Cambridge Academy for Science and Technology
CAST is an inspiring, specialist science academy, for young people aged 13-19. The college offers a programme of GCSE, A level and BTEC courses along with a unique opportunity to work with nearby business organisations involved in science.
Situated in the heart of Cambridge’s Biomedical Campus, the college is surrounded by world-leading academic and commercial organisations which sponsor, support and contribute to the life and work of the college.
Students work in state-of-the-art laboratories and facilities, learning in innovative and exciting ways, supported by CAST’s unique partnerships with business. CAST therefore gives its students a head start into their future careers.
The academy’s curriculum is focused on Pathways into nine different career sectors. So whether students want to pursue Life Sciences, STEM (Science, Technology Engineering & Maths) or more general ‘Applied Sciences’, we guide them into the subjects and experiences which will support their career plans.
Business employees lead college ‘Challenge’ projects. These engage and stretch all students for one day a week, every week, introducing them to real and relevant research and work. This provides every learner with a portfolio of experiences and attributes that are highly prized by universities and employers alike.
CAST is part of Cambridge Academic Partnership (CAP) and is also supported by the Baker Dearing Trust as a University Technical College (UTC).
Cambridge Academic Partnership will be joining United Learning in September 2019.
"The excellent behaviour of students in lessons and around the college creates an environment in which it is a joy to teach and study. " - Ofsted
CARING FOR STUDENTS - PASTORAL AND SEND SUPPORT
Every student is assigned to a tutor group where the emphasis is on developing our core values of resilience, respect and responsibility. Students are encouraged to support each other in achieving these college values.
Tutors ensure they build a positive and supportive relationship with their tutees. The tutor is generally the first person a student would go to if they need guidance or advice. If extra support is required tutors can refer to our experienced pastoral team led by a Head of Pastoral Care and a Student Services Officer.
Our dedicated SEN staff develop individual support plans with students and their families to ensure that classroom teachers are informed of the best teaching approaches. All staff are responsible for supporting students to overcome any ‘barriers to learning’.
PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT - THE WIDER CURRICULUM
One of the most important roles of education is to ensure that students are able to look after themselves and are ready to take an active part in society (be that at a local, national or global level). The world is a very exciting place with vast numbers of opportunities. Each one of us will find our own way through life. We will each be excited, interested or upset by different things.
Whatever our own personal motivators we all need to have access to basic information. We need to know how to do certain things or access help when we need it. We also should be aware of what is important to other people so that we can understand their views and when necessary engage in meaningful discussion, be that with our friends or family, or further afield. This is what the wider curriculum supports through tutorials, PHSE and extra curricular opportunities.
This covers rights and responsibilities, politics, religion, keeping safe, staying healthy, relationships and managing finances. It is taught in an exciting and dynamic way which often involves working with external experts.
At CAST we create an environment where students can grow and develop as people, nurturing interests that are wider than the formal curriculum. We run many trips and offer a busy programme of extra-curricular clubs.
The Trust publishes a booklet detailing a variety of different after-school clubs. Please check the website for further information.
"Students’ personal development is exceptionally strong. " - Ofsted, May 2017
What makes us different?
CAREERS IN SCIENCE
Cambridge is contributing to the UK’s economic development and this is driven by the large number of very successful science and technology companies in the region. Involving employers at the heart of our education enables students to build professional networks and opens doors and work experience opportunities that are not always available elsewhere.
At CAST each student receives personalised guidance with university and apprenticeship applications and guidance in developing CV writing skills and interview technique. Because our students meet so many employers they learn about a wide range of careers and develop the skills and confidence to conduct themselves in a professional environment. To support students in progressing to their chosen careers we provide a week’s work experience for all of our year 10 and 12s. We also provide a bespoke careers guidance programme facilitated by staff that are passionate about students achieving their ambitions.
‘CHALLENGE’ - WORK RELATED/PROJECT BASED LEARNING
Challenge projects provide our students with the practical skills that underpin learning achieved through academic study, putting students in a very strong position when it comes to applying for sixth form, university, apprenticeships or work. The Challenge Project programme is widely regarded as a national exemplar of excellence in project-based learning both by educationalists and business leaders.
The projects provide a unique opportunity to develop:
• a practical understanding of science
• technical science skills
• curriculum learning
• transferable skills such as teamwork, leadership and literacy
• enhanced careers awareness
The projects are delivered in a partnership between our staff and colleagues from a wide range of partner organisations. Students engage in seminars, practicals, teaching, independent work and visits. Most projects involve a range of activities that promote work-related skills and address real world problems.
In years 12 and 13, students select from a wide range of projects covering the sciences and engineering. These allow students to personalise their education and gain the skills required to support future career ambitions. All Cambridge Academy for Science and Technology students take part in the Duke of York Award.
Extended Project Qualification
All students complete the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) as part of the Colleges Challenge Programme. This is an individual research project that is very popular with Universities as an entrance qualification alongside A Levels or BTECs. The EPQ is a stand-alone qualification that is equivalent to half an A Level, with an A* achievable, and UCAS points gained. The qualification aims to help students develop beyond their existing study programme by giving them the freedom to complete a project in an area of personal interest or benefit whilst also developing project management skills along the way. University admission officers are actively looking for evidence of students completing an EPQ and it can give you the edge on an application.
Cambridge Academic Partnership - A leading learning partnership
Cambridge Academic Partnership is a Multi-Academy Trust with a Local, National and International reputation for educational excellence. We pride ourselves on an innovative approach to teaching and learning and a commitment to high standards for all.
Baker Dearing Educational Trust - University Technical Colleges®
Baker Dearing Educational Trust was founded by Lord Baker and Lord Dearing in 2009 to promote the concept of University Technical Colleges (‘’UTCs’’). It is a small, flexible charity that sits at the centre of the UTC network and focuses on promoting and supporting new and existing University Technical Colleges (UTCs). These are publicly funded academies for 13-19 year-olds that deliver technical education as well as core curriculum subjects. For more information visit https://www.utcolleges.org/.
United Learning - The best in everyone
Are a group of schools which aims to provide an excellent education to children and young people across the country. We seek to improve the life chances of all the children and young people we serve and make it our mission to bring out ‘the best in everyone’ – students, staff, parents and the wider community. Uniquely, our Group includes significant numbers of schools in both the public and the private sectors, working together for mutual benefit.
Edward was accepted at CAST to study A Levels three years early, leaving in the summer of 2018 with A* and A grades in 5 A Levels.
His grades won him a place at Glasgow University where he is currently following his dream of studying Aeronautical Engineering.
He said: “I decided to take this many A Levels as a challenge.”
Sixth former Jazmin is the first student ever to be awarded full marks for her Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) – and as a result of her work, she has been asked to write about her project for ESERO, the educational arm of the European Space Agency.
Her EPQ project involved building a satellite and testing its resilience under the extreme weather conditions of space.
Jazmin, who would like to work in aerospace engineering, is studying A Levels in Computer Science, Physics and Maths. She hopes to go on to do an Apprenticeship or study a degree in Physics with Space Science.
Roisin would like to be a Neurosurgeon. She has a conditional place at Barts and London Medical School and is studying Biology, Chemistry and Maths at A Level.
She says, “I think CAST is amazing. Being around people who are interested in Science at my age has really solidified what I want as a career and the teachers go out of their way to make sure you are 100% happy with your future.”
Roisin has recently been awarded a Bronze in the British Biology Olympiad and earlier this year received a Gold Duke of York Award for her work in the Challenge projects.