Lisa Dolan - Principal
I am proud and privileged to be the Principal of Darwen Aldridge Community Academy, an 11-18 Academy which “stands like a beacon in the heart of Darwen” (Ofsted 2017). Our Academy is founded on the entrepreneurial values of creativity, determination, passion, problem solving, risk taking and team work. These values underpin our outlook and our work.
Our aim is for all students to realise their full academic potential and develop a lifelong passion for learning, by providing a breadth of opportunity during their time at school. We do this by having a supportive environment, fostering a spirit of enterprise and celebrating the achievement of all. At DACA, we encourage our students to be self-confident, have respect for themselves and others be proud of their school, their community and to have a strong social conscience.
We have high expectations of our students, their behaviour, manners and conduct. By providing clear and fair boundaries and consistent discipline, we allow them to be successful at school, grow as individuals and be able to excel in future life. Our students regularly raise money for charity, represent the school and take on leadership roles.
Our impressive site houses superb academic and sporting facilities. On a day-to-day basis we provide excellent teaching, a broad curriculum and wonderful care for the individual. Ofsted recognised this in May 2017; inspectors noted our “highly positive and industrious culture” where students “enjoy and, very importantly, value their education.” Our students feel that they “receive highly personalised academic and pastoral guidance” (Ofsted 2017) and we work hard to uphold these standards.
“highly positive and industrious culture”
As an 11-18 school, our teachers are experienced at preparing students for work and university. The Sixth Form provides the best outcomes for DACA’s students, as well as a greater depth of enrichment opportunities for our younger students. We expect everyone who joins in Year 7 to continue through to our Sixth Form, and provide considerable support to prepare them for post-16 education.
DACA is still maturing, yet already we have engaged with the community-especially local business-to provide enterprise opportunities for our students. Several local businesses are housed within the Academy in our purpose-built office facilities -The Bridge- and they provide both inspiration and personal mentoring for our students.
I hope you find the information on our website of interest and that it gives you a flavour of our Academy.
The Academy seeks to develop a passion for learning and an enterprising spirit amongst its students and staff, and amongst members of the local community. In addition, it seeks to create, develop and maintain an education that focuses emphatically on providing opportunities for success for all, recognising and celebrating the achievements of everyone in all aspects of life at the Academy.
Darwen Aldridge Community Academy is a Centre of Excellence for entrepreneurial education. It is an inclusive school that provides for the students and citizens of Darwen continuous opportunities, and a world-class, high quality environment for lifelong learning. The Academy’s students are committed, successful learners, who are proud, creative and self-confident, showing respect for themselves, the community and for others.
In addition, the Academy places considerable value not only on entrepreneurship, but also on sport and healthy living; partnership working; developing strong links with the community, and education for sustainable development.