Welcome to

Leigh Academy Minster

I am privileged to welcome you to Leigh Academy Minster, an institution where innovation and excellence will combine with respect and integrity to ensure all young people who study with us go on to lead happy, successful lives. We are a brand-new mixed secondary academy set up to provide an excellent, well-rounded education for children in our fantastic community. 

As Principal of Leigh Academy Minster I will be unapologetic in my commitment to our young people, ensuring that all students are provided with a high quality, internationally-influenced academic curriculum that showcases and celebrates the rich history of the Island. Students will be held to a high standard, and will be challenged to fulfil their ambitions through the academy’s strong culture of academic achievement and respect. 

I am a strong believer that education has the ability to change lives, and our academy will give students the opportunity to develop themselves both academically and personally through the integration of both traditional and digital approaches to learning. A student’s ownership and responsibility of their own learning is key to this, and I am committed to providing our young people with the tools, opportunities and support to develop all aspects of their academic and personal lives in partnership with their families.

Mathieu Stevens, Principal Designate

Read bio

Introduction

Leigh Academy Minster is proposed to open on the 1st September 2024 and educate students as part of a seven year curriculum from Year 7 to Year 13. The academy will provide all students with a high-quality academic education through the internationally recognised International Bacceleature (IB) curriculum in Key Stage 3, as well as national academic and vocational qualifications in Key Stages 4 and 5. 

Students will receive excellent pastoral care through Leigh Academies Trust’s highly effective small school model, with a dedicated team of leaders and specialists supporting all aspects of a child’s education at the academy. 

Featuring an array of exceptional facilities, spaces, and educational resources, the academy will equip students with a free Chromebook laptop to access the integrated digital curriculum. The physical spaces and resources will provide students with the opportunity to engage in a wide range of extra-curricular activities to support their interests outside the classroom. 

Curriculum

Leigh Academy Minster is committed to delivering an ambitious, dynamic, and inclusive curriculum that extends beyond the offerings of the National Curriculum. The academy meticulously designs its curriculum to afford every student the opportunity to excel in a diverse range of academic, creative, and practical subjects, aligning with their future aspirations and career paths.

At the core of the academy’s curriculum is the adoption of the gold standard International Baccalaureate curriculum, a preference in fee-paying and high-performing grammar schools across the United Kingdom and globally. This curriculum is effectively integrated into all Leigh Academies Trust academies.

Click here to read more information about the IB

Teaching and Learning

Expert teachers will educate students across our subject-based curriculum from year 7 onwards in a high-quality classroom environment. Lessons will be grounded in the principles of highly effective teaching, informed by cutting-edge pedagogical research, ensuring students receive consistent and adaptable teaching to facilitate rapid academic progress.

Physical classrooms will be complemented by digital spaces. Each student will be provided with a free Chromebook laptop and access to various Google educational applications, including Google Classroom and access to the online LAT curriculum platform. This resource will ensure the transition between learning at home and school is seamless, with this initiative enhancing the educational experience for students as well as preparing them for a technology-driven future.

Small School Model

Leigh Academy Minster will be divided into four smaller colleges, fostering a “family-like”, human-scale educational experience. Students will be assigned to a college, benefiting from extensive college leadership and a well-trained pastoral team. Dedicated offices and communication links will ensure students feel content, secure, and supported within the academy.

Pupils will be grouped within their college during Key Stage 3, with appropriate ability setting for core subjects. While belonging to a single-year tutor group within their college, pupils will be part of a broader vertical structure where older students provide mentorship opportunities to their younger counterparts.

Grammar Stream

A distinctive feature of Leigh Academy Minster is the inclusion of a dedicated grammar stream within its all-ability academy. This stream constitutes one of the four academy colleges, allowing students to access comprehensive support systems available across all colleges.

Grammar stream students will follow a tailored curriculum developed in collaboration with Sir Joseph Williamson’s Mathematical School (SJWMS), one of the highest performing grammars in the South East, enhancing academic standards for high-achieving students rooted in the principles of the International Baccalaureate.

The Minster Way

Leigh Academy Minster’s students will be the embodiment of ‘The Minster Way’ through a zero-tolerance approach to bullying and negative behaviours, ensuring a  calm, purposeful learning environment that provides exceptional personal development opportunities. The academy upholds high expectations for its students, ensuring adherence through the consistent application of behaviour and engagement policies and processes though a “warm strict approach”, or in other words: caring with high expectations and firm boundaries.

All students will benefit from an inclusive, responsive tutor time and a personal, social, health, and economic curriculum designed to cultivate the holistic development of each child. This approach equips students with the skills, attributes and character to serve as ambassadors within the academy and the local community.

Academy Uniform

Leigh Academy Minster mandates a smart uniform for its students, with existing students receiving their uniform free of charge in the first year. Students are expected to wear the academy uniform correctly at all times, maintaining high standards of presentation in harmony with the academy’s expectations of conduct and engagement. Post-16 students are required to adhere to a business dress code, exemplifying the high standards expected of their younger peers.

Post 16

The Leigh Academy Minster Post 16 offers students a comprehensive range of Level 3 academic and vocational qualifications, ensuring a high-quality education. All Post 16 students benefit from consistent support within their dedicated Post 16 college, in addition to utilising well-equipped modern social and study spaces.

Each Post 16 student follows a personalised timetable that allocates specific time for seeking work experience, employment opportunities and independent study. This structured timetable ensures that students graduate with extensive real-world experience, preparing them for success in university, advanced apprenticeships or the professional workplace.

Latest News

Academy Blog Leigh Academy Minster

Update from Leigh Academies Trust
Read article

Academy Blog Leigh Academy Minster

Update from the Department for Education
Read article

Academy Blog Leigh Academy Minster

Update on Sheppey school preference exercise from DfE
Read article

Academy Blog Leigh Academy Minster

National Offer Day
Read article

Academy Blog Events Leigh Academy Minster

Year 9 Options Evening
Read article

How to apply for a school place at Leigh Academy Minster

Existing parents

There is nothing you need to do for now. When the time comes to select one of the two new schools you will be asked to state your preference. All existing parents are guaranteed a place at one of the new schools. Current Year 10 and 12 students will be offered a place at Leigh Academy Minster.

Year 6 parents

If you have already selected Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey as one of your preferences you will also be given a choice of which of the two new schools you want your child to go to.  

If you had not previously selected OAIoS then you can add it by emailing KCC by 8th December 2023 and asking for OAIoS to be added as an additional preference for your child kentonlineadmissions@kent.gov.uk.

In-year admissions

We anticipate that some families will want to transfer their children from Sittingbourne schools to one of the two new schools on the Island. Subject to admissions availability we will welcome back as many students as possible.