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Brigantia Learning Trust

Summer Term 2021

Impressive brand-new learning centre

 We are delighted to announce a new 14-19 vocational learning centre from September 2021, the Brigantia Centre for Technical Learning. Based on the Yewlands Academy site, the centre will be a place for young people within the Trust to deepen their knowledge and understanding of a particular industry and take their first steps into specialist training and their future career.

Students in our secondary and post 16 academies, Hinde House, Yewlands and Longley Park will be our trailblazers and the first to embark on the courses offered, allowing them to complement their studies at Key Stage 4 and develop the skills and industry awareness to make informed choices about their next steps. Young people will then advance their training by following a coherent progression pathway through to specialist Level 3 provision at the centre or to the Trust’s flagship post-16 academy, Longley Park Sixth Form.

While provision is still being finalised, courses in Hairdressing & Beauty Therapy, Childcare and Construction are anticipated in the first instance, with a view to broadening the offer as the centre develops. All courses will be designed in partnership with the Trust’s academies, capitalising on the wealth of skills and expertise that exist amongst our own staff. This venture presents a truly collaborative effort with an amazing resource that our young people can take full advantage of as they advance through their 2-19 education.

The centre offers an incredibly exciting opportunity for the Trust to extend the broad and balanced curricula offered in its secondary and post-16 academies, to ensure it engages, enthuses, and crucially meets the needs and aspirations of young people in North East Sheffield.

Ready, steady, walk!

Pupils at Wincobank were challenged to traverse the distance from Land’s End to John O’Groats over the course of a week, and to complete the challenge on Red Nose Day 2021. The impressive feat involved every member of the academy community, from staff down to the two-year olds in nursery participating in the 874-mile expedition; with some pupils completing at least a mile a day! All pupils displayed real determination as they completed the challenge and staff were very proud as they witnessed some pupils struggling to complete a daily mile to walking three miles on the last day of the week.

Completing the enormous feat was an amazing achievement for the whole community. The opportunity to raise money for charity is a focal point at Wincobank and ensuring every child understands that they can make a difference truly empowers them. Congratulations to you all!

 The masked reader

At Wincobank, there is a great effort to promote an enjoyment of reading and encouraging pupils and families to be passionate about reading for leisure as well as for educational purposes. We want all children to be exposed to, and enjoy, a love for reading and to develop their knowledge of key texts and authors.

For World Book Day this year, staff got creative and crafted their own masks or chose ones that linked to their stories, and shared videos virtually for pupils to enjoy at bedtime, and as often as they liked.

Reading Lead Mrs Simpson said: “We believe all children should be immersed in a wonderful world of books, that’s why we use stories as the basis for much of our literacy teaching. We teach them to read and enjoy reading.”

“My child watched the videos for weeks as a bedtime story – she loved them. It is typical of Wincobank staff to give the children a fabulous day on World Book Day and then to go the extra mile by sending stories home for the children to enjoy.” Parent

Reach for the sky

Working in partnership with The Arches School Sport Partnership allows our pupils to receive regular specialist teaching in Physical Education, enrichment activities and the opportunity to take part in new experiences.


Key Stage 1 pupils enjoyed a day of physical activities and problem solving, working in their bubbles and with specialist sports staff to create a variety of different shaped structures with stackable Bocca cups.


Pupils were challenged to learn and implement teamworking and problem-solving skills, as well as strength and balance to build their structures in the fastest time possible. Take a look at their triumphs!


As part of our pupils’ Minibeasts and Habitats topic, Owl Class ventured outside the classroom to observe and collect minibeasts and were fascinated by all that they found on the academy’s doorstep.

Pupils observed and cared for the snails, whilst discovering and collating scientific information about them, to answer key scientific biological questions, and expand their knowledge. Snail races enabled pupils to grasp an understanding of snails’ singular muscular foot, how they stretch and contract, and were amazed to learn that snails can travel as far as 30cms in two minutes. However, they took much longer in our race until some tomato juice incentives sped them along the track!

The children were very gentle with the snails, and we promise that they will all be safely returned to the wild in an appropriate habitat at the end of the topic.

A trip to outer space

Parrot and Puffin classes embarked on an adventure of a lifetime as they grabbed their intergalactic passports and rocketed to outer space. Pupils have been learning all about rockets and space, and whilst researching and finding out about our local astronaut Helen Sharman, they couldn’t wait to find out more about life in space.

After putting on their space helmets and flying to the moon, pupils ate real space food – bananas, strawberries and ice cream – and learnt what it was like to brush their teeth without gravity. It was an incredible learning experience and our pupils’ writing tales of their adventures and rocket crafting were exceptional!

Budding dragonsTo ensure Concord pupils are future-ready and prepared for the next chapter of their lives, they have been learning about profit and loss, skills of percentage deals, data handling, persuasive writing, and budgeting. Pupils were also introduced to key financial terminology, including revenue and expenditure.Our young budding entrepreneurs conducted market research to investigate what products would be the most popular with their peers, with ice cream being the stand out winner!Through these important financial life skills, our pupils have learnt how to sell and raise money for activities and rewards, and, in addition, they have mastered the art of reinvesting profit to grow their business. Their commercial skills have been impressive – we look forward to finding out how they apply their new found talent in the future!Investigating forces and road safety

Year 3 pupils ventured to the local park, to put their knowledge of forces in to practise and in a real-life context. Their aim was to identify pushes and pulls on everyday objects and then moved on to friction.

Pupils played on all of the equipment whilst discussing the different forces – pushes, pull, gravity and friction – whilst also enhancing their team-working skills. This trip into the local community not only supported our pupils’ early scientific exploration but also gave them the opportunity to participate in some road safety techniques.

By the end of Key Stage 2 it is important for our pupils to know the Green Cross Code, including recognising safe crossing places on the side of the road, and also to have an understanding of road signs and pedestrian crossings.

We know that in working in partnership with our parents that children will learn and understand their responsibilities as a passenger in a car and to wear a seat belt and behave sensibly. In time, with the pupils’ increased awareness of the Highway Code, they may be able to take part in some bicycle training in the future. One of the aims of the road safety programme is to ensure that pupils are able to plan a safe journey to secondary school.

Visit from a Viking

As part of the History curriculum and their current learning topic, Year 4 pupils were treated to a visit from a real-life Viking, who regaled tales of his life and introduced pupils to traditional Viking artefacts.

This immersive opportunity allowed our pupils to truly engage with this element of the curriculum as they took part in a ‘battle’ using Viking weapons, took up the challenge of a Viking shield wall, and gained new understandings of how Viking life compared to other people’s lives from different periods of history.

“It was an amazing and educational experience for Concord pupils. They all loved it and found it really exciting!” Miss Vaughan, Year 4 teacher.

Coaching Eagles for the future

As part of the Wincobank and Concord partnership with The Arches School Sport Partnership, Year 3 and 4 pupils have participated in rugby coaching, delivered by the Sheffield Eagles.

The Arches School Sport Partnership believe that participation in high quality PE and Sport is valuable in its own right because of the specific educational outcomes and the personal, social and health benefits. It is also a very effective means of engaging young people in their broader learning, by raising aspirations, providing motivation and promoting behaviours that lead to higher levels of attainment across the full range of school subjects.

This amazing coaching session has been incredible for all our pupils, encouraging them to take part in a wider range of sporting activities, fostering their love of sport, ensuring they are active and engaged in sport, opening pathways to wider sporting achievement opportunities and teaching them the fundamental skills of rugby league with a masterclass in tag rugby.

“The coach breaks it down really well – but it makes it fun and challenging for all of them. A lot of pupils have said they want to go on and do rugby in the future.” Miss Smith, PE Lead

On the way to Oxbridge

From everyone at Yewlands, we would like to extend a massive congratulations to Year 11 student Alfie. Alfie has been accepted on to Cambridge University Summer Preparation Programme, Arts and Humanities stream.

The programme covers both academic and enrichment preparation for applying to Oxbridge universities and offers unrivalled opportunities to gain experiences and insights that will be invaluable for Alfie’s future. A huge amount of effort went into his application to get on this highly regarded and much sought-after course. Well done Alfie, we wish you every success!

Yewlands dominate the pitch

During the previous academic year, Yewlands Year 8 football team qualified for the Sheffield Federation for School Sport (SFFS) Cup final, and almost one year later, the SFFS were able to host the games.

The Yewlands team played in great spirits and at a very high standard, and despite being 2-0 down in the first 30 minutes, the team displayed great resilience and stuck to their game plan and were rewarded with a goal prior to the half time whistle.

Beginning the second half strongly and with momentum in Yewlands favour, the team showed commendable spirit and fitness as they fought their way to victory with 4-3 the end result. A fitting end to an exciting game of football between two quality teams. Well done to everyone involved!

Reaching out to our community

The Yew Futures programme aims to inspire students, incite their curiosity and creativity and encourage them to achieve their potential by developing their drive, determination and plethora of skills, talents, and character.

As part of this, students are encouraged to play an active role in our local community and this term, Year 7 students cleaned up their local areas and spent time engaging with residents in care homes in the old-fashioned way, by writing letters. We are incredibly proud of our students for continuing their efforts despite the challenges presented by the worldwide pandemic.

Class of 2016

Yewlands Academy alumnus Georgia Vine left the academy in 2016, bound for Longley Park Sixth Form, our partner academy within the Brigantia Learning Trust.

Known amongst staff across the Trust as a dedicated and hard-working person with a generous and warm spirit, we are not surprised that this year she has been nominated for the Shaw Trust Disability Power 11, which highlights the most influential disabled people in the UK and is recognised as a Rising Star.

Georgia told us: “Following my time at Yewlands Academy and Longley Park Sixth Form, I studied Occupational Therapy at Sheffield Hallam University. Currently, I am working on my blog ‘Not So Terrible Palsy’, and guest blogging for platforms whilst I prepare for the next stage of my life as a newly qualified Occupational Therapist. I am incredibly grateful to both my secondary and sixth form for their belief in me and endless encouragement, which enabled me to pursue my aspirations.”

In the workplace

At the end of May, Yewlands Year 11 students bid an emotional farewell to the academy as a year group, before work experience and post-16 transition began.

In their years at Yewlands, it has been a privilege to watch these students grow and develop, navigating their way through secondary education, achieving their goals, discovering their aspirations, and facing head on a challenging year with such resilience and determination.

Work experience enables students to immerse themselves in their chosen career sector, gaining important and practical skills and experiences which will prove invaluable to their CVs and applications in the future.

This year, Year 11 embarked on placements with a wide range of employers, including South Yorkshire Drainage and Cleaning Specialists, Watercliffe Meadow School, Norrie Waite and Slater Solicitors, BT Engineering Services, The Abbey Restaurant, and many other organisations, developing their confidence, communication and independence among a host of other vital skills and attributes attractive to future employers.

Throughout the summer term, every class from FS2 to Year 5 at Hinde House Primary has enjoyed a session learning ‘Beyond the Four Walls’.

This award-winning programme has allowed our children to learn and explore in an active manner through cycling, walking, orienteering, scooting and so much more… linked to curriculum objectives. Each session has been a unique experience for our pupils with all areas of the curriculum including History, Geography and Art being covered.

 The confinements of physical walls that our young people have been presented with, in what has been a most difficult and challenging year, have truly been pushed wide open. A whole new world has opened up to our pupils as they have embarked on wonderful physical, mental and wellbeing experiences that have helped them embrace new environments and horizons. We can’t wait to take our new learning into the new academic year – 2021/22 here we come!

 Riding for focus

Based on the American Outride Programme, staff and pupils alike are trialling a ‘Riding for Focus’ intervention every Friday morning – whatever the weather!

The initiative aims to improve social, emotional, and cognitive health in children, and Mr McDermott, a keen cyclist, is piloting the programme this term. We are truly on-board with Outride’s mission as they believe that “bicycles have the power to make lives better beyond winning races – they bring people and communities together, motivate us to become better humans and help us to take advantage of what the world has to offer… We believe that bicycles not only have the ability to improve the health of our young, but also bring the power of opportunity, agency, and freedom to those who have access to the power of two wheels.”

“After a cycle, I always feel happier, focused, and energised, and I hope that by implementing this fantastic idea, children will reap the benefits. The academy has provided bikes, helmets, and waterproofs to ensure we can persevere whatever nature throws our way. We look forward to rolling this opportunity out to more pupils, in the coming months!” Mr McDermott, Former Teacher and Beyond the Four Walls Lead.

Creative arts

 As part of Year 1’s Art topic, Going Wild, pupils have developed their printing skills and masterpieces have been created using repetitive patterns.

Pupils had a very creative and innovative time painting their feet and creating trails by walking across paper. Part of the task was to investigate deer, badger, bird, and fox prints before crafting their own printing blocks based on their chosen animal.

A day of discovery

An unforgettable science day for Year 3 turned into an amazing adventure!

Our pupils ventured to Wincobank Hill and Concord Park to study plants in a local ecosystem. Ecosystems can come in all shapes and sizes, as small as a termite mound or as large as a tree and are like communities. An ecosystem shows how all the living and non-living components are connected.

There was no stopping our intrepid Year 3 pupils as they set upon their task with curiosity and vigour; discovering new plants, identifying different types of plants and flowers, and naming their different parts.

 As with any scientific experiment, they charted their progress, and completed tally charts, before engaging in discussions about pollination and seed dispersal. With energy and a spring in their steps with all their new found knowledge, our pupils decided that a 6k walk would complete their day along with the obligatory climbing of trees! Fresh air in lungs and brains filled with new knowledge brought a renewed zest for learning as our pupils returned back to base!

An inspector calls at Hinde House Academy

A huge congratulations to Hinde House Academy who welcomed Ofsted’s Her Majesty Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman back in May. The academy was selected for its diverse community and the wide range of initiatives that are driving up achievement and supporting the academic success of its pupils.

Often flying under the radar, this popular hard-working academy prides itself on being highly regarded as a local academy of choice and is well known for its ambition to go above and beyond for every pupil with high aspirations and expectations for all.

On her visit, Amanda Spielman commented: “Thank you so much for a really enjoyable visit to Hinde House. You packed an enormous amount into a very short time, and it was a real pleasure to see your staff and pupils firing on all cylinders. We saw much to admire, and also very much enjoyed the opportunities to talk… I wish you all the very best for a happy and successful future.”

Executive Principal, Vicky Simcock, commented: “The staff and students are delighted to welcome HMCI Amanda Spielman into our academy to showcase all that we are achieving here. At Hinde House we are determined to offer every pupil an outstanding education and experiences to enrich their lives and I am privileged to be leading this academy; our aim is to be a true centre of excellence for our community.”

New experiences – en garde!

Hinde House students in Years 7, 8 and 10 enjoyed a once in a lifetime experience: an opportunity to try their hand at fencing.

Fencing traces its roots to the development of swordsmanship for duels and self-defence and is believed to have originated in Spain. The sport is great for all-round fitness, muscle toning, building core strength, co-ordination and balance. Modern fencing is a very athletic sport which requires great endurance, explosive speed and flexibility. Since you need to make lightning-fast decisions, it is also excellent for concentration and focus.

Competitive fencing is one of the five activities which have been featured in every modern Olympic Games, the other four being athletics, cycling, swimming and gymnastics, and was part of the Olympic Games as far back as the summer of 1896. Imagine our excitement when GB Fencing Coach, Adam Blight, came to visit and involved some of our students in an extraordinary fencing event at Hinde House!

Our students rose to the challenge as they learnt new skills and revelled in the chance to try out the emerging sport, and were a credit to the academy, demonstrating excellent behaviour, effort and enthusiasm.

Making a positive change

This term, we warmly welcomed Katie Taylor from the Humanutopia Heroes Foundation, an organisation created to emphasise the importance of volunteering, whilst supporting and enhancing journeys into employability and life skill development. The Foundation aims to challenge young people to make a difference and create positive change within their educational community.

Katie worked with Year 10 students to help develop their peer mentor skills; completing team-building activities and focusing on their communication skills, to support them in building strong relationships with younger students, as they mentor on subjects including confidence and mental wellbeing.

Some of the other outcomes our Year 10 students can expect include encouraging our students to think about how they can volunteer and make a difference in their community. In addition, they will develop a range of important life-skills which will increase their employability and life chances. We look forward to seeing how they settle into their new roles as peer mentors and how they flourish and grow.

Welcoming the poet laureate, Warda Yassin

Born and raised in Sheffield, Warda Yassin became Sheffield Poet Laureate in October 2020. Recipient of the Rebecca Swift Women’s Poets’ Prize in 2020, published in The North, Magma and Oxford Poetry and anthologised in many publications, Hinde House proudly welcomed Warda as PSHE Lead and English teacher, who strives to expose students to a range of diverse voices, stories, and poetics.

“I love working with Hinde House students on writing poetry and thinking critically about poetics. We had a wellbeing poetry day where our students wrote such powerful poems about mental health, dreams, aspirations, and confidence and a Year 8 read her superb poem which was inspired by ‘Still I Rise’ by Maya Angelou on BBC Sheffield Radio.” Warda Yassin

We are the champions!

In June, the PE department selected a group of Year 9 students to participate in and represent Hinde House Academy at the Sheffield Federation for School Sports Athletics competition. A day of competition ensued with every place hotly contested!

No sporting discipline, distance or competitor put our team off their stride as they competed against 30 other schools in the 100m, 200m, 300m, 800m sprints, long jump, high jump, shot put and javelin. Hinde House students were a credit to themselves and their academy as they each showed great sportsmanship, talent, grit, and determination. Students placed in all categories and were crowned victorious – huge applause and congratulations!

Transitioning up

We were delighted to welcome our Year 6 Hinde House pupils to a transition event, which aimed to build suspense and sporting knowledge, prior to Sports Day which was hosted by Year 10 Sports Leaders.

Taking inspiration from A Question of Sport, pupils participated in a 5-round quiz, ranging from sports equipment and athletes to identifying the flags of the host countries from the last 10 Olympic Games.

Congratulations to the team made up of Owen, Lucas and Andrew who came first with a very impressive score, having only dropped 3 points throughout the competition. Also, a round of applause to the team made up of Chikanyima, Sasha and Hannah who finished in second place.

The creative show

In June, the annual Creative Exhibition was held at Longley Park, showcasing outstanding pieces of work from students in Art, Media, Photography, 3D Design and Games Design. Students have worked incredibly hard to produce an impressive standard of work and as a Sixth Form and Trust, we are proud to showcase and share these with our academy community.

Rob Barker, Curriculum Lead for Creative Arts commented: “The Creative Show celebrates the wonderful and diverse range of work that has been produced by our fabulous creative students. The standard of work is extremely high and is a celebration of what our students have achieved during the pandemic.”

Triumph in the CIPFA Games

We are elated to share the news that five Business, Law and Finance students from Longley Park have been placed first among five other schools and colleges across the Midlands in a prestigious competition. The team was entered into The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) 6th Form Management Team Games. Held virtually, students were tasked with producing and delivering a presentation in timed conditions, recommending how the council could make cost savings and generate income to meet a budget deficit.

Challenged with creating motivational messages for staff, by interruptions, bad press, Trade Union meetings and answering questions about potential redundancies and from councillors about their proposal, students worked extremely diligently and displayed their strong work ethic, team-work and skills that they display every day at Longley Park. Congratulations, Ali, Daniel, Jess and Daniel!

“I am extremely proud of how they all worked together and dealt with these fast-paced challenges. This is the first time we have entered these games and it gives me great pride to see Longley students win such a prestigious event run by members of CIPFA.” Julie Beaumont, Business Teacher

Going above and beyond

We are delighted to announce that Longley Park Sixth Form has received national recognition for their work in supporting staff and students over the course of this unprecedented year. The Online Learning Team were winners in the category of Covid Above and Beyond, awarded by the Sixth Form Colleges Association.

The team has been successful in rapidly accelerating the skills and expertise of our staff team in the EdTech offer to ensure our young people enjoyed a stable, engaging, and effective learning experience. With the suspension of face-to-face delivery, students were supported to take a greater lead of their learning and develop the independent skills critical for success now and for future learning.

We are incredibly proud of all our staff for the commitment and adaptability they have shown to their practice throughout such a challenging period, and it reflects the absolute commitment that we have to transforming the lives of young people in North East Sheffield. The Sixth Form will continue to work with the Trust to ensure this expertise is shared and carried forward to deliver an innovative, high quality educational experience.

Meet a Longley Park student and Yewlands alumnus!

“I am currently in my first year at Longley Park and am studying CACHE Level 3 Childcare and Education and proudly hold the title of Transition Ambassador, supporting students moving from secondary education into the sixth form and launching a peer mentoring scheme next year. Longley Park is a truly unique sixth form, every student has a voice, is supported, and encouraged to achieve their ambitions. I hope to complete my course and move on to Sheffield Hallam University to read Education with Psychology and Therapy and become a child therapist and work with children who suffer with ACES and mental health. I would recommend Longley Park to any students seeking a broad course offer, unrivalled support from a network of teachers and colleagues who are passionate about helping you to achieve your aspirations.” Corey Foster