It only opened in September but already there’s a buzz around the London Academy of Excellence Tottenham.
Bringing the benefits of the public school to Tottenham it’s a special collaboration that includes the prestigious Highgate School providing a number of teachers and expertise to the state-of-the-art building provided by Spurs in the High Road.
Modelled on the successful LAE Stratford the sixth form school aims to offer local children aged 16-19 the best possible education and inspire them for the future.
“I loved the idea of us being in partnership with private schools such as Highgate with the goal that all of us achieve amazing grades,” said one of the students, Valerie, aged 16.
“And it feels like there’s this shared desire amongst staff and students for us to go on and get the best university degrees we can,” added Isabella, also 16. “Because our year group is small – less than 120 students – we get a lot of academic support from our teachers and it does feel as though we have an edge over other sixth form colleges.”
Both students pointed out the large, comfortable spaces around the school where students are free to study in their own time.
“The actual building provides lots of opportunities,” said Valerie. “In the schools where my friends go the layout is fixed, but here it is far more flexible.”
Alongside Highgate School, eight other independent ‘partner’ schools offer teaching support to ensure the students at LAE Tottenham can enjoy the same standard of teaching as those going to the expensive private schools.
“We want to give our students the opportunity to compete for the most academically selective university courses,” said headteacher Jan Balon. “And I think there is something in showing you can provide that kind of education here in Tottenham.”
But it’s not just about getting the grades. In conversation Jan, Valerie and Isabella were keen to point out the school’s community focus.
“Every week all of our students have community projects,” said Jan. “Whether that be in schools, regeneration projects or at foodbanks. We hope our students are not just successful academically but will develop a kind of social conscience to give back to the area, whether they are from north Tottenham or not.”
- LAE Tottenham holds open mornings every Friday between 9am to 10am where you can find out more.
- To register and for more details about the school go to www.laetottenham.org.uk
Isabella and Valerie