Principal’s Welcome

Welcome to The Halley Academy

I am delighted to welcome you to The Halley Academy. We are an aspirational, disciplined and inclusive academy where human-scale education, a dynamic curriculum, and excellent teaching and pastoral care, maximise student achievement.

Our core values – respect, achievement, collaboration, integrity and resilience – permeate everything we do. We believe in the potential of every student. We champion the highest outcomes for all young people. Our staff are driven by the belief that education can transform our students’ lives. We take our role as educators seriously and sincerely – we know that the culture of our academy affects the character of our students, which in turn shapes the culture of our society. 

It is for this reason why we are so proud to be a caring community where everybody feels empowered and supported to be the best version of themselves. Students are inspired to work hard, play an active role with the world around them, and to achieve more than they thought possible. Safeguarding is of paramount importance; our students are happy, safe and successful in our care. We build strong partnerships with parents and carers, working closely together to ensure all students enjoy a fulfilling and rewarding education. Our teachers lead with professionalism and scholarship; they are experts in their field and love sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm for their subject with their classes. All of us are part of a warm and compassionate family of staff, Governors and Trust colleagues who have boundless ambitions for those we work with and a deep commitment to learning and self-improvement. We know that working with children every day is the best job in the world. 

Our ambitious world-class curriculum delivers an education of excellence for all, through consistently highly effective teaching and a culture of high expectations for our students. The Halley Academy has been an International Baccalaureate World School since 2019. We believe passionately in the mastery of the core within a broad, balanced and coherent curriculum that develops the whole child. The curriculum is shaped by, and deeply rooted in, the strongest available evidence about how students learn and retain knowledge. We are committed to students engaging deeply and comprehensively with both substantive and disciplinary knowledge so that they achieve strong outcomes throughout each phase of the curriculum: the Middle Years Programme (MYP) in Years 7, 8 and 9; a two-year Key Stage 4 where students study a range of GCSEs and vocational qualifications in Years 10 and 11; and the International Baccalaureate Careers Programme (IBCP) in our Sixth Form.

We have experienced unprecedented investment and refurbishment as part of joining Leigh Academies Trust, providing excellent learning facilities in an historic listed building. All students at The Halley Academy are given access to a personal Chromebook, which they use every day in lessons and at home to support their learning. All physical classrooms have a corresponding virtual classroom, and all teaching staff have Google Educator certification so that technology can enhance the learning experiences of students. With considerable investment from the Tallow Chandlers Livery Company, our brand-new Engineering and Design Centre opened in June 2022, not only supports the development of our thriving STEM specialism, but also gives students access to world-class learning facilities. Students and staff also benefit from a modern sports complex on our 16 acre site and a number of cutting edge science laboratories.

We know that happy and supported students will be successful and engaged in their learning. This is why students between Years 7-11 join one of our three small school communities – Easley, Franklin or Turing – each with a team of staff dedicated to helping them surpass their potential. Our fourth small school – Hawking – offers bespoke academic and pastoral support to our Sixth Formers. 

Every student is valued and cared for as an individual who plays an essential role as part of our wider small-school and whole-school community. Students are in tutor groups according to their small school communities and year group; allocation is not determined by academic performance. Students form a strong relationship with their tutor as a first point of contact. They enjoy a daily comprehensive tutor time programme, which includes current affairs bulletins, assemblies, sex and relationship education, alongside a well-structured careers, advice and guidance scheme. The entire academy community, including the sixth form, has regular whole academy assemblies to celebrate our shared values and successes. 

Our curriculum is rich and dynamic because it invests deeply in the holistic development of our students. We offer a wide range of enriching extracurricular clubs both before and after school. The MYP Programme affords students the opportunity to make links between their learning across different disciplines, as well as play active roles in local community projects. Students are confident, appreciative and articulate inquirers as a result of our leadership programmes. We maximise opportunities for learning outside of the classroom through trips, visits from outside speakers, Cultural Capital Days and careers guidance that opens our students’ minds to the possibilities and opportunities in the world around them. Our Values programme and Global Citizenship lessons help develop the global mindedness of our students, whilst IT classes ensure that they can use technology safely and responsibly. Our unique Academy farm family, with its bees, allows students to understand how nature, the environment and horticulture affects our everyday lives.

The Halley Academy equips students with the knowledge, skills and experiences so that they can play an active and informed role in 21st Century Britain. We provide outstanding academic support and pastoral guidance so that our students can lead fulfilling and successful adult lives. 

We are proud to be a local school of choice for the community we serve. We encourage you to explore why The Halley is such an exciting and unique place to learn. If you feel that your child would benefit from joining us, and want to find out more, please do not hesitate to contact us and visit us in person. 

Ben Russell | Principal

Photo of Ben Russell, Principal at The Halley Academy.