At Wykham Park Academy, we are increasingly developing our links with our local community. We believe that schools should work together with the local community so that the children learn to become more responsible adults and develop a stronger sense of belonging. We want teachers to understand more about where the children come from and what motivates them. We regularly review our curriculum to become more relevant for all students and their families. We ensure that business, education and community leaders have more chances to work together for the benefit of our young people. Above all, we want our school and parents to work together more closely to help all students achieve their full potential.
We currently have a strong link with various local and national charities, businesses and services through our KS3 Community Projects. This is a compulsory part of our curriculum where all students from year7, 8 and 9 complete exciting new projects to support local or national initiatives within our community. Such projects are showcased to parents and guests at various points in the academic year as well as in our whole school community events. Over the last few years, we are very proud to have worked closely with Katharine House Hospice, Dogs for Good, Cherwell District Council, Cancer research UK, People’s Church Food Bank and many more. All students are also highly encouraged to take up volunteering in the local community though the bronze and silver Duke of Edinburgh Award, which is very popular with our KS4 and Post 16 students.
Our local Community Support Officers offer us advice and support and often visit the school to lead assemblies raising awareness on safety issues. Our onsite nurse along with other guests such as Oxford Books University, students’ parents and Business members, regularly come into school to talk to the students about their role in the community and raise interest and aspirations. Members of the local community are welcomed in our school, subject to the necessary safeguarding checks and induction procedures. They provide a much valued contribution to the education of our students.
Subject leaders and staff are encouraged to utilise the local area when planning visits. The English department have developed exceptional links over the years, including author Bali Rai and The Story Museum in Oxford. Moreover, the Music and Drama departments and the school choir participate in many community events such as the Crocus Concert organised by the Rotary Club to eradicate Polio or our yearly Christmas concert at St Mary’s Church. The Science department regularly host “Fun” science events for the local primary school students, whilst the PE department run regular sporting events led by our students for younger children in the community.
The Aspirations Employability Portfolio (AEP), completed by all year 12 students in our 6th Form, aims to provide awareness of work, including a good understanding of the nature of different businesses and the development of skills required for success. This takes place every Tuesday during Periods 2 to 5. Each project involves students working with, and learning from, real employees of the commissioning company such as Jacob Douwe Egberts in Banbury, Playko (situated on the Academy’s campus itself), Rational Labelling & Marketing System ltd in Brackley, and many more. Our aim is to provide our students with a broad experience of the changing world of work and develop innovation and entrepreneurship.
Finally, as a school, we liaise with other local schools in a number of ways. Students at various academic levels meet with those from other schools on regular educational trips to share their experience and engage in quality activities to stretch and challenge them in their field. Our sports teams are very successful in cross-school competitions, including football, hockey and rugby.
If you believe you can offer us a valuable community link, please do get in touch with us at Wykham Park Academy.