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Pillars of Excellence

The Canterbury Academy Trust believes that ‘all children walk with genius’ and every child is good at something. In order to enable students to discover what they can be good at, or build upon that which they know they are, The Canterbury Academy Trust is based upon a university style campus, with exceptional facilities, to offer ‘a wealth of opportunity’ and ‘as much as possible, as often as possible, for as many as possible.’

All children have gifts. Some are talented in sport. Some are talented in the performing and visual arts. Some are practically gifted. Some have entrepreneurial flair. Some have academic gifts. Many students are good at more than one thing.

The Canterbury Academy Trust offers students five pillars of excellence: in sport; in performing arts; in practical learning and enterprise education; in academic study; and in youth, community and extended services.

Our ‘Pillars of Excellence’ termly newsletter can be read online.


Academic Excellence

Canterbury Academy Academic Pillar

The grammar school stream attracts, and includes, students for a variety of reasons and in a variety of different ways:

Some students may gain entry because they demonstrate the necessary habits, aptitudes and determination to succeed academically and show the potential and aptitude for academic study suggested by primary recommendation, Key Stage 2 scores, Kent Test scores (if a student took it) or our data (including the banding assessment).

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Some students, and their parents, will be opposed to Kent’s model of selection and prefer the broader offer and more representative mix of children that a comprehensive school offers.

Some students will be interested in the grammar school stream because they wish to study academically and pursue their gift in sport , or performing arts, and maybe gain a scholarship.

Some students will gain entry because of the recommendation of our partner grammar school, Simon Langton.

Students may gain entry to the Langton stream at any stage in their school career.

The Canterbury Academy does not really believe that a ‘test’ at the age of 10, or 11, can, let alone should, determine the next 7 or 8 years of a child’s life.

There are specific systems and structures in place to support the academically able:

  • The Langton Stream is monitored by a member of the Simon Langton’s senior staff who, because of the success and growth of this partnership, has been seconded full time to The Canterbury Academy. He is always available to parents should they wish to make an appointment to speak with him.
  • Students will be given an academic mentor to monitor academic performance and plan the next stage of a learning journey, including identification of appropriate university courses and wider training opportunities.
  • The Directors of Teaching and Learning for Maths, English, Science, Humanities and Languages all have schemes of work to ensure that the academically able are challenged at the appropriate level.
  • There are plans to enable Year 7, 8 and 9 students in The Langton stream, and those at Simon Langton Boys’ and Simon Langton Girls’ Grammar schools, to take common assessments in maths, English and science.

Beyond the Curriculum

As our students progress through the Academy, we maintain stretch and challenge to ensure progress is maintained by an array of events, partnerships and links that allow our students to maximise their academic gifts.

These include:

  • Stretch and challenge workshops and sessions at The Simon Langton School for Boys in the EBacc subjects.
  • Shared A-Level teaching between Langton and Academy staff.
  • Participation in research and/or enterprise projects.
  • Targeted Higher Education UCAS application support for High Achievers.
  • University Taster days at The University of Kent and Christ Church University.
  • Arrangements for preferential entry to universities.
  • Bursary awards for universities.
  • STEM and EBacc enrichment weeks every term to enthuse and stretch learning outside of the curriculum.
The Laqngton Grammer School for Boys

Working in partnership with Simon Langton Boys to provide a grammar school band for boys and girls in a comprehensive school for all talents

Sporting Excellence

Sporting Excellence - basketball

Students use The Canterbury Academy’s  outstanding campus facilities regularly within their PE lessons or through the range of extra-curricular clubs that are on offer, providing sporting pathways for all students to excel in their chosen sport in a supportive, safe and inspiring environment.


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Our facilities include:

  • Designated a 2012 Olympic and Paralympic training facility.
  • A £4,500,000 sports complex comprising a state-of-the-art fitness gym with over three hundred stations.
  • Extensive double six-court sports hall.
  • A floodlit football pitch.
  • A floodlit sand sport area.
  • An enclosed floodlit multi-use, all weather, games area comprising two courts allowing simultaneous play.
  • Six lane 400m floodlit athletics track.
  • The academy has breakfast clubs.
  • The academy has lunchtime clubs.
  • The academy has after-school clubs.

Extra Curricular Sport

Teams compete in a range of sports at local, regional and national level. The school provides bespoke coaching programmes for students who will go on to county and international level.

Students can compete for the school in a range of sports including basketball, football, netball, rugby, athletics, cricket, rounders, futsal, gymnastics, swimming, handball, beach volleyball and cheerleading.

There are numerous House sports competitions.

Opportunities include competing in district and regional competitions and taking part in leadership activities with partnership primary schools that are supported by the academy.

The most advanced sports performers are supported through the Elite Athlete Programme.

A ‘pillar of sport’ afternoon gives Key Stage 3 students an opportunity to work with specialist coaches in gymnastics, rugby, football, cricket, tennis, and athletics.

The Canterbury Institute of Sport consists of a growing number of highly acclaimed sports academies. These include partnerships with respected clubs and national governing bodies including:

  • Canterbury Rugby Football Club
  • Kent Crusaders Basketball
  • Kent Cricket
  • Aire Trampolining
  • Appeti Tennis
  • Athletics with Marathon Sports
  • Canterbury Gymnastics Club

Elite Athlete Support Programme

The Canterbury Academy has always embraced, and remains fully committed to, sport.

Talented students will be selected for the Elite Athlete Support Programme.

This includes:

  • Specialist mentor group run by experienced PE staff helping students manage academic commitments and their intensive sporting demands.
  • Flexible timetabling to ensure students can focus on their sport.
  • Early morning fitness sessions in the specialist Lifestyle Fitness facilities delivered by a highly qualified strength and conditioning coach.
  • Exclusive workshops on relevant sport science topics such as sport psychology and nutrition.
  • Access to specialist funding to help support training expenses.
  • Individual programmes that have an emphasis on improving students’ performance in their sport.
  • Special scholarships for high achieving students.



Excellent in Practical Learning

Matilda, Performing Arts Pillar at The Canterbury AcademyEach student in Key Stage 3 has access to up to six hours of music, dance and drama every two weeks. The Academy’s Talent Programme enables students to experience workshops and perform with professionals from the industry, for a further two hours per week.


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Outstanding Performing Arts Facilities

Students use our outstanding campus facilities regularly within their performing arts lessons and through the range of extra-curricular clubs that are on offer, providing performing arts pathways for all students to excel in their chosen art in a supportive, safe and inspiring environment.

  • A dedicated Performing Arts Centre.
  • 4 professional dance studios.
  • 120 seat indoor performance space.
  • Music technology suite.
  • A professional music recording studio.
  • Cinema/Lecture Theatre.
  • Large hall with professional stage, lighting and sound equipment with seating for up to 600.

Performing Arts Year 7 to 9

The Canterbury Academy has always embraced, and remains firmly committed to, the arts.

Performing Arts is a specialism and gifted and talented performing arts students will receive:

  • Core performing arts lessons (6 hours per week).
  • Potential early entry to GCSE Drama, Dance or Music
  • Additional qualifications (e.g. ABRSM exams, Rock School, etc.), working with other talented performing arts students.
  • Links with, and visits to, University/Higher Education Institutions.
  • Access to workshops with professional practitioners from stage, screen and TV.
  • A senior mentor to help balance the demands of professional auditions and performances with the demands of academic studies.
  • Opportunities to perform at prestigious events.
  • A huge range of extra-curricular clubs and theatre companies available.

Performing Arts Post-16

The Canterbury Institute for Performing Arts offers programmes in acting, dance, music, musical theatre and technical theatre. The successes of some of our performing arts students has been truly astonishing. These include reaching the national finals of Britain’s Got Talent, being selected for The Royal Shakespeare Company’s newly established Young Actors Company, appearing on the BBC’s ‘Call The Midwife’ or Sky TV’s ‘The Tunnel’, appearing as extras in motion pictures and, of course, going on to the best universities, including RADA.

Excellent in Practical Learning

Brick Laying

The Canterbury Academy has developed its own Enterprise and Employability College to enable excellence in Practical Learning.

The college provides courses in vocational education and introduces students to work related learning. It can offer learning opportunities outside of ‘normal’ school hours.

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The Practical Learning pillar provides a variety of subject choices from Year 7 for resistant materials, Textiles and Food and Nutrition. There is an option within the pillars lessons to access Hair and Beauty and Construction for Years 7 and 8.

In Year 9 students get the opportunity to select from the following pathways for GCSEs:

  • Hair and Beauty
  • Health and Social studies
  • Construction
  • Food and Nutrition
  • Resistant Materials
  • Textiles

These subjects all provide students with an insight into the industry and allow for a progression route to either post-16 or apprenticeship.

As part of the pillar we provide students with opportunities in Year 10 to access work experience and a careers fair. They will have a day where they learn how to complete a CV, how to prepare for interviews and how to look at their next steps for future employment or university.

In addition to the GCSE options, in the Sixth Form we provide further opportunities to progress and develop the skills acquired at GCSE and they can study a further variety of options:

  • The Peter Jones Enterprise Academy
  • Chefs’ Academy
  • Canterbury Skate Project

Beyond the curriculum

As part of the pillar we have a successful Erasmus programme which provide students with opportunities to be able to work with partner schools from Munich, Italy, Latvia and the Czech Republic, where students will visit and work on a project to look at employability and studying abroad, also researching and experiencing the different cultures.

Some students will participate in work-related learning either in Year 10 or as part of their study programmes in the Sixth Form.

The Practical Learning pillar provides students with skills and training to enable them to progress successfully within this pathway. Our alumni of students consists of midwives, head chefs, senior hair stylists, fashion designers, electricians, plumbers, carpenters , teachers, nurses, architects, project managers, social workers and people thriving in events management.