Widening Participation

Weavers Academy offers extensive information, advice and guidance to all students about their routes following Sixth Form. We have recently introduced a wide range of provisions that caters for students who aspire to attend Russell Group universities as well as those who have a desire to extend their learning beyond the classroom experience. We are passionate about encouraging this in our students. These partnerships will serve to offer a number of exciting opportunities for present and future students alike.

Birmingham University Master Classes
Classes are designed to stimulate enquiry and broaden knowledge of the subject area covered. Each learning area within the Academy, will have accessed at least one of the classes. Classes run on a Wednesday afternoon and take place at the university itself, giving students the opportunity to take part in learning within a higher education setting. This gives our students invaluable experience of the transition between Sixth Form and university as well as potentially giving them a genuine taste of a subject they may go on to study.

The Warwick Project
The Warwick Project runs throughout the year for students who aspire to have careers specialising in scientific research. Students engage in a rolling programme covering physics, biology and chemistry in which they have the opportunity to work with academics who are actively engaged in scientific research at the university. Students who successfully complete the programme are likely to receive enhanced offers from the university should they elect to apply there.

The Oxbridge Support Programme
This is an excellent opportunity for aspiring Oxbridge candidates, provided via the Wellingborough Education Partnership, enabling students who meet the criteria to go through preparation for the renowned Oxford and Cambridge interview process. This year students have attended sessions led by the Director of Studies in Law at Cambridge University. They debate topical issues that can form part of the structure of the Oxbridge interview process. Students who successfully complete the support programme have improved chances of gaining offers from these prestigious universities.

Realising Opportunities
It is a great pleasure to announce our involvement in the Realising Opportunities programme – a partnership with 13 top UK universities set up to widen participation and routes into higher education. The programme includes mentoring by undergraduate students and upon successful completion – enhanced offers from the universities in the partnership (these are listed below). Individual universities are offering further admission incentives such as attractive subsidies and bursaries. Weavers Academy is currently the only Sixth Form in Wellingborough to offer its students this opportunity.
The universities involved are:
University of Birmingham
University of Bristol
University of Essex
Newcastle University
King’s College London
University of Leeds
University of Leicester
University of Liverpool
University of Manchester
University of Exeter
University of Sheffield
University of Warwick
University of York

Tomorrow’s Teachers Programme
A new partnership with the Edge Hill University provides expert support and guidance for our students who aspire to move into the teaching profession. As professional standards have developed within teaching, so too have the expectations and demands placed upon those seeking to move into teaching as a career. This programme will enable Weavers Academy students to receive the best possible preparation to help them to reach their goals. A placement in a local primary or secondary school will be sourced for each by a ‘Students in Classrooms’ team combined with a link teacher to support and guide students during their Tomorrow’s Teachers experience.

This exciting development enables our students to access ‘STEM Ambassadors’ who visit the Academy to deliver talks on a wide range of contemporary subjects within the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths. STEM Ambassadors use their enthusiasm and commitment to encourage young people to enjoy STEM subjects. Our shared aim is to open the doors to a world of opportunities and possibilities which come from pursuing STEM subjects and careers. STEM Ambassadors not only inspire young people, they also support teachers in the classroom by explaining current applications of STEM in industry or research. STEM Ambassadors include: apprentices, zoologists, set designers, climate change scientists, engineers of all disciplines, farmers, designers, geologists, nuclear physicists, architects, physicists, ice core chemistry technicians, pharmacists and energy analysts.

DeMontford University
Our partnership with DMU is entirely fitting given our own position as a member of the Creative Education Academies Trust. DMU is renowned for its innovation within courses focused around the creative. For the second year running, Which? University has named De Montfort University (DMU) as one of the top creative universities in the UK. We are excited about how our work together will progress and the opportunities that this will provide our current and future students.
Weavers will also have access to the DMU Outreach programme enabling our students to attend sessions at DMU as well as subject Master Classes delivered at the Academy.

The National Citizen Service
NCS is an excellent opportunity that helps students build skills for work and life whilst engaging in new challenges and meeting peers from a range of backgrounds and localities. Students aged 16-17 take part in different outdoor activities, develop skills, learn new things, help their local community and also make new friends. They are given the opportunity to create a project and bring it to life in their local area. We have found that this has had a significant impact on the independence and assertiveness of our students who have taken up this opportunity, making them more socially aware and active as well as building their confidence.