Academy’s Specialism

Teaching and Learning

‘Excellence in all we do ‘is our Expressive Arts motto. At Duke’s Aldridge Academy we aim to provide a high quality arts curriculum that will disseminate throughout the wider context of the academy and wider community. The arts are used as a vehicle to raise standards in teaching and learning through the provision of a creative, engaging and challenging curriculum. There is a strong focus on Literacy and Oracy within lessons ensuring students develop the skills necessary to become successful, confident speakers. Effective partnerships are key to providing a quality arts curriculum by empowering our students to achieve through collaboration within a professional setting.


  • Partnership with Chickenshed Theatre is now in its 5th year. As one of Chickenshed’s main outreach partners projects have taken place across key stages. Approximately 150 students each year will be involved in a regular termly project which includes free aces to a high quality theatrical production. Project briefs and themes have related to student needs and interests as well as educating students about current world events.
  • Artist in residence – students have been taught by professional portrait artist Dawn Cruttenden –a partnership in its fourth year. Students have been able to extend their drawing and painting skills which has contributed to a positive impact on the quality of examination work.
  • Collaboration with the Saatchi gallery has led to more that one project a year which has enhanced the variety of art experiences for our students.
  • Music- Princes Trust and London Sinfonietta Orchestra Schools project
  • Community arts programmes such as ‘ LIFT ‘ project
  • Masterclass with professional actors and other artists- recent visits have included Kate Buffery and David Morrissey.


Our vision has been to make the arts at Duke’s Aldridge Academy a centre of excellence. We recognise the need for our students to value the arts as participants as well as being a discriminating, insightful audience member. Opportunities to develop confidence and appreciation of all art forms are provided on regular basis within lessons as well as through wider academy context. Enrichment activities permeate through the academy. The academy recognises the need for substantial financial funding in order to provide equality of opportunity for the most disadvantaged.


  • Instrumental tuition is heavily subsidised by the academy – all students that learn an instrument benefit from an 80% reduction to the overall cost of lessons– up to 10 different instruments are on offer to our students.
  • Identifying more able and talented students through the Ambassador’s and Scholars programme
  • Tuition is funded through the academy. The impact of this has been that over 100 students now play an instrument.
  • Saturday school offers a high quality programme of Media study including script writing, filming and video editing.
  • We provide every student with the opportunity to take part in a whole acdemy        Theatrical production. Recent shows have included ‘Oliver’ ‘ Scrooge ‘ and ‘ Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’
  • GCSE Drama students have performed publicly at Chicken Shed Theatre.
  • Our Choir ‘Duke’s Voices’ have performed at the Royal Albert hall.


The arts are held in high regard and students are provided with a wide variety of opportunities within the curriculum through enrichment as well as through extensive extra-curricular activities