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Brigantia Learning Trust

Spring Term 2022

Empowering Young People

Humanutopia is an interactive programme designed to help young people implement positive changes, improve mental health and wellbeing, and increase prospects through the development of a range of life skills. At Brigantia Learning Trust, Humanutopia have worked across all phases: providing leadership at all levels for Longley Park Sixth Form; supporting students across our secondaries; Year 9 and 10 students have worked alongside Year 5 and 6 pupils at Concord and Year 6 pupils support our Infant school Wincobank, inspiring and encouraging collaboration.

At Hinde House Secondary this term, Humanutopia led bespoke sessions with each year group. Years 7 and 8 engaged in ‘Who Am I’ sessions, reflecting on positive and negative friendships and the importance of treating one another with respect. Years 9 – 11 participated in activities centered on building resilience and aspiration. In addition, 48 students seized the opportunity to become Humanutopia Heroes and participated in training to support Year 7 and 9 students build confidence and self-esteem through activities and 1:1 peer mentoring.

Over 400 Vocational and A Level Year 1 students at Longley Park also participated in ‘Who Am I’ workshops, enabling students to explore past experiences and consider how these informed perceptions of themselves now. The workshops were challenging, thought provoking and supportive, offering the opportunity for students to stop and take stock of where they are in their lives and help them plan not only for the future beyond Longley Park, but evaluate the steps they can take to ensure they stay on the right pathway.


Following the session, 22 students volunteered to become Humanutopia Heroes, attending training, and putting plans in place to work across the Trust supporting younger students and pupils.

The Thrive Approach

Supporting the development of confident, curious, creative, and capable children and young adults, Thrive is a leading provider of support for social and emotional development.

Thrive was first introduced at Hinde House Secondary during the first lockdown in March 2020. Students were able to access online mindfulness support, and on return to the academy, groups were established to support with anxiety, behaviour issues and mental health. More recently, work has continued with students who have low attendance, supporting low-mood, anxiety and stress management and behavioural issues in mindfulness activities.

Staff continue to receive regular training sessions to help the whole student body. At Yewlands Academy, a dedicated Thrive Team delivers 1:1 and group work to students who need support with any potential barriers to learning, whilst staff have received Thrive training to support students in and out of their lessons. All KS3 form tutors hold a ‘Weather Check in’ once a week, to notice patterns in mood, in order to offer support. In the future, it is our intention across the Trust that we will start to invite parents to experience the Thrive Approach if their child has received support from the Thrive Team.

Immersion in the Arts

As part of their Enchanted Wood topic, KS1 pupils studied and recreated the work of local land artist James Brunt and engaged in an exciting artwork session with the artist himself, in Wincobank Woods! Pupils spent time collating different materials, learning about the different types of trees - and voted it the best day ever! We were thrilled to see pupils engaged in their learning and so proud of the final piece, with parents commenting that their children were truly inspired. Take a look at their masterpiece!

World Book Day

Across Wincobank and Concord academies, World Book Day aimed to foster a love of books and develop oracy skills and confidence in public speaking. The day was celebrated by pupils and staff dressing up as their favourite story book characters and hiding story books around Wincobank town for families to find. Wincobank pupils enjoyed a day of Oral Storytelling, with teachers commenting on how articulate and confident pupils were. Concord pupils practiced different types of speaking and listening, demonstrating aspirational language and cognitive skills to solve problems, and showcased an awareness of how to present and support one another in speaking activities. 

Early Years Excellence

Our Early Years provision received a resounding note of approval from Early Excellence Consultants, who visited Wincobank classes for two days in February. Early Excellence are leading thinkers in early childhood education, whose work has influenced and inspired practice across the UK and internationally. We were pleased (although not surprised) that consultants were impressed with teaching and learning across all early years’ classes and Key Stage 1, and that our pupils impressed everyone with their skills and behaviour for learning.

Pupils at Concord engaged in an exciting and educational session with MGA, an organisation dedicated to dynamic and experiential learning sessions, which they certainly delivered! Armed with a host of practical explanations and experiments, the experience allowed pupils to expand their knowledge of magnets, how they work and the world’s natural magnetic field, and later they demonstrated and applied their findings. 

Challenge Championship

The number 24 took a whole new significance at Concord this term as pupils engaged in the 24 challenge, a competition which aims to develop a love of maths, fluency and problem solving. Pupils were tasked to create a calculation with the answer 24 using four given numbers, which culminated in a tense and exciting day of mathematical problem solving in the Challenge Championship. The Championship was a fantastic demonstration of pupils’ mathematical abilities and the academy was rapt during the final. All four finalists were well-deserving and displayed great knowledge, and we congratulate our winner Tommy, who emerged as victor but not without a mathematical battle. 

In Partnership with Leeds Libraries

As part of our efforts to expose students to an array of future pathways and educate them on careers, Year 8 students engaged in an insightful session with award-winning British writer, illustrator and musician, Marcus Sedgwick. Organised by Leeds Libraries, the live event gave students the opportunity to listen to Marcus discuss his most recent novel, The Wrath. 

Marcus took students on a tale of his own career pathway, discussing his inspiration, creative process and how he works in collaboration with publishers and editors to prepare books for release. We are incredibly proud that students seized the opportunity to ask Marcus interesting questions, and hope they gained valuable insights from the event.

Read All About It!

This term, Yewlands students have been busy selecting new books as part of the relaunch of our library. From the comedy of David Walliams to the horrors of Darren Shah, all students have been given the opportunity to select a book to take home and read for pleasure. Our library is an asset to the academy, open before and after school and during break and lunch, for all students wishing to read, work, or use the computer.

Over the next term, students will be able to search our library online for books, complete reviews for prizes and suggest new novels to help us build our collection! 

Loud and Proud

LGBTQ+ History Month is a month-long annual celebration of the LGBTQ+ community, history, and civil rights movements, coinciding with the 2003 abolition of Section 28. At Yewlands, we take great pride in the amazing diversity of our academy, and to celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month, all classes were challenged to decorate their doors in celebration – take a look at the well-deserved winner! In addition, our academy community raises awareness through the LGBTQ+ club, a friendly environment and safe space where all students are welcome, encouraged to be themselves and can talk about anything. 

Solidarity with Ukraine

As the situation in the Ukraine continues to unfold, students at Yewlands Academy have been discussing ways that they can support those in need. As part of Enrichment Day, students in Years 7-10 were visited by Ukrainian PhD student Anna from Cambridge University, to engage in Q&A sessions. It was a powerful experience for all students, who gained a first-hand insight into the impact the crisis is having, and as a result, students have begun a Shoebox Appeal, donating clothes, toiletries and toys to refugees in Poland.

Excellence in Sports

This year, Secondary PE has engaged in the Dame Kelly Holmes’ on Track to Achieve programme, a mentoring initiative in which Olympic athlete James Kirton helps our young adults develop confidence, emotional resilience, and teamwork skills, enabling them to reflect on their own aspirations for the future. We look forward to catching up with students and finding out more of what they have gained from the programme.

Our trampolining students have triumphed in the Next Steps Trampolining competition at Hillsborough Leisure Centre. After waiting two years, students were ecstatic to compete against other schools and represent the academy. We are incredibly proud of their skills and sportsmanship; all students were a credit to the academy and well deservedly placed 1st (U14 Level 3s); 3rd (U16s Level 3) and 4th (U14s Level 2). Well done all!

Welcome, Bugs!

As part of the personalised curriculum developed by the SEND team for our L5 High Needs Learners, we warmly welcomed Bugs the rabbit to support with the development of social skills including nurture, responsibility, and hygiene. Students will work towards their life skills challenge project (ASDAN) to gain a certificate in animal care. 

Duke of Edinburgh

This year we once again launched The Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award, with a cohort of 30 students signed up and raring to go. Highly favoured by employers and universities alike, the award enables students to develop essential skills, set personal challenges and push boundaries, improve self-esteem, and build confidence, all whilst having fun with their peers.

So far this term, we have enjoyed fantastic engagement with sessions on map reading, cooking, and route planning in preparation for their hike, expedition, and overnight camp in the Peaks. Our DofE class of 2021 completed their expedition in the summer and are now in the final stages of fulfilling the other sections of the award, including volunteering, learning a new skill, and engaging in physical activities.

We are incredibly proud of their determination throughout the award, and their display of resilience, problem solving, team working, communication and drive.

Passionate About Reading

As schools across the world celebrated World Book Day, at Hinde House Primary we made sure every child received a book to read. Children selected a book of their choice, and independent bookstore Rhyme and Reason, provided all the books for us. We would like to extend our thanks for their generosity, all children were so excited to get their own book. Throughout the day, pupils enjoyed a series of live lessons from authors and illustrators, including Sophie Mackenzie and Ben Bailey Smith, and the day culminated with story time with teddies and warm hot chocolate. A wonderful day, celebrating our love for reading!

World Maths Day

Pupils across Primary Phase indulged in their love for all things numerical on World Maths Day, participating in a range of exciting and engaging activities. Years 1 and 2 used symmetry to craft Mother’s Day cards, Year 3 used angle eaters to identify acute, obtuse and right angles across the classroom, Year 4 went cross curricular as they used Wassily Kandinsky’s famous paintings as inspiration for their array of artwork, Year 5 created 2D shapes in outdoor challenges and Year 6 pupils created works of art linked to ratio. Take a look at their hard work!

Ready for the Job

Year 2 A-Level 3D Design students participated and won the CIOB (Chartered Institute of Building) and Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) competition. On 28th February, winners were presented with a trophy and gift vouchers as their prize. Competing against students from Sixth Forms and FE Colleges across South Yorkshire and Derbyshire, students reviewed the logistical challenges faced by a contractor when appointed to build a new SHU building in the city centre. There were a number of constraints brought about by the location, transport links and access to and from the site for materials and personnel and students were challenged to establish a number of suggestions and improvements as to how they mitigate the risks to successfully develop the site and minimise disruption.

“Longley Park students’ presentation was miles ahead compared to the other entries. The students had considered so many factors. It is great to see the students are already gaining the skills needed to go into the architectural and construction industries.” Kirsty Baker, CIOB

Future Ready: Careers and Employment Opportunities

Ensuring every student is prepared for their future, both academically and personally, is vital to us at Longley Park. Our Trust mission, to Create Excellence Together, extends into students’ futures. As such, over the last term, students have enjoyed a wealth of exciting higher education and careers related visits and engagement prospects, including:

  • Sheffield Hallam have hosted workshops/masterclasses for our Engineering and Physics students as well as a taster day for our A-Level English Literature group.
  • HeppSY and Sheffield Hallam staff have visited to help Criminology students explore related careers and speak to all Level 3 Year 1 students on higher education and student finance.
  • Students have also been able to visit Hull University’s engineering department for an enrichment activity.
  • Students on the Career Ready programme have taken part in workshops led by local business leaders on interview skills, problem solving and teamwork. Longley Park also hosted a mentor/mentee introduction event where students met the business mentors, they will meet regularly over the next 12 months.
  • English Literature students engaged in a virtual lecture from author Paul Mason as part of the Off the Shelf festival.
  • Game Design students went to the National Videogame Museum for a practical workshop and to research the British Game Institute and wider games culture for their major projects.
  • A-Level Photography students visited Persistence Works in Sheffield for a workshop and to watch a shoot with professional photographer Laura Page. We have hosted a range of fascinating professionals that have shared their career journeys with our students: • Her Honour Judge Annabel Carr QC spoke to Law and Criminology students.
  • Set designer Kevin Jenkins ran a model box activity for English and Design students using professional resources kindly provided by Sheffield Theatres.
  • Inspector Shakeel Ahmed came to speak to Business students about apprenticeships and other pathways into the police service.
  • Phil Ridley of Sheffield based Glistening Kicks spoke about setting up and running a business.
  • Dr Helen Morgan, Registrar in Respiratory Medicine at Nottingham City Hospital visited to speak to Health & Social Care students. She talked through a typical day for her and took students on an imaginary ward tour discussing the various job roles she comes into contact with day to day and routes into those professions.