1. Vision, ethos and values

Armfield Academy is an all-through primary/secondary Free School with a Nursery in the South area of Blackpool. The school will open in 2018 with Nursery, Reception and Year 7 children and when it reaches capacity, will offer places to 1280 pupils. It will be an inclusive non-denominational school which will welcome children from the full spectrum of ability. It will become a high performing school, in which no excuses will be made for poor outcomes.

We will provide the community of South Blackpool with a high quality, high performing school in which every child really matters and which takes all of its young children through to being young adults. It will be a school for all children irrespective of culture, ethnicity, background and ability and will have an ethos based on the traditional British family values of Pride, Respect, Integrity, Discipline and Excellence which underpin each of FCAT’s academies.

The development of an inclusive, high performing all-through school, offering children stability in educational placement from age 2 to 16 years is a key feature of our vision. Parents and community members have expressed their support for an all-through school (Section 10 consultation). Blackpool has the highest level of concentrated deprivation in England (Indices of Deprivation 2015) and if we are to deliver on our aspiration for much improved pupil outcomes, we wish to provide parents with the choice of a school in which artificial transition stages at Nursery to Reception and Year 6 to Year 7 are removed and there is continuity of education and care.

We are supported by all the schools in our trust, including two outstanding schools. Hambleton Primary Academy, will work closely with the leadership of the Free School on development of the primary phases, including Nursery provision. Hambleton Academy opened their Nursery in 2001 and subsequently has had 3 Outstanding Ofsted inspections. Unity has also has 2 Outstanding inspections of its Nursery provision in the last three years. Armfield Academy will use the experience and expertise available from these highly successful establishments in the setting up of the Armfield Nursery. Square footage of nursery classrooms will conform to EFSA regulations and all statutory ratios will be met. EYFS requirements will be delivered in line with our education plan. Hodgson Academy is also an outstanding school, is part of the FCAT Teaching Schools Alliance and will provide support to development of the secondary phases of the school.


2. Membership of Fylde Coast Academy Trust (FCAT)

FCAT Multi-Academy Trust’s existing sponsored/converter academies, include both primary and secondary schools and an all-through school. When Fylde Coast Teaching Alliance was established in 2011, it was recognised by Blackpool LA as a strong provider of school improvement on the Fylde Coast. It was formed through an alliance between the ‘Outstanding’ Blackpool Sixth Form College and the ‘Outstanding’ Hodgson Academy to promote the highest standards of teaching, learning and assessment across each phase of education on the Fylde Coast. It was invited to sponsor Fylde Coast Academy Trust (FCAT).

In partnership with the Teaching School Alliance, FCAT’s main aim is to develop teaching, learning and leadership in all of its academies resulting in improved outcomes and life chances. FCAT’s Growth Strategy (FCAT Three Year Development Plan 2015-18) outlines its plans to develop its MAT across the geographical area of the Fylde Coast and now incorporates 7 academies with a further 2 joining in September 2017. Our academies offer parental choice of co-educational, inclusive primary, secondary and all-through provision. Expertise from outstanding schools within the Fylde Coast Teaching School are already bringing extensive, collaborative, high quality support to existing FCAT academies and this has already supported the Free School.

Currently, FCAT already has within its MAT and Teaching Schools Alliance, 6 National Leaders of Education and 2 National Leaders of Governance who offer leadership and management support to its academies.


3. Our Vision and Ethos

Our vision is for Armfield Academy to become an outstanding provider through the provision of high quality teaching and learning experiences. Quite simply, we will be an “Academy to be Proud of.”

We will significantly address the low academic outcomes evident in the town by ensuring rigorous monitoring and accountability measures are in place and a clear focus of raising standards will be prevalent throughout the academy. A culture of always looking to improve will be generated. This in itself will be based upon the removal of excuses through a “together, we can” approach. At Armfield Academy excuses will simply not be tolerated. A high quality, innovative curriculum will enable the advantages of an all through school to be really capitalized upon. Based upon firm foundations in Numeracy and Literacy, we will maximize the use of our specialist staff so ensuring students receive the very best delivery. To support teaching and learning, outstanding professional development will be delivered with the Academy maximizing the skills and knowledge from colleagues in the schools within the Trust. Rigorous appraisal for all staff linked to performance will ensure students receive the very best provision. We will actively have a “child-centred” ethos and ensure that all parties working with the academy share this belief.

4 Principles and Values

We believe that our school should develop in its students, an acceptance of their individual and collective responsibilities as members of various local, national and international communities and create a strong sense of the importance of working together for the common good. Armfield Academy will develop the student to have pride in their school, their town, their country and most importantly themselves. To do this the Academy has developed the following guiding principles to achieve its vision:

The belief that our students’ success and happiness in school depends on all of us working together in close Partnership with parents, carers, and families.

We set the highest of expectations by developing a no excuse culture so that students will develop the Resilience to become successful learners.

We believe that every student must be Inspired to be the very best that they can be.

Together, and with support from all Trust members, we will Develop every student to fulfill their potential.

Every child is of equal importance to us.

Our vision pervades everything we do – an “Academy to be Proud of.” To foster this we aim to ensure every child is hardworking, articulate, literate, knowledgeable, confident, independent, courteous and compassionate. All of our provision underpins the development of these characteristics, which enable students to achieve the best from their education and stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives.

We strive to enable our students to fulfil their potential in an inspirational and professional learning environment. Creating further an inclusive culture which celebrates success and builds the highest expectations for all students, irrespective of their background is a priority. Developing a first class support system and reducing the barriers to an aspirational and successful education will be created.

At Armfield Academy, we will have six values which support everything we do and stand for:

  • We are dedicated to learning and achieving
  • We lead by example
  • We respect everyone
  • We are open, transparent and honest
  • We are committed to our community
  • We work together in one direction

We will deliver the high quality education required to address the needs of children and families within the Free School’s catchment area by developing an all-through Free School which:

  • follows FCAT’s core values;
  • is high performing;
  • is rigorous in its delivery of positive outcomes for children;
  • provides continuity of education to children aged 2-16;
  • takes young children through to being young adults;
  • champions the principle that every child really does matter;
  • is built on traditional British values of pride, ambition, respect, resilience, integrity and excellence;
  • is non-denominational;
  • develops confident learners who are resilient and mentally tough;
  • is inclusive of all children irrespective of culture, ethnicity, ability or social background;
  • offers no excuses for poor performance;
  • has outstanding leaders and teachers;
  • offers children and their families wrap-around care;
  • makes the community of South Shore and Blackpool proud;
  • gains an Ofsted judgement of Outstanding.

The delivery of our all-through school will provide opportunities to address the issues prevalent in Blackpool in the following ways:

  • It will enable opportunities to forge a long-term relationship between the school and its children and families, thus providing stability and continuity in education. This allows us to work with children and their parents from the pre-school stage to develop the learning behaviours of good attendance and enthusiasm for learning that could address some of the gaps in performance so evident in the data.
  • We aim to address the dips in performance usually associated with transition from primary to secondary school.
  • We will enable primary age (Phase 1 and 2) pupils to access secondary age (Phase 3 and 4) specialisms, thus offering wider opportunities for extending higher ability pupils. This will meet our vision for creating high expectations and delivering aspirational outcomes for pupils. Teaching staff with secondary specialisms will be used in phases 1 & 2, likewise primary trained colleagues will have the opportunity to deliver in phase 3.
  • Our all-through school with its offering of 2-16 provision to all siblings in a family will help to mitigate against the high level of churn in Blackpool. It is part of our vision that with its principle of placing the child at the centre of everything, it will develop families’ confidence in their community school and prevent ‘flight’ to other schools and across LA boundaries.
  • Cross-phase professional development enables our teachers to broaden their skills and experience and develop future leaders confident within all phases of education.