The UCL Academy

Adelaide Road

Tel: 020 7449 3080

Headteacher: Ms G Davies
Ofsted: RI
DFES #: 4000

Case Studies

Exploring the introduction and teaching of algebra using Lesson Study

by Karen Brockway

Key Points

  • Enabling young mathematicians to grasp algebraic concepts
  • A passion for Lesson Study: an effective medium for teacher learning
View case study


The UCL Academy is an exciting, stimulating place to learn, with a curriculum which focuses on problem-solving, skills development and ‘real world’ issues and ideas.  Students have the opportunity to undertake extensive project work, and to participate in community activities as well as internships and international exchanges.

The sponsor is keen that the Academy should support all students to develop responsibility for their learning, ensuring that they continue to be challenged and stimulated by their learning throughout their time at the Academy.  The UCL Academy therefore operates on ‘stage-not-age’ principles, with students moving through the curriculum levels as they are ready, and not necessarily when they reach a particular age.

The UCL Academy has a strong focus on community and belonging.  Students are members of both a household (the Academy has five) and a mentor group: a small group of students, eventually ranging in age from 11-18, who meet together regularly and who are ‘mentored’ by a member of staff.  Households provide a focus for intra-school activities; mentor groups ensure that students build strong support networks, including with their staff mentor, enabling them to tackle the challenges young people encounter during their Academy lives.

UCL, as sponsor, provides a comprehensive programme of activities and support to enhance teaching at the UCL Academy.  This includes lectures and masterclasses from UCL academics in subjects across the curriculum; visits to UCL; and access to the university’s extensive resources, including laboratories and libraries.  There is also advice for Key Stage 4 students and Sixth Formers on routes into further and higher education, including support with the higher education entry process from UCL admissions tutors, and contact with UCL students acting as tutors and mentors.

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