View from the classroom We are able to tap into The Morley Academy’s
incredible teaching resource as well as dining facilities and sports grounds. The timetables across the two academies are also set in such a way to maximise the usage of other resources such as science equipment. Due to a shared vision across the Trust and our
final school location, there is no competition regarding student intake but we do get competitive when it comes to sport!
Why set up an academy before the new facility is ready? Whilst the new facility is of immense importance in the future of The Ruth Gorse Academy, buildings do not make a school. It is the needs of our students and their right to an exceptional secondary education that drove us to open in September 2014. Usually when a free school is formed, it starts
in temporary accommodation until a suitable site is found. The Morley Academy offered a solution for temporary classrooms and we had the passion to make it a success. It took a huge leap of faith from parents with
children in year 6 choosing their next school to select The Ruth Gorse Academy as there was just an empty space at that time. They needed to believe in the opportunity and
visualise what it would look like knowing, for the next two years, their children would also need to travel to school. Demand is outstripping school places and
when there is a viable short-term solution, you have to catch it with both hands. The planning and student-centred curriculum will have been in place for two years when we move in 2016 which will ease the transition. Our challenge is our relentless pursuit to
provide an exceptional educational experience. The world of work will be so different to the one we are in today and we must prepare our pupils to be resilient, articulate and motivated to succeed. We want our students to know that anything
is possible and by just leading by example, we are showing them that anything is achievable – even an academy working inside another academy.
How important is it to attract new pupils to The Ruth Gorse Academy? The success of The Ruth Gorse Academy is dependent on student intake. The difference with
The Ruth Gorse Academy is that we are truly student-focused. Students are at the heart of every decision we
make and we are passionate about preparing young people for the ever-changing world that values self-confident, well-educated and enterprising individuals.
How have you done this? The Ruth Gorse Academy is being built in three phases. Phase one was the opening of the academy with the year 7 intake. Phase two will be increasing the number of classrooms and facilities we have to accommodate a cohort of 190, year 7 pupils for 2015-2016. The third phase will be the new build in Leeds city centre.
When was phase one completed and how has it been received by pupils and parents? Phase one was completed in September 2014, just before the start of term and I cannot praise Roan Building Solutions enough for its flexibility and determination to install the building in just six weeks. From the outside it is like a tardis – quite small -
but when inside, it is a brilliant school environment - five classrooms, three offices, two laboratories, an IT suite, stores and a reception area. Roan worked closely with our team to
personalise it to our needs. We really feel it’s our building. The parents and pupils absolutely love it.
a great community spirit and goes beyond our expectations.
When will phase two take place and what will it involve? In summer 2015, Roan will be installing an additional temporary building to provide teaching facilities for the new cohort. This will comprise six additional classrooms and staff work areas. We will be working closely with Roan and its
team to ensure it mirrors our culture and the quality of the existing building.
Why choose modular build? We needed a temporary solution that was fit for purpose and high quality. In an austere economy it is really important that the building could be re- used once we move or used by another educational provider. We were a little apprehensive about using
modular building systems before seeing what Roan had in mind. You tend to think of the old ‘prefab’ type buildings. Roan opened our eyes as to what could be achieved and delivered a complete turnkey solution which could not be matched by any of the traditional tenders we received. Getting the right modular partner on board
was essential. Roan shared The Ruth Gorse Academy’s vision and values and had a real feel for what we wanted and what needed to be achieved on a tight budget and timeframe. Roan worked as a true partner, listening and providing advice along the way.
If we wanted to
change any aspect of the build, they worked with us to get the best possible outcome. If you need to create classrooms or new
facilities quickly then modular is definitely the way to go in our experience. The speed with which the building is delivered doesn’t compromise quality or budget – finishing touches and environmental credentials remain strong.
Your motto is ‘Dare to achieve beyond
what you are today’. How has this been incorporated into everyday learning? We take our inspiration and name from a
beloved member of the teaching community at The Morley Academy; Ruth Gorse who tragically died at the age of 32. She was a hugely important figure in The
Morley Academy’s journey from inadequate to exceptional levels of performance. We wanted to give our students the opportunity to make a difference with their lives as she did. The motto is engrained in everything we do.
All students strive towards obtaining The Ruth Gorse Academy Citizen Award - an accolade presented to students when they have demonstrated the five core skills that Ruth Gorse modelled throughout her life - teamwork, resilience, being caring, going above and beyond and aspiring to achieve. The opening of a new school is a remarkable
opportunity, due to the size of the school we have been able to create lasting relationships which maximises students’ opportunities to thrive. With excellent facilities and high quality
teaching, the students at The Ruth Gorse Academy are happy, challenged, motivated and supported to achieve beyond what they are today.
April 2015 www.education-today.co.uk
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