Our Commitment to Pupils and Parents
Star Academies makes a pledge of excellence to every parent or carer who chooses to send their child to a Star school. We pledge:
We have the highest of expectations of our pupils. We expect all of our pupils to attend school on time every day, ready to learn and achieve.
Our schools provide safe, focused and happy environments for learning. Outstanding behaviour improves pupils’ capacity to learn. We enforce our behaviour policy robustly and consistently across the school. Our pupil code of conduct sets out the high standards of behaviour that we expect. We are positive when our pupils behave well, but have clear consequences for misbehaviour and a zero tolerance of bullying, abusive or discriminatory language and violence. All adults in our schools model the positive behaviour we expect of our pupils. Equally, we expect our parents to reinforce these behaviours at home.
We work hard to create a culture of high aspirations throughout the school. We set ambitious targets for every pupil. Our aim is that every pupil should achieve at least a grade higher than the national expectation in each phase of their learning. Staff, pupils and parents are involved in the whole process of setting the targets and are expected to take responsibility for them once they are agreed.
A high-powered, knowledge-based academic curriculum
Star’s curriculum is broad and balanced, with an emphasis on academic success. Our schools prioritise learning in Literacy, Numeracy, Languages, Humanities and Science. Our curriculum is both coherent and cumulative, with an emphasis on the critical importance of knowledge acquisition. Our pupils are required to read extensively from a broad range of high quality and increasingly challenging literary and technical material across all disciplines.
Our curriculum is designed to cultivate well-rounded, intelligent and socially-aware pupils, but it is also tailored to deliver excellent academic results. Regardless of background or prior ability, we aim to secure the best outcomes for all of our pupils, ensuring that our curriculum gives a solid foundation for future learning at every stage.
Carefully focused traditional teaching, rigorous tracking and personalised intervention
Our approach to teaching is traditional – good teachers, with sound subject knowledge, leading the classroom and delivering a focussed curriculum. All lessons are intricately planned and take into account models for best practice. Our teaching staff develop innovative and highly successful approaches to sustain pupils’ interest. This enables us to push the boundaries of the possible to achieve the improbable.
We have the highest expectations of every child. Every child at a Star school has their progress closely monitored to ensure they are always meeting their – and our – high expectations. After each assessment, targets are set for every pupil and appropriate interventions and personalised ‘catch-up’ activities are planned. Targets are regularly reviewed and revised in accordance with the pupil’s achievement.
We send home report cards five times a year to ensure that parents are kept abreast of their child’s progress and are immediately informed if any issues arise. We meet parents whose child is at risk of not achieving their potential after each report card. Pupils are celebrated and rewarded for their successes but, just as importantly, we intervene immediately with a personalised approach if there is a cause for concern.
Highly qualified staff that are motivated, well trained and using cutting edge research
We believe that the most effective learning goes hand-in-hand with the most inspirational teaching, which is why our teachers are some of the best in the business. They are highly motivated and benefit from extensive training and continued professional development. This support means they deliver the very best outcomes for pupils, helping them to realise their potential.
A rich and diverse leadership programme that grows character and inspires charitable and social action
Our R-18 Leadership Framework is designed to instil the three interdependent Star leadership virtues of Performance Leadership, Moral Leadership and Civic Leadership – virtues that together ensure our pupils not only ‘do their best’ but ‘do the right thing’ and play a full role in society.
The Framework sets our focus for leadership development, laying out the key competencies required to develop as well-rounded, ethical and accomplished leaders of tomorrow.
By developing an aptitude for Performance Leadership, we equip our pupils with the skills to realise their potential for excellence in any performance-related environment. Programmes in sports, creative arts and entrepreneurship offer powerful opportunities to build resilience, cultivate ingenuity and develop leadership potential. Our careers and universities offer focuses on the skills, experience and qualifications required by leading employers and prestigious universities. Through this rounded Performance Leadership programme, pupils learn that success is largely contingent on effort, diligence, perseverance, a strong work ethic, mental toughness, self-discipline and an enduring ability to maintain a positive attitude.
An effective leader does not, however, rely on results alone and – by emphasising the importance of Moral Leadership – our pupils grow to value the traits of integrity, justice, equity, caring, respect and cooperation; all of which are needed for successful interpersonal relationships and ethical conduct. Our Ethics and Values Programme provides learning opportunities for our pupils to work through real life ethical dilemmas and challenges and engage in debates and public speaking – activities which foster a respect for others, ethical reflection and a critical consciousness.
Our focus on Civic Leadership develops a commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability and accentuates the importance of citizenship, charity and social action. Pupils experience the merits of community volunteering from a young age. Our project-based civic curriculum teaches young people critical life-long leadership skills such as collaboration, resourcefulness and accountability. Pupils take on increasingly responsible leadership roles that culminate in Civic Leadership Projects in which they identify a community concern, and then plan, execute and evaluate a project to address it. “Giving something back” is fundamental to our philosophy and all of our pupils, from the youngest to the oldest, also enjoy planning innovative ways to raise money for charities in the UK and beyond. Together, these opportunities for civic and charitable activities seek to nurture a growing sense of agency and connect our pupils constructively to their community.
Our Leadership Lecture series brings together highly-successful leaders from the worlds of business, politics and the public sector who embody performance, moral and civic leadership. Secondary school pupils benefit from hearing the success stories of over 100 local, regional and national leaders, and primary school pupils have an opportunity to engage with up to 50 influential keynote speakers. These aspirational role models offer real-world advice about setting, achieving and surpassing personal goals, nurturing ambition and self-motivation in all our pupils.
Through participation in our unique leadership programmes, pupils work towards securing the core Star leadership virtues. The R-18 Framework recognises pupils’ accomplishments and accredits the leadership skills, knowledge and attributes sought by top universities and employers, feeding directly into our vision of nurturing today’s young people and inspiring tomorrow’s leaders.