Principal’s welcome – Summer 2014
I am delighted to welcome you to the Kensington Aldridge Academy website. The development of a new secondary school in North Kensington has been talked about for many years, and it’s wonderful to know that in September 2014 it will become a reality, when I and my fellow teachers welcome the first students and parents through our doors.
My aim is to create a school which has the very highest standards – both in terms of academic teaching and life beyond the classroom. The sky is the limit for KAA. We will help students to develop into confident, articulate young people, whose education fully equips them for university or the career of their choice.
We want students to be happy at school and committed to being the best they can be. We will demand a lot, setting high standards for students and staff, with a ‘no excuses’ approach to attitude, work and discipline. But we will also provide careful support. With only 184 students in our first year, teachers will be able to know every student as an individual and closely nurture and challenge them all. Having opened a school from scratch and helped lead it to ‘outstanding’ status in my previous role, I know the many opportunities that a start-up affords, and how to make the most of them.
It’s been a great set-up year for our new academy. We received a very high number of applications for student places – a sign of our growing reputation in the community – and have appointed a wonderful team of ‘founder’ teachers to lead the establishment and growth of the school. You can see a full staff list here. We have no current teaching vacancies but I do always welcome expressions of interest from those with a strong record as a teacher – please email an up-to-date CV to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be hiring again soon as we grow year on year so do get in touch.
The summer term has been particularly busy, with staff training, curriculum planning, parent interviews and primary school visits. I am pleased to say that we recently had a very successful visit from Ofsted for our ‘Readiness for Opening’ inspection. I have included some of their feedback below:
- ‘The school has had a ‘fantastic run-up’ and ‘everything is in place’
- ‘Clear policies are in place which put care for students and their personal development at the heart of the school’
- ‘There are ‘exciting plans’ for KS3 which ‘plan backwards from success at GCSE.’
- ‘It is evident there has been deep thinking around curriculum’
- ‘The academy has a basis for solid assessment and systems to ensure underachievement is addressed quickly’
- ‘Students will be developed into ‘effective self-assessors and peer-assessors’
The positive feedback from Ofsted and the Department of Education we’ve had in July is a testament to the hard work of my senior team in setting up the academy and provides an excellent foundation on which we will now build.
Finally, it was wonderful to welcome our new school community to our first parents evening on Thursday 17th July. All KAA teachers were there too and the room was full of excitement and enthusiasm for this marvellous project. You can read more about the event here.
Our work continues now as we prepare for our founder Year 7 cohort who start on Monday 15th September. Until then I wish everyone involved with KAA a wonderful summer break.
With best wishes
“David Benson, the newly-appointed principal of the Kensington Aldridge Academy, is developing aspirational new approaches to the curriculum for students” – The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Education
“The academy will deliver high standards of attainment, building on success already achieved in neighbouring primary schools” – Sir Rod Aldridge, Chairman of the Aldridge Foundation
“The academy will help to foster a lifelong passion for learning and help pupils achieve the highest possible standard” – Councillor Nick Paget-Brown, Leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea