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News 2 > Our Partner Schools > Astrea Academy Woodfields

Astrea Academy Woodfields

Music in Action at Astrea Academy Woodfields
Music in Action at Astrea Academy Woodfields

At Astrea Academy Woodfields we believe in traditional approaches to teaching, and we value scholarship. In recognition of this, we refer to our young adults as ‘scholars’ to reflect the commitment that everyone makes to academic learning, here and beyond.

We are a secondary school in Doncaster with 742 scholars. It is rated as Inadequate by OFSTED (January 2023) and had a monitoring visit in which it was recognised that the school is “improving quickly”. Half of our scholars receive free school meals, and we serve one of the most deprived catchments in the country. A third of our scholars have English as an additional language, and more than one in ten are from the Roma community. A fifth of our scholars have special educational needs and nearly half of our scholars come from minority ethnic groups.

About Us

 We have a unique approach to transforming the hearts and minds of young people so that they can go to university, or a real alternative, and live a great life.

As part of Astrea Academy Trust, we have used high-quality research and the experiences of the best schools to develop an ambitious curriculum, strong routines, and a life-changing programme of personal development.  We promote strong family values, manners, decency, hard work, and kindness. We do this by practising routines that enable us to make the most use of our time. We are both warm and strict so that scholars know we care and can succeed within firm boundaries.

At Woodfields we are curious, tenacious, and scholarly. Every scholar will learn a classical musical instrument and will practise this daily at home. They will gain opportunities to play in orchestras and in worldclass musical venues. Scholars will complete an hour of homework a day and have the support at school to complete this. Every person in school learns poetry by heart and will recite this publicly every day at the start and end of school. We all dine together as a family at lunchtime and serve each other food and tidy the table at the end of the meal.

This is an extraordinary school that believes in simplicity and old-fashioned values. In our achievement-oriented culture, it is cool to be smart, and all scholars work hard to make the best of themselves. Working together, we support every child to get that place at university and a top job.


Astrea Academy Woodfields has been through a period of rapid transformation since the appointment of David Scales as Principal in March 2023. It is now a school characterised by courtesy, scholarship and strong relationships. What is missing is that most magical ingredient, music.

There have often been times when there was no music teacher, and there currently are no opportunities for peripatetic music lessons. The scholars have a huge amount of latent potential, and you can sense a hunger for the opportunity to play and perform. Many scholars have never seen or heard classical musical instruments and have certainly never heard orchestras live. When we learnt of the inspiring work of MISST, we immediately contacted Rachel Landan and were absolutely delighted when we were accepted onto the programme.

It is no exaggeration to say that joining MISST will be genuinely life changing for these young people and this community. It will be led by Julie Atkins who is herself an accomplished musician and supported by our new music teacher, Aaliyah Hanslip. Our staff members are desperate to take part with many dusting off their instruments or indeed learning them from scratch to be involved. We are looking forward to showcasing our talent with performances, concerts and shows. For the first time here, music will be our beating heart and lift our souls.

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