Story by Lorna Barett | Photo courtesy of Astrea
Story by Lorna Barett | Photo courtesy of Astrea Over the past few months Astrea Academy has been in the area to meet prospective parents and has now appointed Kim Walton as their first Head.
Mrs Walton said:
“It is an incredibly exciting opportunity to be able to develop and grow an educational beacon for the students and families of the Burngreave area.
For the first academic year, the year 7s will be the only pupils in school, being taught by heads of departments. Parents seem conflicted as to whether that will be good for the children.
Year 6 parent, Asma said: “I’m concerned that the year 7s are going to be like the guinea pigs.”
Another parent said:
“The new facilities look fantastic but the only doubt in my mind is that being the only children in the year group will take away the communal social feel of a school. Learning to interact with children older than you helps you to progress as a person.” However, Astrea Deputy Director of Education, Andy Redfern is confident that the positives outweigh any risks.
“The evidence is that other similar schools have been very successful. We judge ourselves in terms of community engagement, happiness in
children, engagement in extracurricular activities.”
School will start early at 8am, with six periods a day and regular tutor sessions. This will accommodate additional support and extracurricular activities, as well as
allowing days where businesses can come in. However parents appear to be cautious with their enthusiasm.
One parent told the Messenger: “The meeting I attended had a really strong focus on academic achievement and getting students into university, even Oxbridge.
“Of course there is nothing wrong with aspiration, but I did worry that students like my son who isn’t very academic would be second-class citizens in the new school. I’d like to have heard more about giving children a fully rounded education that would prepare them for all walks of life.”
And another said:
“It was interesting but hardly enlightening as to what it’ll actually be like to attend. It was very much own-trumpet blowing. The head was very keen to impress that inclusion is her middle name but I have no idea what reality that will translate into.
“Everything sounded positive but then it would, wouldn’t it? Mainly it impressed upon me how uncomfortable I am with corporate education.”