'Academy will provide world-class education pupils deserve'

Published on: 07 Feb 2013

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'Academy will provide world-class education pupils deserve'

Broadlands Academy’s new principal Dean Anderson, who took up his role at the start of 2013, speaks to Keynshamvoice about his vision for the school. Principal Dean Anderson

What attracted you to the role of principal at Broadlands Academy in Keynsham?

There were a number of reasons as to why I was attracted to the role of Principal at Broadlands, but I was completely convinced that it was the right job for me when I visited the school for the first time at the end of September for Interview.

The students sold the school to me with their honesty and desire to see Broadlands return to the outstanding school that it used to be. Obviously they were affected by the threatened closure, but since that had been averted, they were excited about the prospect of becoming an Academy sponsored by the Academies Enterprise Trust.

I was also very impressed with the Academies Enterprise Trust and their commitment to help improve the school and to work in collaboration with neighbouring schools and our community.

Has the transition gone well so far for staff and pupils?

The staff have been very responsive, as have the students. They have welcomed me into the Broadlands family and the transition for me has been made very easy.
Staff and students are clear as to my expectations and are working hard. They have responded well to the changes I have already implemented and I am looking forward to working with our students and their families regarding the improvements that will be made over the coming weeks to ensure we provide the best possible educational opportunities for all.

The Academy’s motto is “To Make our Best Better”. Can you give some examples of how this might be put into action?

The motto comes from the Academies Enterprise Trust, who firmly believe that all children are entitled to attend a good school, wherever they live.
They are the largest academy chain in the country and offer us a number of benefits from staff training to funding support. Working with them is a fantastic opportunity which we will take full advantage of for the benefit of all our students and our community.

We will be able to provide all our students with the academic and social opportunities they require and can call on support and links with a number of different schools and organisations to achieve this.

What changes might students and parents see in day-to-day school life?

The uniform changes in September and all Broadlands Academy students will be in a new uniform. This will include ties and blazers.

I believe that all students should come to the Academy prepared to learn and dressed and equipped appropriately. They should be proud of their school and this should be reflected in the way they look.

We have approached a local uniform provider who is preparing some samples and we will then begin the consultation process with students and their families.

I am very conscious, however, of the additional cost this process incurs, and of the current economic climate for families, so in September, we will provide all our students with a blazer free of charge. This includes all of our new Year 7 students.

The timetable has already changed, with longer learning periods to aid student progress, and there will be changes to our behaviour policy after half-term. I believe that we prepare students for life beyond school, so it is important that they have a good moral understanding of their responsibilities. Broadlands Academy will be a disciplined environment where all students are given the opportunity to flourish without fear of others disrupting their learning.

Is the school still a specialist in science and engineering? Is there emphasis on certain aspects of the curriculum?

We have retained our specialisms and will continue to build on the excellent achievements of our Science and Engineering departments. However, I am keen for the expertise we have gained to be used in other curriculum areas also, to ensure the best provision across the range of subjects. Progress in English and maths is good and improving.

Is there a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities offered at Broadlands?

There is a full programme of activities from the arts to sport to a range of revision and extension activities for our more able students. We actively encourage all students to attend an extra-curricular club. Recently, we have seen great success in our football teams, in particular our Year 9 students played in the semi-final of the National Schools Cup competition for the second year in a row.

Briefly, why would Broadlands Academy be a good choice for families in the area?

Broadlands Academy will become an outstanding school for the students of Keynsham and Bristol. We will work in partnership with our sponsors the AET, and the local community to ensure that all students have access to a world-class education. It is what they deserve and it’s my job to ensure it happens.

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