Axe Valley Academy


Gifted and Talented Programme


Launched in 2011, ASPIRE is a unique academy-based programme designed to raise the aspirations of gifted and talented learners. The aims of ASPIRE are to secure the highest academic attainment, to enable learners to progress to the top universities, best apprenticeships and careers and for some to overcome economic and social disadvantages. To achieve these long-term aims we have developed a programme that is designed to raise aspirations, equip and motivate learners with excellent learning habits and life skills and develop a broad intellectual and cultural curiosity about the world.


ASPIRE is organised into a ‘lower’ school (Years 5 to 8) and an ‘upper’ school (Years 9 to 11) with learners potentially joining a couple of times a year. This unique and comprehensive programme is tailored to the learner’s needs and includes a wide range of activities— day workshops delivered by experts or visiting artists / writers, cultural trips, residential courses, ‘master classes’, and one-to-one coaching sessions.  The programme is delivered in partnership with Exeter University, local and national businesses, charities and gifted and talented organisations.


Learners from primary schools in the Axe Valley Learning Community can be nominated by their class teacher between Years 4 – 6. Attainment in two of the core subjects (English, Maths and Science) needs to be within the top 10% nationally and is based on teacher assessment. Learners at Axe Valley Academy will be nominated if their attainment is in the top 10%. For Years 7-11 this is based on a cognitive test and national curriculum levels for English, Maths and Science.

We are determined to ensure that social and economic disadvantage does not hold back learners from achieving their potential. As a result we aim to recruit at least 20% of learners who receive Free School Meals.


We expect members of ASPIRE to apply themselves fully to all aspects of the programme from induction to completion.  In return, the academy pledges to provide a first class development programme for each learner.

For more information please contact Miss Dawn Coghlan, ASPIRE Co-ordinator on