Partnership with the Royal Docks Academy

For over a hundred years, the links between The Ascension Church and the Felsted School Mission in the East End of London have continued to grow and develop.

The Ascension Church works with the local community providing youth activities, promoting fitness and social interaction. 

This partnership can be traced back to the mid-19th century when the extreme poverty of this particular part of London’s docklands was brought to the attention of the then Headmaster.

His actions led to the founding of the Felsted School Mission Association and it was this funding that meant in 1887 a small brick and iron mission building was built on the site of the present Ascension Church.

In recent years this link has been further strengthened by the work between the school and Royal Docks Academy (RDA). Since 2015, there have been eight pupils who have taken up full scholarships at Felsted (worth more than half a million pounds). 


Felsted pupils and staff regularly visit the Royal Docks Academy, Felsted pupils particularly help them in their Sensory Room, with their pupils who suffer with PMLD (Profound and Multiple Learning difficulties), Sensory Impairment and Learning Difficulties (SILD), Communication and Interaction Difficulties from Moderate to Severe Learning Difficulties (M/SLD).  

As well as providing full bursary places, shared resources, joint INSET and pupil & staff exchanges, Felsted also provides scholarships for RDA students to attend Felsted’s International Summer School and Online Courses. 




During the pandemic, RDA, like many other schools was adapting to life with COVID-19; lessons were taking place online but unlike many other schools, Royal Docks Academy had a significant number of pupils without access to the requisite technology to participate in online learning; Anticipating this, Felsted sourced and donated laptops to ensure that the RDA pupils didn’t fall further behind in their learning during the pandemic.

During this current Autumn term, Felsted has also been able to provide learning support for two of RDA’s brightest Year 11 pupils Chloe and Elise. Elise is being regularly mentored in Classics and Latin. She comments; “I love being able to talk to someone who shares my passion for Classics, someone who can ask me the questions I need to consider to fully appreciate the subject!” Meanwhile Chloe has benefited from talks on the International Baccalaureate (IB) and how it is viewed by top universities. She is now RDA’s go-to person when it comes to the IB and has been happily talking to other pupils in her year about the qualification and how it offers an alternative post-16 pathway. There are at least two other pupils who are looking at studying the IB next year because of Chloe’s input! 

It is exactly these kinds of opportunities that make the link between the schools so important. RDA pupils are learning about things that they hadn’t previously heard of let alone considered and are benefiting from expertise that RDA just can’t offer!

  Justin Hopgood, BMAT Trust Data and Assessment Lead.