Academies | Private Schools | Christian Schools

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Academics | Private School | Christian School

Private School | Christian School | Academy

Benefits of Academies

Organization of Academies

There are plenty of benefits to academies. They offer a chance for schools to run in a way that will benefit their staff and students, as well as offers more flexibility. Academies are independently run, unlike state schools that are under the control of the local authority. This independence gives academies more flexibility and control over how the school is run, which means how it is run financially and when it comes to deciding term dates/agreements. Because they have so much independence, academies are able to put a better emphasis on the things that are important to the students, parents, and staff. Academies are independent of the local authority which means they get their funding from the government directly. They can decide where their money goes, which is great because they are able to put funding where it’s needed, and they don’t have to wait for money to be allocated to certain areas. This is a plus for parents and students because not all schools are the same, and not every school will have the same needs. Academies also have more flexibility in their curriculum, which especially benefits students and teachers.

Teachers at Academies

Class size at academies is generally much smaller. Teachers are able to better identify the best way to teach their students, which in turn means they can adjust the curriculum they teach to reflect on their observations. A simple adjustment to curriculum can often result in students being more engaged in the learning that is being provided to them, therefore making them more likely to excel.

Enriched Education at Academies

One of the major benefits of academies is that they provide exceptional and challenging educational experiences through extracurricular activities, Advanced Placement courses, the International Baccalaureate programme (and the IB diploma program), and gifted programs, just to name a few. “The IB programme focuses on school work and on developing you as a whole person,” explains Myriam Choma, a Grade 12 student at Ashbury College, “I didn’t find that in any of my other schools.” Students at academies constantly score top marks on standardized tests and college entrance exams, and many schools have close to a 100 percent rate of students attending their university of choice.

Class Size at Academies

A comprehensive study on class size made by educational researchers Bruce Biddler and David Berliner in 2002 showed that the smaller the class size, the better the average student performs on academic achievement tests. Eric Vosko reflects on his experience as a student at The Rosedale Day School, in Toronto, Ontario. “It was weird for me because the school was so small. It was the right decision for sure, it has been a great school.” And the gains from smaller class sizes are stronger the longer a child is exposed to them. Academies vary greatly in size, but depending on their teaching style, almost all focus on the importance of small class sizes to individually help students’ weak areas and advance their strengths.

Academies and Discipline

Academies have a reputation for maintaining high standards for discipline and respect. Lower staff-to-student ratios allow for more effective observation and control of school grounds. The strong sense of community found in academies discourages dangerous behavior. In the Fraser Institute study, around 72 percent of parents surveyed with children in the academies system strongly agreed that their school was safe, which greatly improves the quality of the child’s educational experience and achievement. The discipline they learn also improves their rates for success in post-secondary education when they are in control of their class attendance and achievement.

Academies Have More Extra-curricular Activities

While academics remain the priority for most private schools, many also place a strong focus on a well-rounded education and encourage participation in extracurricular activities such as sports, music, arts, or clubs. This involvement helps stimulate students in their studies, as noted in a study at Stanford University that found that students involved in the arts are more motivated to learn and are three times more likely to win a school attendance award. Grant MacDonald, whose two daughters attend Newbridge Academy, says that sport “has become part of their daily life. It has made them more focused. They’re both doing very well academically.” Extracurricular activities can provide a much-needed break from the stresses of academics, while developing skills and engaging in valuable social situations.

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Preparation for Life at Academies

Academies go beyond offering the mandatory subjects required by standard curriculum; they can offer students a wide range of specializations including arts programs, athletics, math, science. Private schools are responsible for producing many leaders in politics, business, and society, with a history of adapting quickly to changes in technology and culture. And today, they are also sought by parents of kids with special needs such as behavior (including troubled teen behavior), learning, developmental, or physical disabilities. “This school really helps you focus and think about your future, and how you want your life to be,” says Nisha Sharma, a Grade 12 student last year at Pinehurst School.

Academies and the Multi-Academy Trust

Another huge benefit that Academies, students, and staff receive, is the multi-academy trust (MAT). Not only do MATs provide support academically, but it also offers support in other areas the school may not be equipped for, like Admin support and finance. MATs also are given the ability to share with other schools, they can give each other advice and guidance on what works, and what doesn’t work, as well as help each other deliver the best education that works for the students.