a working environment, contributing and communicating with members of a different community.