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AXMINSTER: ASPIRE concept ‘unique’ in developing pupils’ skills

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Business people, college staff, students and students’ parents attended the formal Axe Valley Community College ASPIRE Coaching Relaunch.
The aims of the ASPIRE programmes are to help students succeed at college and beyond.
Axe Valley Community offers a selection of ASPIRE programmes; Coaching; General and Arts for gifted and talented children.
ASPIRE co-ordinator Rebecca Levi explained the selection criteria to Pulman’s View by saying: “All the ASPIRE programmes include Year 5 and 6 students in the local primary schools and Years 7-13 here.
“The primary schools nominate their top students in September, according to their predicted grades for end of Year 6 in English, science and maths.
“The Years 7-13 are the top 10 per cent of the year group academically.
“For the ASPIRE Arts programme, the students are chosen on artistic abilities in the three subjects.
“The students will be assessed in lessons if they are Years 7-13 and for Years 5 and 6 we run an arts day where we can assess the art, drama and music skills of the students.”
Explaining how the ASPIRE concept came about, she said: “It is wholly created by Axe Valley Community College, although there are some examples of gifted and talented programmes around the country.
“We are very unique in that we involve primary school students and we are very unique in the breadth of what we offer - trips, projects, coaching, skills workshops, masterclasses with external professionals.
“Schools will often provide masterclasses, clubs and workshops for gifted and talented students, but not many will involve the community like we do and the ASPIRE Coaching programme is even more unique.
“We are very excited about attending the annual Occupational Psychology Conference in Brighton in January to present the ASPIRE Coaching programme to an audience interested in how we can prepare the youth of today better for employment.
“Our programme is being seen as a great example of developing the skills of the next generations, providing an opportunity for the commuity to get involved in developing the next generations and sharing their skills and expertise.”
Current partners in the business community include The Met Office and Axminster Tool Centre. Mrs Levi described the partnerships as “a unique collaboration between students and adults outside the college to help develop life-long skills”.
In his invitation to the relaunch, headteacher Martin Smith wrote: “We are proud of the ASPIRE programme and the possibilities it can provide for the future of the students here at the Axe Valley Community College


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