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for both students who have been at the Academy since the nursery and those who are coming from our feeder primaries. The children will have fewer teachers than they would normally have had – so rather than going from one or two teachers to 15 they will go up to seven or eight. We will concentrate on giving them a smooth transition from primary to secondary education, including a programme called ‘Building Learning Power’. This will give them the skills and learning tools to cope better with the secondary environment and make them happier, more confident young people.” So what of the future? What can people expect to see at the Academy over the coming years? “The rebuild is obviously something which will make a big impression on people visiting us – we are currently expecting the proper build to begin in October because of a few delays in the planning permission process. This gives us an advantage as we can plan better for the changes and get our learners ready for it at the beginning of term – our first consideration is their welfare. “We cannot, and will not, get this rebuild wrong.


This school will be a major public building for the next 30 years. We are working to make sure we create a set of facilities that helps learning and is an attractive environment for all our learners and staff. A good building can aid good learning and we are working to provide that.


“We have set ourselves an aim to bring our results up and to achieve an ‘outstanding’ mark from Ofsted by 2016 – these are targets we are well on course to achieving thanks to the hard work of our learners and staff. “We are picking up momentum and I have no doubt that we will achieve these goals. It’s only a question of when. We are also looking at an increase in student numbers, from 508 where we are today to around 700 by 2020. We also have an aim to work more with the Dartmouth community and have students who are engaged, confident, considerate and have greater aspirations for themselves and their community.” The school also aims to have less environmental impact – there are plans to install systems for renewable energy so that the Academy will not have any energy costs – using wind turbines, a ground source heat pump and solar panels. “This feels like the natural way to build a public building: so that it uses as few resources as possible and could even prove an income generator to support our educational work,” said Nick. How does he feel after 18 months in the job? “Privileged to have the best job in Dartmouth,” he said. “It’s a huge challenge that is wonderfully exciting and very satisfying.”•


Please mention By The Dart when responding to adverts. To advertise here, please call 01803 835740 or email mark@bythedart.co.uk Untitled-1 1


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