Academy exploring final frontier

Headteacher Mike Grocott

Headteacher Mike Grocott

First published in News

PUPILS caught a glimpse of the future when they looked around the UK’s first space academy in Banbury.

More than 70 students attended induction days this week at Banbury Academy in Ruskin Road to get to know their new teachers and classmates and take part in robotic challenges.

The Space Studio Banbury academy, which shares a site with Banbury Academy, will specialise in teaching STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and maths – to pupils aged 14 to 18.

Headteacher Mike Grocott, who helped found the academy, said the schools aim is to encourage pupils to pursue careers in the space industry.

He told pupils during their visit on Thursday: “When everyone thinks of space they just think of astronauts, but there is so much more than that, such as engineers and designers.

“The UK is a growing space industry, we will have 10 per cent of the growth in the next 10 years.

“We are not selective, as long as students have a passion for science and maths they can come.

“The students we have here could go on to change the world.”

So far 77 pupils have signed up to study in the autumn and Mr Grocott said they had space for around 300 pupils.

Despite studying specialised subjects students will follow the national curriculum and gain GCSE and A-level qualifications.

They will also study English Literature, English Language and a foreign language.

Students will learn via “project based learning”, he said, showing how science is applicable to the real world.

Head of science Hayley Flood said: “It is a wonderful thing for the students to be able to do.

“[Science] It is the ultimate question really, to find out where we come from and where we are going.

“It has been a lovely couple of days getting to know everyone one, they have been really great.”

So far the pupil ratio of the new academy is approximately 80 per cent boys and both Mr Grocott and Miss Flood want to encourage more female students to the school.

Miss Flood said: “There are lots of women doing amazing things in science and it is our job to expose them to that so that they know.

“There are plenty of role models out there.”

Oxford Mail:

Matthew Heaton-Biggs, left, and Feng Zhong build a robot watched by head of science Hayley Flood

Bryony Clifton, 14, currently studying at Banbury Academy, will start at the Space Academy in September. She said: “I thought the courses seemed interesting and it will help me when I apply for university.”

The academy will open on September 3.

Our top stories:

Women first as charity runners brave weather

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Monday 30th March 2015

THIS year’s wet and windy OX5 Run was won by a woman for the first time after Sophie Carter took on the challenge for her son.

Timber from felled trees will be recycled to boost Oxford charity

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Monday 30th March 2015

TREES that were cut down to make way for the Westgate development are now changing lives in Blackbird Leys.

Video: Is there a flash of Blenheim Palace in new trailer for Bond film Spectre?

Oxford Mail:

9:41pm Sunday 29th March 2015

BLENHEIM Palace seemingly appears in the first official trailer for the new James Bond film Spectre.

Nick Clegg launches Lib Dem election campaign in Abingdon

Oxford Mail:

1:19pm Sunday 29th March 2015

DEPUTY Prime Minister Nick Clegg visited Abingdon this afternoon to launch the Liberal Democrats' campaign for the General Election.

Video: Organisers praise dedication of OX5 runners who braved the elements

Oxford Mail:

12:58pm Sunday 29th March 2015

HUNDEREDS of people lined the gardens of Blenheim Palace on a wet and windy Sunday to cheer on the runners of today's OX5 Run.

Low power reported in Cumnor and Marcham

Oxford Mail: light bulb with power lines

12:14pm Sunday 29th March 2015

PEOPLE have been left with reduced electricity this afternoon after power problems hit Cumnor and Marcham.

 

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree