It is important to us that our students feel they belong to the Downham Market Academy community. We recognise that the Academy is very large so we have created smaller communities within it that students can relate to and feel a part of.
All students are allocated to a House at Downham Market Academy and this is denoted by the colour of the tie:
- Duffy Blue
- Dyson Green
- Holmes Red
- Peake Purple
Each House is led by a Head and Deputy Head of House, full details can be viewed here. Students will be encouraged to compete in various activities throughout the year and represent their House.
Each student will be in a tutor group with other students from Years 8, 9 and 10 and they will see their tutor every morning for twenty minutes at the start of the day. This tutor is the primary port of contact for both students and parents and will be able to offer advice and a supportive ear should there be any problems. The benefits of being in a vertical form with students from other year groups include:
- Receiving advice from older students about key decisions such as the options process
- Benefitting from the experience of older students around difficult social situations
- Being able to pass on experience and act as mentors for younger students
- Learning different points of view
For students with Special Educational Needs, our SENCo, Dr Natalie Paine, and Assistant SENCo, Mrs Bev Ireland, are able to offer specific and bespoke support and advice to students and parents.
At Downham Market Academy our aim is to work with parents to ensure that all our students receive the most from their education and reach their full potential. Research commissioned by the Department for Education shows missing school for even one day can mean a child is less likely to achieve good grades, which can have a damaging effect on their life chances.
Regular attendance is a minimum of 96%; akin to attending 182 of the possible 190 days this year. This would mean having no more than 8 days of absence between now and the end of the academic year in July. A lower attendance impacts outcomes; attend less and you will achieve less. We are keen to work with parents and carers to support students to attend all the time and a number of options are available as outlined in the letter below that is provided to all parents and carers at the start of the academic year.
For information on how to report an absence or apply for any term time holidays, please visit here.
At Downham Market Academy, our curriculum provides all students of different starting points and needs access to a full range of subjects. Students study the same broad range of subjects through lessons and structures tailored to their needs. The curriculum aspires to provide a quality, broad, interesting and challenging range of subjects and topics which ensures students are always ready for the next phase of their education as well as ensuring they are prepared for life in modern Britain.
In Year 9 students study: English, Maths, Science, History, Geography, RE, Art, Drama, Information Technology, Design Technology and PE. Some students will also study a foreign language.
All students are set by ability, with some students following a slightly different shape to their day to support their academic progress these students study all subject areas, but may see subjects combined. For example, their Drama provision may be linked to their English work and delivered with the support of their English teacher.
Each subject area has prepared a short overview of the topics taught in Year 9 that can be accessed using the links at the bottom of our curriculum pages here.
The options process will begin towards the end of the autumn term when students will be provided with information about the courses on offer for their KS4 (Year 10 & 11) education. Each student will be given advice about which type and combination of courses to choose to complement their personal ambition and potential. Parents will be invited to speak to a member of the Senior Leadership Team in early January to discuss proposed choices and get advice on suitability and progression.
It is important that students keep an open mind about the subjects that they choose to study and make sure that their choices are selfish, suiting their own interests and ambitions rather than following friends.