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Robert Smyth Academy

innovation & excellence

Head’s Introduction

History and Development

Having recently celebrated the 400th anniversary of its foundation, I am proud of the Academy’s continuing commitment to and success in providing education for the young people of Market Harborough and surrounding areas.

The Academy is oversubscribed with over 1350 students, aged 14-19, studying a wide range of GCSE and post-16 courses. Vocational programmes feature in both Key Stages 4 and 5 and the majority of students leave at the end of the Sixth Form to go on to Higher Education.

The Academy has gone from strength to strength in recent years and successes are wide ranging. Achievement at both A Level and GCSE place us clearly and consistently above national and county averages. Sporting successes, especially in Rugby (Martin Johnson and Dan Cole are both ex-students) and football have earned the Academy an enviable reputation within Leicestershire. Music success has been phenomenal with the Jazz and Soul Bands winning international acclaim in Beijing when they represented the UK at the annual ISME world conference and also when they were picked to play at the Royal Albert Hall in the Music for Youth grand concert.

Ofsted has never judged the Academy to be less than good and our latest judgment ‘with outstanding features’ allowed us to be the first Upper School in Leicestershire to become an Academy.

Being an Academy

There has been a lot of discussion recently surrounding Academies. That is quite understandable, since the whole notion represents a significant shift in national education policy. However, I would like to make our position absolutely clear on this issue. We are very proud to have achieved Academy status, which comes as the result of much hard work from everyone in the Academy. Whilst our values and ethos remain the same and we still have very high expectations of our students, we are now in a strong position, in these difficult economic times, to continue providing the best possible education and experience for our students and to carry on the tradition of innovation and excellence that has become our hallmark.

We have a comprehensive student intake, which draws from a very wide range of backgrounds and skill levels. We are, if you like, a microcosm of society: we are not selective and there are no entry requirements at Key Stage 4 other than you will normally have to live in the catchment area and be of the right age.

Each year, our students go on to the next stage of their lives having achieved success, almost always to a degree that allows them to do what they had planned to do – or more. That could be further education (at 16, most choose to stay on here), university (including several successful Oxbridge applicants annually), employment or gap years.

In short, being an Academy means being able to ensure that all students are given the tools, expert guidance and support they need to achieve their potential and fulfil their aims, irrespective of their abilities or aptitudes.

Market Harborough Academies Partnership

In September 2012, we formed the Market Harborough Academies Partnership (MHAP) (11-19) with Welland Park Community College, one of our feeder high schools, with a view to eventually becoming one ‘all through’ academy. This is a logical step for the two Market Harborough secondary academies, creating a compelling focus on 11-19 progression. It goes without saying that we will continue to be equally committed to working with Kibworth High School in ensuring that their students, when they come to us, enjoy the same opportunities, both academic and otherwise, as those from Welland Park. For more information about this you can read our MHAP (11-19) updates page.

Find Out More

This website includes a link to our most recent Ofsted report. Please read it, since it will give you a very clear picture of what we are and what we stand for. However, you will gain an even greater flavour via the other pages on this site.

If, after this, you would like to arrange a visit, you will be most welcome and you will find contact information on this site.

I look forward to meeting you.

Colin Dean

Last updated: September 20, 2012