Fresh details of the new free school show Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) are at the very heart of the curriculum – preparing Croydon teenagers for life in the 21st century.
“STEM is nationally understood in terms of curriculum, it’s a well-used phrase and it’s very important for Croydon, however… so are the arts,’ explains Frances Wadsworth, principal of Croydon College.
“Croydon School of Art is a jewel in Croydon’s crown and we believe the experts and the collective experience we have at the art school can help bring our vision of developing skills and behaviours which prepare young people to be creative, effective and digitally confident citizens, employees, entrepreneurs and leaders in the 21st century to life.”
An academy trust – set up by the college, – is behind the plan for the New Croydon Academy (NCA) which will be a six form of entry (180 pupils each year) secondary school with a sixth form, for pupils aged 11 to 18.
This is the Trust’s second attempt to secure a free school.
“We’ve gone back to the drawing board and working alongside the New Schools Network (NSN) and some high profile experts, I think our proposal is stronger, clearer and more innovative than before,” says Ms Wadsworth.
Expert organisations who have agreed to work as partners with NCA include Trinity School, a high achieving independent school in Shirley, the outstanding Dunraven School, a state-funded all-through school in Streatham, Croydon Tech City and the University of Sussex.
“NCA will not only address the need for more pupil places, increased parental choice and raised educational standards, but will also use the flexibility provided to an academy to develop each and every young person enabling them to progress with confidence at the end of Key Stage 4 or 5 into employment with training or to the next stage of their academic career,’ adds Ms Wadsworth.
“Croydon’s parents and carers have continued to be very supportive, and I thank them for their interest. We have surpassed our target responses and have received some very encouraging feedback.’