Haywood Excellence Academy: A grammar school experience

Haywood Academy launched an Excellence Academy in September 2014, offering greater learning opportunities and unique experiences.

The Excellence Academy supports high achieving students and those who wish to push themselves beyond the usual school curriculum, and fosters students to aspire to university from an early age. There is particular focus on the leading Russell Group institutions, and we work closely with both local and national universities to create a high quality learning experience that mirrors the diversity and challenge offered by grammar schools.

As part of the Excellence Academy ‘super-curriculum’, students study after school one day a week a range of topics that are supported by experts in each of the fields. They study a range of topics such as archaeology, astronomy and forensics, and carry out hands-on activities for all of these, as well as visiting university campuses and seeing these subjects in action.

This programme of study also includes thinking skills lessons, and allows students to gain further qualifications that sit alongside their GCSEs.

Entry to the Excellence Academy is open to all new entrants in Year 7, but applicants must exhibit several qualities:

  • Intellectual curiosity and a love of learning.
  • A commitment to excellence and high standards.
  • Ambition and drive to aspire to good universities and professions.
  • A willingness to be involved in our extra-curricular programme.
  • Pride in achieving well, but not becoming boastful and respecting the achievements of others.
  • High achievement at the end of Key Stage 2.

The Academy already enjoys strong links with Oxford and Cambridge, and in higher years these links are developed further, building upon those foundations set in Y7 and positioning students in the best place possible to excel.


“Without a doubt, my time at Haywood firmly placed me on the path to Oxford. My potential was recognised early on, and I received constant encouragement to strive for the best grades. With their support I achieved a great set of GCSEs, giving me the confidence I needed to apply to Oxford.”

Jordan Williamson, former Haywood student studying law at Trinity College, Oxford

  • The Academy closes to students at 12.30 pm on Friday 17th December and reopens on Wednesday 5th January 2022. Wishing all of our students and their families a lovely festive holiday.

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  • Strong and trusting relationships consistently create a calm and purposeful working atmosphere.


  • Students have access to a wide range of exciting resources and learn specific skills through well-paced and sequenced activities.


  • Behaviour around the school is consistently orderly and students are polite and helpful.


  • Without a doubt, my time at Haywood firmly placed me on the path to Oxford.

    Jordan Williamson, Trinity College, Oxford