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Principal's Welcome

Welcome to Attleborough Academy. Whether you are a parent searching for the best school for your child, a member of the local community, a visitor from another school or organisation, a student or parent/carer looking for help and guidance or you are considering applying to work at the Academy, I hope that you will enjoy finding out more about us.

Attleborough Academy Norfolk (AAN) is an inclusive, friendly and effective learning community with high aspirations and a reputation for innovation. Excellent relationships between students and staff are at the heart of the ethos of the Academy and are often commented on by those who come in to visit.

The Academy is a hardworking and caring community of people with high standards and high expectations. Our core values use the word CARE as an acronym.

They are:

  • Commitment
  • Acknowledgement
  • Respect
  • Excellence

CARE therefore has a genuine meaning within our community as we want the Academy to be a place where these values are seen in all aspects of our work together.

Our students are our greatest asset. We have mixed age tutor groups and there are student leaders within each form who take a prominent role in the leadership of the Academy. Our team of Prefects in Year 11 and Sixth Form Presidents provide younger students with role models for behaviour and learning.

Our vision is simple:

  • To be the best we can be
  • To have aspirational, happy and successful students
  • To have inspirational, happy and successful staff

For a student to be ‘successful’ though, we believe it is far more than just attaining results. Whilst, obviously, we recognise the great importance of qualifications, we are not just a ‘results’ factory. We take our roles as educators very seriously and so it is our aim to assist parents and carers to educate the ‘whole child’ into a thoroughly decent human being – such that when they leave us, they are able to compete in what we predict will be, for them, a globally competitive and challenging world but also that they are a friendly, respectful and admirable person and a conscientious citizen.

In order to educate the ‘whole child’ our excellent staff give many outstanding ‘extra-curricular’ opportunities for our students. I can honestly say that in all my years of being in education, I am working with the best set of staff I have ever worked with and I feel privileged to lead them. Their commitment and dedication to our students is admirable and totally genuine and sincere. Every year they organise and supervise a huge number of local, national and international trips and events. Please do have a look at the Gallery and Videos section of this website and also follow the link to our Facebook site and Twitter Feed which give you a flavour of the many outstanding ‘extra-curricular’ opportunities typically offered here.

We have high expectations of our students. Our expectations are quite traditional. We expect students to be punctual, well-mannered and well presented. We expect excellent behaviour and attitudes in lessons and we support this through our Student and Family Enrichment ‘SAFE’ Team who work closely with students and their teachers in achieving a positive and effective working environment. The SAFE Team form an important link with our parents and carers and the whole community as we recognise that home and the Academy have to work together in a productive and genuine relationship of harmony and trust in order for our students to flourish.

“It takes a whole village to develop a child” (Old African Proverb)

Student ability levels on intake are average compared to other schools nationally and students make good progress from a variety of starting points. Our GCSE results in Summer 2015 put us within the top 20% of schools nationally for progress (DFE – RAISE Online unvalidated – Best 8 Value Added). This is particularly pleasing because for me, this is the true measure of any school as it measures the progress starting from when each student enters the Academy after Primary school to what they achieve at the end of Year 11 – i.e. the value we add to the child.

We work hard to challenge all students to do their very best and make the most progress possible whatever their starting point.

We have also achieved a nationally recognised award for our work with Gifted and Talented students. Before conversion, as Attleborough Academy Norfolk, we were the first school in the Eastern region to achieve this award and the only school to have been re-accredited. We were also recognised as a specialist college for Mathematics and Computing in September 2004 and re-designated in 2008. Even though Specialisms are no longer in vogue, the legacy of our Specialism has impacted positively across the Academy. Our ICT facilities are rated amongst the best in the county and are continually developing. They allow us to deliver exciting lessons which appeal to a variety of learning styles. Our Sporting facilities are also continually developing and we achieve high levels of success at area, county and national levels in sporting activities.

The Academy was originally built for 250 students and we are now approaching 1000 students. Our student roll has risen significantly over recent years and we have worked creatively with our buildings to develop high quality teaching areas to accommodate this growth. We have ten impressive ICT suites, large playing fields, a recently renovated gym and assembly hall along with a large sports hall which we share with the community. Attleborough, as a town, is proposed to grow by a further 4000 houses over the next ten years and we therefore have exciting and innovative draft plans in place to provide even better facilities for educational, technical, sporting and community facilities on our site.

In January 2014, we chose to convert to Academy status sponsored by the TEN Group. This group are locally based and have a genuine ambition to improve education for Norfolk children. Their expertise, influence and ambition will provide outstanding support to our community to ensure that our all-inclusive agenda is greatly enhanced as we move into the next phase of our development. City College Norwich and the new University Technical College (UTC) in Norwich are part of the TEN Group and so we will share in their ambition to foster ‘KS1 to degree’ pathways for all our students.

Our Sixth Form have a base in a purpose built study centre but are also integrated into the main Academy. We operate a course linking arrangement with Wymondham College and as a result, are able to offer approximately thirty six different Advanced Level or BTEC Level 3 courses to prospective students. Our future will, therefore, offer strong opportunities for all students whether they wish to take a traditional  highly academic,  technical or vocational route.

Attleborough Academy Norfolk is an Academy with ambition. We are committed to continuous improvement and we have an outstanding teaching and support staff who all genuinely care for the education and progress of all our fantastic students. There already exists a great spirit here and so the impending growth of the Academy and the challenges and opportunities that will go with it make Attleborough Academy Norfolk a very exciting place to work and learn.

Mr Neil McShane
Principal