THE ACADEMY AT A GLANCE
- A member of the Aldridge Education multi-academy trust
- Opened in September 2011
- 1200 11-16 year olds
- Capacity for 250 students in Sixth Form
- Rated GOOD by Ofsted
Portslade Aldridge Community Academy opened in September 2011, replacing Portslade Community College. The Academy has a specialism in Science.
As a former pupil of the school, Sir Rod Aldridge was delighted that Aldridge Education was chosen as the Academy’s lead sponsor, alongside Brighton and Hove City Council as the then co-sponsor, and the University of Sussex as Education Partner. The Academy can accommodate 1,200 11-16 year olds, with a sixth form of 250.
Since conversion to academy status the school buildings have undergone a £12.7m investment programme, seeing a new sixth form centre, a new science centre with separate dedicated physics, chemistry and biology labs, a new theatre, new ICT facilities, a new community library and Adult Education Centre at the Chalky Road campus.
PACA’s vision is to foster independent learning. Students take responsibility for their own education in order to develop an entrepreneurial attitude of self motivation, leading to success. An example of the academy’s entrepreneurship programme can be seen in this video.
Students are encouraged to become leaders within the school and wider community. They take on a variety of roles such as mentors, prefects, peer support and charity ambassadors. It is seen as important that students develop a strong sense of social responsibility and make a positive contribution to the local and global community. In 2015 the work of the Academy’s Student Social Action Committee was recognised with the award of Charity Achievement of the Year in the Brighton Argus’ Youth in Action awards. In the words of the paper, the fundraising group “received a record-breaking 36 nominations for the work it does throughout the community”.
The academy’s foremost aim is to fully prepare students for adulthood and ensure that they are ‘life ready’ by the time they leave.
PACA was recognised as Most Improved School of the Year at the 2017 Brighton Argus Youth In Action Awards. They also managed to scoop the Teacher of the Year Award, which went to Mr Dean Flynn, the Head of PSHCE & Student Leadership.
Working in partnership with Brighton Aldridge Community Academy and Sussex Cricket PACA launched the Aldridge Cricket Academy 6th form courses for male and female students looking to build a career in cricket whilst gaining academic qualifications. PACA also has Dance and Football sixth form academies. Both schools are also working in partnership with LatestTV to develop the Brighton Digital Media Academy.
The Academy has seen much improved GCSE results for students in recent years. In 2017 the percentage of students who achieved grades 9-4 in English and maths, the new Government national benchmark, was 70%. This is projected to put PACA in the top 5% nationally of similar schools. In addition, 81% achieved grades 9-4 in Maths, again likely to be in the top 5% nationally, and 76% achieved grades 9-4 in English, which puts PACA in the top 20% nationally. In both English and maths, PACA’s result is over 10% above the national average.
A particular stand out subject for achievement was Art where 50% of students achieved A*/A grades. Across all subjects 87% of students achieved at least one A*/A grade or equivalent.
A-level results in 2017 were also showed how far the school had progressed with students achieving at least an A*-A grade or equivalent increasing from 60% to 73% and 82% of students achieving at least one A*-B grade or equivalent. 44% of all grades awarded were A*/A or equivalent and the school also had an impressive 100% pass rate in vocational qualifications.
Attendance last year was the most improved in the city. In December 2016 the Academy was rated Good on all measures by Ofsted.