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Portland Academy's new principal 'privileged and 'excited' with new role
PORTLAND Academy’s new principal said she feels ‘privileged’ and ‘excited’ to be part of the project.
Alison Appleyard took on the role of principal at the beginning of January.
In an interview with the Dorset Echo she explained her vision for the new academy and shared some ideas for its future.
Mrs Appleyard, a mother of two, said that all the staff were passionate and enthusiastic about making the school the best it could be for the young people of Portland.
Mrs Appleyard talked about the innovative new ideas that will be implemented at the Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy (IPACA). She said that the idea of family and community was central to the academy.
Mrs Appleyard said: “We have four houses and the notion of family is very important.”
The four houses will all be named after important figures with Portland connections.
They will be Wren after Sir Christopher Wren, who used Portland stone in the rebuilding of St Paul’s Cathedral in London after the Great Fire, John Penn – after the founder of Pennsylvania Castle, Anning after fossil hunter Mary Anning and Coode, after Sir John Coode, who was involved in creating Portland harbour.
There could also be family tutor groups filled with a mixture of ages.
Mrs Appleyard said that the academy would operate at ‘stage not age.’ She added that in the all-through system children would all be known, understood and supported as they move through the school with the same heads of house.
Mrs Appleyard said: “It’s a holistic approach to education. We want the students and staff to be happy. We’re going for the H factor – that’s the happy school.”
It is hoped IPACA will move into its new buildings at some point in the next academic year.
There will be a small amount of movement between the two sites.
One idea is the possibility of having three big lessons a day of 100 minutes each so that teachers and students can get into subjects in depth.
In five years’ time Mrs Appleyard said she wanted the academy to be a ‘leading light’ in education nationally.
She said: “I want to serve the children of Portland. I want to give them what’s right and good by them.”
She added that her dream would be to see: “The children are all happy and all attending and enjoying themselves at school.”
Revised plan addresses concerns over access
PLANS for the new Portland Academy have now been submitted to Weymouth and Portland Borough Council.
The plans will be available to the public to view within the next few weeks. Concerns had been raised about traffic access for the proposed site at Southwell Business Park. In December the original planning application was temporarily withdrawn to allow ‘time to address the concerns raised about travel and access in greater detail’.
Now the plan has been resubmitted, a spokesman for the Aldridge Foundation said: “We are delighted to announce that the updated application for the new IPACA Campus at Southwell Park has been submitted to the council.
“The revised documentation includes more detail about the academy’s travel plan, to demonstrate the IPACA’s sustainable transport strategy, and the measures proposed to ensure that the very important ecological nature of the business park site is protected and enhanced.”