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:

Man trapped under fallen tree in Minster Lovell

Oxford Mail: Ambulance stock image

5:00pm Tuesday 5th May 2015

A MAN trapped under a fallen tree was taken to hospital after being rescued by fire crews this morning.

Harcourt Arboretum closes after gusts of more than 40mph forecast

Oxford Mail:

2:49pm Tuesday 5th May 2015

HARCOURT Arboretum should be open tomorrow after closing today because of strong winds.

Missing 15-year-old Elizabeth Skevington could be in Oxford

Oxford Mail:

2:24pm Tuesday 5th May 2015

A GIRL missing from Milton Keynes could be in the Oxford area, police said.

Land Rover stolen from Witney spotted heading towards Swindon

Oxford Mail:

11:14am Tuesday 5th May 2015

POLICE have released images of a stolen Land Rover almost two months after it was taken.

UPDATE: Arson suspected after fire at the Kassam Stadium as club confirm no serious damage caused

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

12:16am Tuesday 5th May 2015

A FIRE at the Kassam Stadium is being treated by police as suspected arson.  

Michael Appleton optimistic Oxford United's form can be transferred to next season

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 5th May 2015

Michael Appleton is confident Oxford United’s strong form at the end of the season can be translated into prolonged success across the whole of the next campaign.

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