The UCL Academy should improve
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The UCL Academy is a secondary school in Camden, London. It is funded by UCL. It was branded as the "super school of the future".
However, many students, parents and former staff believe this is not the case.
The UCL Academy provides equal chances - for their able bodied students, and those who don't suffer from mental illness. Many students with mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety are not given the correct help they need and deserve e.g being made to sit in lessons which trigger anxiety.
Lessons are long, many spanning a little over 2 hours, and many teachers do not come prepared with enough material to cover the entire lesson, so students are left bored, with nothing else to do.
From Year 7, students are pushed well beyond their levels, to targets which they are not capable to achieve. They are marked on how many more "targets" they have reached from the last term, so if a student was working at a high level. and met all targets last term, and met all targets this term, they would have made limited progress.
Students are made to stay outside at break and lunch, or in the canteens, which are very drafty, cramped, and cold, being all open plan. Even if it is raining, below freezing, or just not very pleasant weather to be in, students are not allowed inside the building until the bell rings.
The lunch and break times are extremely short, the morning break spanning 5-15 minutes, while lunch spans 30-40 minutes. That adds up to just under an hour in an eight or nine hour school day. Teachers almost always let students out late, and the bell is almost always rung early.
The school uniforms are, conventionally, unneeded, and even dangerous in some lessons, such as Food Tech, Engineering and Science, as lanyards get in the way, as do the blazers and ties.
Phones, when confiscated, are sometimes not given back for a week, to two weeks, and only a parent can come and collect it. Phones are given out to the wrong children, and even lost.
Please consider signing this petition to help change our school for the better.
QUOTES FROM STUDENTS, PARENTS, AND FRIENDS OF STUDENTS ABOUT THE SCHOOL.
"Hellhole" - Year 9 Student.
"The uniforms make me feel fat and ugly" - Year 9 Student
"I'm making worse progress than I did in Year 6" - Year 7 Student
"UCL, don't get me started. Why do you make me get up at 6, to be in school at 8:30, and I don't even get home until 6pm. Guess how long I do homework for? 7pm till after midnight because I want to get good grades. Don't even make me start about the uniform. It makes me look scruffy, and the colour makes us easily known. The teachers are lacking with sheets and homework. They barely give us any work in lessons, and expect us to do ten times the amount of homework that any other student in the UK has to do" - Year 9 student
"As a parent of Year 8 or Level 1 student I think the Ofsted report was fair. The school management is very weak. It is very difficult to communicate with staff and teachers in this school. When you share your concerns, they don't do anything in practice. The super studio can be very distracting for most of students and the quality of teaching in core subjects, especially in English, is very poor. There is more opportunity for more able students and those who need more support are lagging behind. I think school would do better just following National curriculum. The management and staff are very rigid about etho of school and personally I don't think that they are going to do fix problems. It has happened several times that I had a request for meeting or telephone conversation and I had to wait for more than a week to reach the relevant person. The school is not working for too many students." - Parent of a Year 8 Student
"I'm a year 8 student at UCL. Yes - it may be a new school, but that doesn't mean that education can be played around with like a test, we're not guinea pigs. I left year 6 after attending George Eliot Primary School, where I was constantly bullied but at least had a mildly good education. I always had a strong interest in English and was at least fairly good at Maths. I left with a 6C in English, 5A in Maths and 5A in Science. At UCL I have made many friends, however my progress has been...not the best. In English I am now around an 8C. This is quite good progress (I think) but I feel as if half the time I was just learning from myself, and in Maths I have barely learnt anything at all, I am now just a 6B, 6A. I'm going into year 9 in September and I'm slightly reluctant and worried. I personally don't enjoy the IMYC curriculum and think the school would do a lot better just following the National Curriculum, which has clearly been successful when done correctly and with care, which the school obviously has. Whilst I have an overall nice experience with the teachers and students alike, I can't really say I want to continue here next year, let alone take my GCSEs" - Year 8 Student
"How many teachers are left from the original lot? Not many. What staff, parents and families will stay? Not many. To excuse the obvious failings at UCL by stating that the reality all schools need improvement is completely unfounded. I'm sure no school is perfect but it seems few schools are given such a low Ofsted rating which only confirmed our suspicions about the academy. We had everything going for this school; state-of-the-art building and supportive families. The school isn't working. We were all but decided to leave at the end of the year and I've been ringing around frantically for a place. I know I'm not the only one." - Parent
"As a year 7 parent, I'm not surprised. Feeling hugely let down as we moved for this school as did many others. My son has learnt nothing new this year and has really long, boring classes. He loved school until this year.
Head teacher seems very good as do some of the staff but I never have the feeling I know what's going on behind closed doors." - Year 7 Parent
"One of the worst "schools" to ever exist, the amount of hate I have for this joke of a institution! Its a poor reflection of UCL. I cannot wait to leave this hell. Teachers are bad. Do not enter unless you hate your life." - Year 13 Student
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