If we want students to enjoy learning and we are to inspire them to achieve their potential, then the curriculum they receive must be exciting, relevant and challenging. As such, we try to bring their learning to life, whenever possible, through visits, field trips and links with industry, commerce and the local community. The Academy offers a wide range of visits, both at home and abroad, and we encourage all students to become involved.
Over the last year, students have travelled to Barcelona, in Spain, to explore the culture of the Catalan Capital, Frankfurt, in Germany, where they visited the Audi Factory and Deutche Bank as part of their Business Course and CERN, in Switzerland, where they visited the ‘Particle Accelerator’ and witnessed for themselves the absolute cutting edge of scientific exploration and advancement. Another group of students had the adventure of a life time by completing the ‘World Challenge’ in India and next year a further group will have a similar opportunity to explore Vietnam and Cambodia.
Nearer to home, students completed residential Field Trips in Llandudno and Beverley where they studied the erosion and management of the North Wales Coast and the East Coast of Yorkshire respectively. Students taking the Duke of Edinburgh Award completed their over-night expeditions in the beautiful countryside of the Peak District.
Students studying Triple Science at GCSE attended Physics lectures at Manchester University last year whilst the younger students visited the Jodrell Bank Observatory to see the World famous Lovell Telescope and take part in the interactive exhibition on our galaxy and beyond. The residential weekend at Borwick Hall Adventure Centre, also run by the Science Department, was a great success with students combining a comprehensive revision programme with opportunities to go climbing and canoeing! Students studying GCSE PE regularly go climbing and abseiling at the Manchester Climbing Centre and can include this sport as part of their practical coursework portfolio if they wish. Students from across the Academy also regularly compete in a range of sports at both local and regional venues.
Students taking courses in the Performing Arts regularly visit the Theatre and this year one of our Drama groups also performed ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ at the Contact Theatre in Manchester as part of the National Shakespeare Schools Festival. Last year, students watched performances of ‘Blood Brothers’, ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night time’, ‘Wicked’ and ‘Billy Elliott’ to name but a few. A group of students also spent the weekend in London where they took in three West End productions in three days! The Performing Arts residential in Conway was a great experience with students learning a range of skills and techniques from professional actors and production staff. Similarly, students eyeing a career in the Music industry had the opportunity to take part in a song-writing workshop at Chetham’s School of Music.
Manchester and Liverpool City Centres, and their historic buildings, have provided ideas and inspiration for many students studying Photography and Art and students have also taken part in projects and workshops at Manchester Museum. Students studying Health and Social Care have gained valuable experience and understanding at local residential care homes and the ‘Teens and Toddlers’ group have really enjoyed working with the children at local nurseries.
The Academy runs termly ‘Rewards Trips’ to a number of venues. This year, students have visited ‘Go Ape’ and ‘Go Air’ and been bowling whilst others went to Chester Zoo or ‘Cineworld’. The trips regularly end with a meal at Nandos or on the ‘Curry Mile’! On the topic of food, students studying GCSE Catering also visited the ‘Red Hot Buffet’ this year to sample international cuisine and take part in workshops with chefs from a number of different cultures, a very popular trip!
Trips and residential experiences are open to all students and the Academy will endeavour to support those students where families are experiencing some financial hardship wherever possible.