Plume, Maldon's Community Academy is committed to providing a stimulating, supportive and mutually respectful environment. At the heart of our vision is a strong work ethic where every student is entitled to enjoy the best education and to celebrate their own achievements and those of others.
Plume, Maldon's Community Academy, aims to empower our students to reach their academic and personal potential, becoming articulate, confident, independent and resilient individuals. They are encouraged to develop the resourcefulness to embrace the challenges of the future, to lead fulfilling lives and to flourish in society.
As Maldon’s community academy (convertor, January 2012), Plume enjoys a unique position as the largest school in the district and the only secondary school in the town of Maldon. At present, the academy is fully staffed and there continues to be an ongoing downward trend of low teaching and support staff turnover, however, we also remain extremely pleased with the calibre and potential of the necessary replacement colleagues we worked exceptionally hard to recruit.
Our Year 7 student intake is from more than 25 primary schools and after a rigorous marketing drive in the autumn of 2015, numbers for the following September rose from 248 in September 2015, to 295 in September 2016. The Year 7 intake numbers have remained high ever since and to the point where we have been oversubscribed for the last five years now.
Our sixth form provision, Plume College, offers a wide range of Level 2 and 3 courses to approximately 235 students of all abilities, is well regarded by students and parents/carers alike, and continues to attract a decent number of external applicants.
Plume Academy’s split site location has been maximised by developing three linked but distinct campuses: Years’ 7 and 8 at Mill Road and Years’ 9-11 and the College at Fambridge Road.
Prior attainment at KS2 is around national for most year groups and as a fully inclusive comprehensive, we offer a broad, balanced, rich and diverse curriculum to all of our students.
Trustees are experienced, committed and extremely rigorous in terms of their scrutiny of the academy’s work. As well as main Trustee meetings, there are sub-committees around all the main key indicators of performance as well as an overarching Academy Trust Executive Group. Outside of pandemic times, Trustees also visit the academy on a regular basis which is greatly appreciated as well as respected by the academy’s SLT and other stakeholders. The vast majority are also current or former parents and therefore, have a real vested interest in ensuring things continue to progress and develop over time, whilst also ensuring the monitoring and scrutiny of the SLTs work in relation the academy’s KIPs remains their key focus.
Plume aspires to be at the heart of a community which is in itself, distinctive as well as somewhat diverse, and we have built many excellent partnerships over the years ranging from being Corporate members of the Rotary Club of Maldon, to the Executive Principal being a Director of the world famous ‘Maldon Mud Race.
An extensive and diverse range of enrichment opportunities ensure that community involvement is embedded – ‘Taxi Day’ is a tremendous example of this and is where disadvantaged and SEND families travel via a convoy of over 100 taxis from East London to spend the day in our community. The academy is at the heart of this and the full procession converges on our Fambridge Road Campus with all guests being provided lunch and entertainment by our students and staff before moving onto the town’s beautiful Promenade.
Our students and staff continue to be recipients of both the Diana and Jack Petchey Awards, and we continue to conduct a whole Year 10 work experience programme and Year 12 work shadowing scheme at the end of every summer term. These form part of an established, embedded and formally recognised CEIAG programme, and in March 2020, we were also formally reaccredited with ‘Healthy Schools’ status again, after a great deal of hard work and of course, which we were immensely proud to receive.
We also very much pride ourselves on our local and regional reputation as well as our distinctive ‘outward facing’ approach in working with other schools, external agencies, specialist providers, local businesses and a variety of other associated stakeholders. We are a founder member of the seven-strong ‘Consortium for School Improvement’, benefitting from shared INSET and disseminating effective local and regional practice. We are also an active member of both the Association of Secondary Headteachers in Essex and the Mid-Essex Secondary Headteachers associations, the countywide and regional secondary headteachers’ forums, and are currently working in partnership with several other Essex schools with the core objective of mutually beneficial support and continuing school improvement.
We are also committed to developing teachers new to the profession – our strong and established links with Mid-Essex Teacher Training and TES Global ensures that teacher training is given a very high priority, contributing to our aim to become an ‘outstanding’ education provider.
We are embracing the exciting, rapid changes in terms of routes into teaching and are a lead school for ‘School Direct’, again, working with TES Global. This we feel will widen the scope of our partnerships and ensure we recruit as well as retain high quality teaching staff.
Plume staff are also fully committed and vastly experienced in terms of working with multi-agencies, are members of the regional Behaviour and Attendance Partnership, as well as other local and countywide forums. Sportsmark Gold, Artsmark Gold, the International Schools Award and the Recognition of Quality Award (RoQA) for Careers Education and Information, Advice and Guidance also directly evidence high quality accreditation of our distinctive work and total commitment to our students and families.