Pledges

The Academy’s Pledges initiative ensures that students understand the value of extra-curricular involvement within and outside of the Academy. Through meeting the ten Pledges, that range from attending enrichment activities to organising fundraising events, students gain confidence and valuable life experiences that will help to prepare them for life beyond Outwood Academy Acklam.

The Pledges encourage students to be actively involved in the wider school community and to realise that their experiences whilst at school stretch further than the classroom. By promoting independence and teamwork, students can apply new skills and improved confidence to all aspects of their lives. Whether it’s representing the Academy on stage, on the field or on excursions, the Pledges encourage our students to get involved, make new friends and take pride in themselves and all they do.

Pledge 1: Regularly attend an after Academy activity

  • In the Academy
    There are many after school enrichments which are offered by different departments in the Academy. The most important thing is that students enjoy the enrichments which they take part in, but they can also offer wonderful opportunities.
    Sports enrichments offer students the opportunity to develop teamwork, leadership and communication skills. There are many different sports clubs and teams, many which have achieved national success.
    Music enrichments also develop cooperation and communication skills, as well as expanding other areas such as commitment, patience and discipline. Music examinations beyond Grade 6 are worth UCAS points in the same way as academic qualifications.
    Subject enrichments allow students to demonstrate their deep interest in a subject and build up skills which will allow them to study subjects at a higher level. Attending subject enrichments which are not related to the area of study or work which a student hopes to follow demonstrate broader interests.
    Although students only need to attend an enrichment for one term to gain their pledge we hope that they will find an interest which they can pursue for much longer.
  • Outside of the Academy
    Although enrichments outside of the Academy do not count for pledges, clubs and teams which students attend outside the Academy offer the same rewards in developing experiences and skills which will be attractive to universities and employers; preparing students for further education and work.

Pledge 2: Represent the Academy in a sporting, cultural or academic event

  • In the Academy
    Representing the Academy in sports, music or academically can make a job or university application really stand out. Being one of the best students in the Academy in a particular area is a real accomplishment. There are several opportunities to excel at Outwood Grange Academy. Our students have played sports at county and national level and entered regional and national music festivals. Other students have represented the Academy in a foreign language spelling bee, taken part in the National Maths Challenge or entered science projects into the National Science and Engineering Competition. As well as the transferable skills which students achieve from entering these competitions; the pride of representing the Academy is immeasurable.
  • Outside of the Academy
    Although it would not count for an Academy pledge, competing at a regional or national level in sport, music or drama or representing a local sports team gives students the same opportunities and experiences as when they represent the academy.

Pledge 3: Take part in an Outward Bound residential programme

  • In the Academy
    Outwood Grange Academy offers many opportunities each year for students to attend national events. These include watching World class sportsmen and women competing at top venues, attending performances at one of the big theatres. These experiences broaden a student’s horizons and interests.
    We also visit national exhibitions in a variety of subjects. Students choosing a course to study at university must show that they have researched and selected the right course for them. Attending national exhibitions can help to demonstrate understanding and passion for a particular subject.
  • Outside of the Academy
    Students do not have to complete this pledge within the Academy. There are many sporting, academic or cultural events which students could attend with friends or family and gain the same benefits from.

Pledge 4: Attend a national sporting, academic or cultural event

  • In the Academy
    Outwood Grange Academy offers many opportunities each year for students to attend national events. These include watching World class sportsmen and women competing at top venues, attending performances at one of the big theatres. These experiences broaden a student’s horizons and interests.
    We also visit national exhibitions in a variety of subjects. Students choosing a course to study at university must show that they have researched and selected the right course for them. Attending national exhibitions can help to demonstrate understanding and passion for a particular subject.
  • Outside of the Academy
    Students do not have to complete this pledge within the Academy. There are many sporting, academic or cultural events which students could attend with friends or family and gain the same benefits from.

Pledge 5: Take part in an Academy production or event

  • In the Academy
    There is a main Academy production each year, as well as a number of other concerts and productions throughout. Taking part in a production requires organisation, confidence, cooperation and communication skills. These transferable skills are invaluable in study and in the workplace so completing this pledge allows students to develop and demonstrate these skills, whether on the stage or behind the scenes.
  • Outside of the Academy
    Although this pledge must take place in the Academy to be counted, students will gain the same benefits from performing with a community choir, orchestra or drama group.

Pledge 6: Take part in a formal presentation to an audience

  • In the Academy
    Students are offered many opportunities in and out of lessons to complete this pledge. Standing up in front of an audience requires confidence and communication skills. Many jobs require presentations to be given and it is often a large requirement of the assessment during university study. Students who are able to demonstrate these skills on applications will benefit.
  • Outside of the Academy
    Students may have the opportunity to present to different audiences through extracurricular clubs, teams or societies which they attend outside of the Academy.

Pledge 7: Be actively involved in an international experience

  • In the Academy
    The Academy has links with schools throughout the World and there are several chances for students to become involved with students from other countries. Whether this takes place within the Academy via internet links or involves visiting another country, students can obtain valuable transferable skills and qualities from their international experiences. Communication is very important in this pledge but resilience, confidence and cooperation also feature highly. Students who have been involved with an international events will be able to write assuredly about their experiences in applications.
  • Outside of the Academy
    Students can develop their own international partnerships beyond the experiences done in the Academy. There are several programmes available for students to undertake voluntary work abroad.

Pledge 8: Be actively involved in a community experience

  • In the Academy
    There are some opportunities to be involved with the community through the Academy but this is really a pledge which involves students getting involved with their own local communities.
  • Outside of the Academy
    Community experiences are a wonderful opportunity for students to volunteer within their local communities. This is particularly relevant to those students who wish to enter a caring profession in the future such as medicine, nursing, dentistry, physiotherapy or veterinary science to demonstrate an understanding of and commitment to the subject. Spending time volunteering within a nursing home, for example, demonstrates an understanding of the requirements of a caring profession while volunteering in a kennels or at a farm helps develop a good understanding of healthy animals for potential vets.

Pledge 9: Participate in a fund raising event in the Academy

  • In the Academy
    There are a variety of fund-raising events which take place throughout the academic year and students who are passionate about a particular charity can apply for permission to run their own fund-raising event. In terms of UCAS or job applications the organisation of a fund-raising event has many transferable skills such as organisation, communication, cooperation, creativity and resilience. A charity which is relevant to future ambitions would be a good idea – a charity such as Sight Savers International for a student who wishes to become an optician for example.
  • Out of the Academy
    Again, for this pledge to count students must complete the fund-raising within the Academy but the benefits of completing fund-raising activities on the development of skills and qualities will also be relevant when completed outside of the Academy.

Pledge 10: Help with the sustainability of the Academy

  • In the Academy
    Sustainability is about looking after our environment and there are many ways which students can contribute to the sustainability of the Academy. A way in which this can also impact on desirable attributes for university or job applications is for students to become involved in coordinating or promoting the sustainable projects.
  • Out of the Academy
    Again, promoting or coordinating sustainable projects outside of the Academy can demonstrate the same teamwork, coordination and communication skills as when the projects are done within the Academy.