Starlight - Issue 2 (Summer 2019)

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SUMMER 2019 | ISSUE 02



Ofsted praises Star primaries


Helping pupils to master maths



Pupils celebrate award wins

Developing a world-class curriculum


WELCOME TO STARLIGHT Welcome to the second edition of Starlight, our termly magazine for parents, governors and friends of the Star community.

reinforcing everything our pupils learn at school – that excellent attendance and good behaviour is conducive to learning, that a strong and resilient work ethic leads to success, and how to maintain focus in the face of distractions.

As a rapidly expanding Multi-Academy Trust with 25 schools across the country, keeping up-to-date with all of the wonderful things our pupils and staff are achieving is very important to me. Our schools are rich in their diversity - they are different sizes, based in different locations, and cater for pupils from all backgrounds, beliefs and cultures - but they all have one thing in common: a strong Star community enriched by the values of Service, Teamwork, Ambition and Respect. Starlight aims to bring together stories from across our schools and the wider Trust to give you a sense of everything we are collectively achieving. Reading it makes me feel proud, because it is clear that - together - we are building something very special.

All of our pupils have worked incredibly hard to prepare for their exams and it goes without saying that we hope their hard work is rewarded with excellent results, but I think it is equally important to highlight that our pupils will never be defined by their exam grades alone. Our pupils have their own unique talents and excel in their own individual ways, and this edition of Starlight serves to illustrate that they have so much to offer outside the four walls of the classroom – they are award-winning fundraisers, world-class athletes, master chefs, budding entrepreneurs, gifted dancers and everything in between. They are loyal friends, helpful volunteers, and young people who genuinely care about their communities. Our pupils’ quality of character and the impact they make in their day-to-day lives cannot be summarised by a statistic, and their sense of self-worth should not be contingent on the contents of an envelope.

We are rapidly approaching the end of another busy academic year and I know many of you have been supporting our pupils through the exams season. This can be a difficult time for pupils as a lot of their free time becomes consumed with revision and recalling all of the knowledge they have amassed over the years. Combined with the weight of expectation they feel from their parents, their teachers and often themselves, it can understandably be a stressful experience, and the initial relief of finishing exams can often be eclipsed by the anxiety of waiting for results. This is particularly true of pupils completing their GCSEs and A-Levels, who know their college, university or apprenticeship placements often depend on the outcomes. I know staff have been working tirelessly to ensure all of our pupils secure the grades they are capable of achieving, and to instil them with the self-belief they need to succeed. Our parents, too, have played an instrumental and invaluable role in helping their children to achieve the best possible outcomes by

With this in mind, when our pupils receive their results this summer - and whether those results leave them feeling ecstatic, deflated or ambivalent - it is important for them to remember that their future is not set in stone and they should never stop pursuing their passions or striving to achieve their goals. I hope all of our pupils achieve the results they deserve this summer and wish them the very best of luck as they make the transition to secondary school, sixth form, university and beyond.

(MUFTI) HAMID PATEL CBE Chief Executive, Star Academies


12 Cooking up a storm



Pupils welcome VIP guest

Fundraising proves no obstacle



Trust-wide news and updates


Bringing maths to life


Stories from across Star schools


Interview with our Curriculum and Assessment Lead

Business ideas that make a difference


Read past issues of Starlight online at publications Developing a world-class curriculum

Credit: Blackburn College


Top of the class


Star pupils love coming to school Following the release of national absence data, statistics show that Star’s schools have some of the best attendance rates in the country. Eight Star secondary schools and two Star primary schools were ranked amongst the top 1% nationally in the absence league tables. The data was based on absence recorded during the 2017/18 academic year. In a testament to how much Star pupils enjoy coming to school, six of Star’s secondary schools were amongst the top ten best-attended schools in the country, out of more than 6,000 secondary schools nationwide. Eden Boys’ School, Birmingham ranked first overall and Eden Girls’ Leadership Academy, Manchester ranked second. TIGHS, TIBHS, Eden Boys’ School, Preston and Eden Boys’ School, Bolton also secured places in the top ten. Eden Boys’ Leadership Academy, Manchester ranked 15th in the country and Eden Girls’ School, Slough secured a place in the top 50.

strong correlation between good levels of attendance and high levels of attainment. Our teaching staff work hard to plan and deliver engaging sessions for our pupils to inspire them to want to be in school each day. We are also fortunate to have the support of our parents and carers who encourage and ensure their children turn up on time every day, ready to learn.”

The Olive School, Blackburn was the 8th best-attended primary school in the country out of over 21,000 primary schools nationwide. The Olive School, Preston also placed in the top 1%.


The Trust sets a minimum attendance target of 97% for pupils and Star schools do all they can to ensure pupils remain invested and engaged in their education, as missing just one lesson can have a detrimental impact on pupils’ learning and leave them struggling to catch up. Mufti Hamid Patel CBE, Chief Executive of Star Academies, said: “It is no coincidence that three of our secondary schools that are in the top 1% for absence are also in the top 5% for academic achievement based on Progress 8 scores. It has been proven that there is a

Welcome to The Valley Leadership Academy On 1st July, The Valley Leadership Academy joined Star Academies. The secondary school, which is in Bacup in Lancashire, is the 25th school in the Star family. The Valley Leadership Academy, formerly known as Fearns Community Sports College, is a 1,050 place 11-16 secondary school. It has converted to an academy and joined Star following several months of close working with governors, parents and senior leaders at the school. The change in the school’s name reflects a new chapter in its history and a commitment to retaining the school’s strong local heritage. ‘The Valley’ represents the school’s Rossendale borough catchment area, which is located in the Rossendale Valley that runs between the West Pennine Moors and the main range of the Pennines. Mufti Hamid Patel CBE, Chief Executive of Star Academies, said: “We are delighted to welcome The Valley Leadership Academy into the Star family. Our team brings a wealth of additional expertise to the school and we are very much looking forward to continuing to work with the entire school community to create opportunities for improved outcomes for all The Valley Leadership Academy pupils.”



Ofsted praises


Barkerend Primary Leadership Academy Barkerend Primary Leadership Academy has recently become the 11th Star school to be rated as ‘outstanding’ in all areas by Ofsted. Inspectors praised the Bradford-based primary school for securing excellent progress rates for pupils, many of whom speak English as an additional language. Pupils’ progress in Maths was amongst the top 1% in the country and their progress in reading was in the top 3% nationally. The school, which started working with Star in October 2017, was praised for creating a culture of high expectations and ensuring pupils are “exceptionally well prepared for their next steps in education.” Inspectors commended senior leaders for being “uncompromising in their aim for pupils to achieve as well as they possibly can,” noting that “pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds make accelerated progress as they move through the school” and pupils with special educational needs “make very strong progress from their starting points and achieve very well.” Teaching was described as “high quality,” “highly effective” and “consistently strong throughout the school” with teaching staff having “secure subject knowledge.” Inspectors noted that “respectful and positive relationships between pupils and adults are a visible strength of the school.” As a result of this, pupils feel “safe…valued and cared for” and inspectors described their behaviour as “outstanding” and “unfailingly kind” commenting on the effectiveness of the Trust’s STAR values in ensuring “pupils are respectful of others’ ideas,


tolerant of differences, and (have) an impressive level of empathy for others.” Inspectors also spoke highly of the school’s commitment to Star’s leadership specialism: “(Pupils) are given many opportunities to develop important leadership skills and capably use their authority to make positive changes. Pupils relish being able to help others in roles such as student councillor, forest school ambassador, paired reader, handwriting coach and anti-bullying ambassador.” Barkerend was previously graded as ‘requires improvement’ by Ofsted in its 2014 inspection, before joining Star Academies, and the school’s committed and talented team of staff have worked tirelessly to secure significant and sustained improvements, to the point where the school is now ranked amongst the top ten of Bradford’s 198 primary schools.

Star schools rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted SUMMER 2019 ISSUE 02



High Crags Primary Leadership Academy judged ‘good’ with ‘outstanding’ early years provision in Ofsted inspection Pupils, staff, parents and governors at High Crags Primary Leadership Academy are celebrating after the academy was judged by Ofsted to be ‘good’ overall with ‘outstanding’ early years provision, after previously being graded as inadequate in 2015. A team of inspectors visited the academy for two days in March. Inspectors were particularly impressed with the standard of leadership and management, the behaviour and attitudes of children, the progress they are making and the quality of relationships between pupils and staff. They recognised pupils at the school are taught well and, in turn, are keen to do well. The inspectors also commented on how polite and respectful pupils are and how much they enjoy coming to school. High Crags started working with Star in October 2017. During this time, the school has continued to improve rapidly, with results in phonics, reading and mathematics increasing significantly. Inspectors said:

“Outcomes at the end of key stage 1 in 2018 show the proportion of pupils achieving at the expected standard in reading and mathematics is above national expectations. The percentage of pupils meeting the required standard for the phonics screening check is improving year-on-year.”


“As a result of good and better teaching, over the last three years, the proportion of pupils achieving the expected standard in reading at the end of key stage 2 has improved by approximately ten percentage points each year. The proportion achieving at a greater depth of understanding has also increased significantly.


“Similarly, in mathematics…there have been significant year-on-year increases in the proportion of pupils achieving at the expected standard and at a greater depth of understanding.

High Crags also runs a 30-place nursery for children aged two and above. Ofsted judged the school’s early years provision – which includes its nursery and reception classes - to be ‘outstanding’. Inspectors stated: “Children do very well. This is because the school is very well led, and staff have high expectations…as a result of the outstanding work of the provision, children who have attended the school’s nursery enter the school’s Reception class well placed to make strong progress.”


Secretary of State inspires Olive pupils to aim high Damian Hinds MP, Secretary of State for Education, had the opportunity to see our STAR values in action when he met with pupils and staff at The Olive School, Bolton. Mr Hinds attended a special assembly at the school, where pupils in years 2 and 3 explained what our STAR values mean to them and how they inspire them to help others. Pupils presented examples of projects they have been working on to promote the values of Service, Teamwork and Respect, with the Secretary of State giving a stirring speech about our fourth STAR value, Ambition. Mr Hinds listened attentively as pupils explained how, as part of their community service initiative, they donated food hampers to Strathmore and Astley Grange Nursing Homes, Royal Bolton Hospital’s Emergency Department and Children’s Ward, Urban Outreach Food Bank and Bolton Hospice. Pupils also described how they made gift boxes to show their appreciation for the healthcare and emergency service workers who serve the Bolton community. The value of Respect was presented through a song performed by the children to celebrate diversity and the importance of treating others as we wish to be treated. After hearing about pupils’ charitable endeavours, Mr Hinds spoke to them about the value of Ambition. He asked pupils about their future aspirations and assured them they can be anything they want to be, providing they are willing to work hard. He explained how sometimes progress can involve making small steps - rather than large strides - towards your goals, and how important persistence, resilience and self-belief are. He then presented a pupil from each class with a Star of the Week certificate, recognising pupils who had demonstrated outstanding Ambition. As his visit took place during the holy month of Ramadhaan, Mr Hinds was keen to find out about how fasting is observed by Muslim pupils and their families. Four pupil ambassadors talked to Mr Hinds about everything Ramadhaan represents and presented him

with a selection of foods favoured by The Prophet (PBUH) when breaking a fast, such as dates - which are high in fibre, vitamins and minerals - honey and Zam Zam (holy water). Pupils then gave Mr Hinds a tour of the school, where he observed a PE class, saw pupils writing about ‘Beauty and the Beast’ in a literacy lesson, and tackling mathematical problems in numeracy. Mr Hinds - who is well-acquainted with educational excellence having achieved a first class honours degree from Oxford University - rounded off his visit by speaking with senior leaders about Star’s educational model and the Trust’s achievements. Pupils presented him with a Paddington Bear and a personalised ‘Paddington at The Olive School’ story as a memento of his visit, as Mr Hinds hails from Paddington in London. Following his visit, the Secretary of State for Education wrote to the school to express his thanks to pupils and staff. In his letter, Mr Hinds said: “The assembly was a highlight, and I was particularly inspired by pupil participation. The students demonstrated such confidence and leadership, which left an impression on me. I continue to be impressed by the performance of Star Academies. It is fantastic to see the calm approach and commitment from staff at The Olive School, Bolton, enabling pupils to thrive in a purposeful environment.”

REACHING FOR THE STARS Following the launch of Star’s new recognition scheme in the spring term, more than 70 pupils and staff have been awarded a Star Letter in recognition of their outstanding achievements. The breadth and stature of staff and pupils’ accomplishments have been awe-inspiring, ranging from those who have represented their country at sport in international competitions to award-winning pupils who have excelled in the fields of academia, charitable and social action, cooking and performing arts. Find out which pupils have been awarded a Star Letter in the Roll of Honour on page 27.



Star trains the next generation of teachers A group of aspiring teachers, who have recently completed a 12-month teacher training programme with Star Institute, have realised their dreams of a teaching career after accepting roles starting in the new academic year.

The graduates have all successfully completed a School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) programme with our leadership development arm, Star Institute. The SCITT is one of three routes into teaching offered through our Star Teachers programme. This year’s teacher training graduates follow last year’s SCITT alumni who achieved a 100% success rate in securing a teaching role after gaining Qualified Teacher Status with Star Institute. At Star, we want to play our part in developing the next generation of teachers, managers and leaders in our own schools and throughout the school system. Training new teachers also gives us the opportunity to identify the best and brightest talent, and for new teachers to understand

what makes Star schools so special. In the last two years, we have appointed more than 20 newly-qualified Star Institute graduates to work in our schools, where we ensure they have the ongoing support and training to flourish. Newly qualified teacher, Aisha Jasuleviciute-Khan graduated from the Star Institute SCITT programme this summer and has secured a role at Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School (TIGHS) as Teacher of Science. Aisha said: “It feels fantastic to realise my long-held ambition of becoming a teacher. I’m really grateful for the quality of support that Star Institute has given me and I’m looking forward to starting my new role at TIGHS in September.”

Schools commemorate Stephen Lawrence Star Academies’ schools participated in the inaugural Stephen Lawrence Day to commemorate his death and recognise the importance of respecting diversity, equality and inclusion. Star schools marked the day by facilitating a series of activities to enable pupils to learn about Stephen Lawrence’s life and legacy, and to explore themes including racism and discrimination in our society. Understating the importance of, and celebrating, diversity, equality and inclusion are fundamental to the Star vision and in supporting our pupils to live our STAR values. The national day of commemoration took place on 22 April 2019, which was the 26th anniversary of Stephen’s death. The event is coordinated by the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, which was founded by Stephen’s mother, Baroness Lawrence. Mufti Hamid Patel CBE, Chief Executive of Star Academies, said: “We are proud to have participated in the first Stephen Lawrence Day, as its message reflects our own STAR values of Service, Teamwork, Ambition and Respect. It is important to reflect on Stephen’s legacy and to nurture our pupils to develop strong characters in order to enact positive change in our society. I hope we continue to inspire our pupils to help to improve cohesion in society and that Stephen Lawrence Day will form a lasting legacy to ensure Stephen’s death will never be forgotten.”



Big Iftar events bring communities together During the holy month of Ramadhaan, our faith schools organised a number of Big Iftar events to bring their local communities together. Muslims fast from dawn until sunset during Ramadhaan and Iftar is the evening meal they enjoy with friends and family after a long day without food and water. People from all backgrounds, beliefs and cultures were invited to our faith schools to break the fast with Muslim pupils, staff members and governors, and guests enjoyed delicious food, thought-provoking conversation and an opportunity to forge friendships with people of all faiths and none. The events were a resounding success and focussed on the importance of community cohesion, community service and celebrating diversity. Guests at the Big Iftar event hosted by Eden Girls’ School, Slough were treated to a keynote speech from Fiona Mactaggart, a former Labour MP for Slough who served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State with responsibility for Criminal Justice, Race Equality and Communities from 20032006. Fiona said she was delighted to see pupils at Eden Girls’ School scaling great heights, and spoke to pupils about the importance of channelling their potential and talent into their local communities. Pupils spoke to guests about how charitable giving is promoted during Ramadhaan and explained how they raised a significant sum of money for The Samaritans. Pupils also spoke about the school’s partnership with First Give, a charity that inspires young people to tackle social issues, and the work they have done to address disadvantage and inequality in their local community. This was evident in a business proposal prepared by a team of pupils for the Mosaic Enterprise Challenge, whose idea to start a Sunday school for refugees and asylum seekers to tackle low employment rates in the community was fuelled by the philanthropy that characterises Ramadhaan. Assistant Principal, Mostafa Chehab, said: “This is Eden Girls’ 4th Big Iftar and it has been wonderful to see the event go from strength to strength. The Big Iftar is a wonderful opportunity to highlight the sense of community spirit that is synonymous with Ramadhaan and also serves to illustrate how hard our pupils and staff work to give something back to our local community. It is fantastic to see how the scale and impact of our community service initiatives continue to grow, year by year, and to see Eden Girls’ School establish itself as a pillar of the local community.” The Olive School, Hackney also brought local community members together to share in an interfaith Big Iftar. The former Speaker for Hackney Council, Councillor Claire Potter, attended the event. Other guests included Reverend Niall Weir; Rabbi Hershel Gluck OBE - Co-Founder of the Big Iftar; Former

Metropolitan Police Commander, Mak Chishty and Police Constable Ahmed Walley. Reverend Weir, of nearby St Paul’s Church, said: “The evening was beautifully organised, the hospitably was warm and lavish, and the pupils were a credit to the school and all that it stands for.” Pupils and staff at Tauheedul Islam Boys’ High School (TIBHS), who are set to move to a new state-of-the-art campus this September, invited alumni from Shadsworth High School to attend their Big Iftar event. TIBHS’ temporary accommodation is based at the same site as the former school, which closed in 1988. The event offered the opportunity for current and former school communities to reminisce about their time at the Shadsworth Road site and share their memories and experiences of school, discovering that - in spite of their differences - they also had a great deal in common. All of our schools’ Big Iftar events gave guests an opportunity to see our STAR values in action, demonstrating how our schools strive to serve their local communities, how pupils and staff work together to build a better and more cohesive society, how ambitious our pupils are in their civic and charitable endeavours, and the importance of showing respect towards people of all faiths and none.

Star shortlisted for construction award Star has been selected as one of three finalists in the Client of the Year category of the North West Regional Construction Awards. The shortlisting is in recognition of Star’s successful capital build programme, which has overseen the design and construction of new schools in Blackburn, Coventry, Slough and Birmingham. Star was nominated for the award by Wates Group, the construction firm that is currently building three new Star schools in Blackburn and Manchester. In its submission, Wates praised Star’s standardised building blueprint for new schools that puts the teachers and students at the heart of design and delivery.





Maths Mastery at The Olive School, Blackburn A challenge faced by schools across the country is to deepen pupils’ understanding of mathematics and their fluency in using mathematical processes so that they can be active citizens in a society where numbers really matter. Research from countries such as Singapore, where rates of mathematical literacy are impressive, has underpinned discussion in Britain about the most effective teaching methods.

Star schools’ focus is on achieving excellence for all pupils by providing them with a knowledge-rich, challenging curriculum that equips them well for the next stage of their journey. There is a strong emphasis upon establishing the secure foundations on which learning builds to remove reliance on ‘catch up’ later on, along with an imperative that pupils enjoy learning and relish success. The successful maths mastery approach employed at The Olive School, Blackburn utilises the world-leading pedagogy of Singapore Maths, through the use of the Inspire Maths scheme. This is a transformational approach to maths teaching and learning, which supports pupils to develop mathematical fluency without


resorting to rote learning and allows them to solve non-routine maths problems without having to memorise procedures. Maths mastery expects pupils to achieve a high level of competence before progressing. New concepts are systematically introduced using Bruner’s Concrete Pictorial Abstract (CPA) approach. At The Olive School, Blackburn, pupils initially learn through handson experiences, using concrete objects that allow the maths to come alive. The opportunity to use equipment in this way enthuses pupils and helps to develop their understanding of processes that need to be solidly established in their long-term memory. Pupils have found that concepts with which they had previously wrestled have been

clarified by the use of practical items. The comment made by one pupil makes the point well: “Maths is fun because we use lots of resources, I didn’t understand what regrouping was before – the things we use in class have helped me to understand it more.” Initially, a range of pictures and images is used to represent problems. It is only when concepts are embedded that pupils start to engage in more abstract methods for solving problems. At the heart of this CPA approach is the use of bar modelling and partwhole models, which present multistep problems in ways that support full understanding. This approach has helped pupils to grasp concepts, such as fractions, which have been


THIS IS A TRANSFORMATIONAL APPROACH TO MATHS TEACHING AND LEARNING, WHICH SUPPORTS PUPILS TO DEVELOP MATHEMATICAL FLUENCY traditionally regarded as difficult. As a pupil explained: “The CPA approach helps me with fractions, the shading helps me to work out what’s going on in the question.” The important feature of strong visual models such as bar modelling is that they allow pupils to think mathematically as opposed to reciting formulae they don’t understand; this depth of understanding is nurtured to its full degree at The Olive School, Blackburn. Another benefit of the maths mastery approach used at The Olive School, Blackburn is the preference for mixed-ability maths classes. Streamed classes are not used, with the vast majority of pupils being expected to move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. Here, it is the appropriate use of concrete resources, images and abstract methods with different groups of pupils in the same class that allows individual pupils to engage

in concepts in a manner appropriate to their stage of learning. More able mathematicians are stretched through the use of enriching, multimodal problems and puzzles that challenge them in a way that allows them to forge links with other areas of maths, but still largely work through the programme of study at the same rate as other learners. Indeed, differentiation in mathematics at The Olive School, Blackburn means something quite different now than it did a few years ago. Peer-support is crucial, and the classrooms at the school are places where struggles and mistakes are seen as normal and in the end become a positive sign that important learning is taking place. The STAR values of Teamwork and Ambition are clear to see in mathematics lessons. Pupils relish ‘tricky challenges’ and they work hard to solve them. They reflect consciously on how they have learned and what they have learned, a process that deepens their understanding.




Highfield pupils crowned competition winners Pupils at Highfield Leadership Academy have recently triumphed in two prestigious competitions and their classmates are now set to benefit from the prizes won by their talented peers.

EXCELLENCE IN ENGINEERING Year 9 pupils Blue Ayres, Amalia Golam, Mia Beilby-Duckett and Lee Black demonstrated excellent teamwork in the Blackpool Gazette’s Young Engineers Competition, which was held at Blackpool and The Fylde College’s Advanced Technology Centre. The team was tasked with designing and constructing a syringe-pump operated digger and using the device to move rice from one container to another. After taking an early lead in their quest to move the most rice in a set period of time, the Highfield pupils beat off stiff competition from 16 other schools across the Fylde Coast to secure a comfortable victory, winning an impressive £10,000 prize money for their school – which will help to pave the way for other pupils to benefit from STEM opportunities. The judges were extremely impressed by the quality of pupils’ engineering expertise and their problem solving skills, and Highfield’s team of budding engineers found the experience to be rewarding and enjoyable.

CULINARY MASTERCLASS Pupils Katie Weekes and Ruby Williams continued Highfield’s winning streak by cooking their way to success in the Reg Johnson Young Chef Schools Competition. The elite cookery competition was established in memory of the late Reg Johnson – a poultry farmer whose Goosnargh corn-fed chicken and duck became renowned nationwide for its premium quality. Open to schools across the whole of Lancashire, the competition aimed to develop and inspire young talent within the catering industry - something Reg was passionate about. Ruby and Katie competed against several schools, winning two regional heats before progressing to the final, where they were tasked with creating two courses in two hours. The girls performed exceptionally well under pressure and impressed celebrity chefs Nigel Haworth and Paul Heathcote MBE with their main course of stuffed chicken with rhubarb jam and


goats cheese wrapped in pancetta, followed by a deconstructed rhubarb trifle. The girls’ winning dishes featured on the menu at Café Northcote as part of the National Festival of Making, which took place in Blackburn in June. They will also receive dinner for six at Northcote Manor, a cookery school demonstration by Northcote Executive Chef Lisa Goodwin-Allen, plus pans, a cookbook and a food dehydrator, which will prove to be an invaluable resource in the academy’s Food Technology classes. Competition judge, Paul Heathcote MBE, said: “We were so impressed with the standard of cooking and professionalism shown by the pupils. I know that Reg would have been really proud of what has been achieved. He would also have been delighted to see the enthusiasm and passion the pupils have for food.”

COMMUNITY HEROES In addition to being award-winning engineers and chefs, several Highfield pupils recently received special recognition for their service to communities at the Blackpool Coastal Housing Community Awards. The “Highfield Helpers” have spent the past 12 months participating in the Silver Surfers initiative, running inter-generational IT sessions for Blackpool’s elderly and vulnerable residents in conjunction with Blackpool and The Fylde College. The initiative aims to combat the damaging effects of social isolation by helping older people get to grips with using the internet so they feel more comfortable and confident online. As a result of the project, pupils have developed a strong sense of social responsibility, whilst improving their own communication and leadership skills. They were thrilled to pick up the Young Learners Award at the event, which celebrates the achievements of young volunteers who have made a difference to the lives of Blackpool Coastal Housing residents.


European giants kick off football masterclasses A group of Year 8 and 9 pupils from Tauheedul Islam Boys’ High School (TIBHS) kicked off the summer term with football coaching sessions delivered by the Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) Academy. The PSG Academy England was founded in 2018 and is designed to educate players with the Parisian techniques, methods, mentality and overall philosophy from the French champions, who have boasted the talents of modern footballing greats such as Mbappé and David Beckham. First launched at the Bethany School in Kent and the Oakhill School in Lancashire, the PSG Academy is expanding its coaching presence throughout England with TIBHS being the latest beneficiaries. TIBHS pupils have been making great strides under the supervision of academy coaches through PSG’s Player Development Programme. The programme was designed by PSG’s Technical Director and Head Coach in order to inspire the next generation of footballers through training methods used by the most successful French club in history. Each aspiring young footballer has benefitted from receiving expert tuition in small groups; a model which is currently expanding internationally. The next move for the Academy, which has produced several international stars including Nicolas Anelka, Mamadou Sakho and Adrien Rabiot, is to open new football schools in Thailand and Germany this summer.

Pupils and parents work in harmony to create peace garden When the Pupil Council at The Olive School, Bolton struck upon the idea of creating a place of sanctuary and reflection in the school grounds, they didn’t anticipate the extraordinary level of support and sense of togetherness that it would generate across the school community. Pupils, parents and staff are exemplifying the STAR value of Teamwork by working seamlessly to plan, design and create an attractive peace garden. Work to create the new garden, which is designed to foster friendship and promote positive wellbeing outside of the classroom, began in April, but the preparations started earlier in the year when pupils took part in an Olive Enterprise Day to raise funds for the project. Four STAR teams of enterprising pupils each made a selection of popular toys, foods and gift to sell to their peers and parents. Slime and ‘squishies’ proved to be the bestselling items, with the event raising over £300 towards the £1,000 peace garden fund. The project’s budget was boosted a fortnight later when the school secured a community grant from Bolton Council. Pupils invited local Councillors to a school assembly to present their vision for the peace garden. Councillors Ismail and Darvesh asked the children about their designs and hopes for the project before selecting the winning design. Impressed by the pupil’s creativity and leadership, the Councillors pledged to support the project with a £2,000 grant. The garden will feature a seating area, including a ‘buddy bench’ where pupils will sit together to offer one another support and friendship, surrounded by plants and a water feature to help create a tranquil environment for pupils to relax and reflect. A truly collaborative project, the school community is working together to make the pupils’ vision a reality. Pupils in each year group are working on distinct creative projects, led by the Pupil Council, to contribute to the garden, from creating decorative pebbles featuring inspirational words to making sensory decorations. Parents have also pledged their support to the project, giving their time, skills and knowledge to ensure its success. Despite its progress being hampered by the inclement weather, pupils hope to complete the peace garden this summer when they plan to invite the Councillors back to the school to declare it officially open.




Joseph catches the attention of Bradford Bulls A Tong Leadership Academy pupil has the perfect rugby role model to look up to as he aims to follow in the footsteps of a member of the school’s Physical Education staff who plays for the Bradford Bulls. The school’s PE Assistant/Lifeguard is Bradford Bulls player Rowan Milnes who made his first team debut for Bradford Bulls a year ago. Now Year 10 pupil Joseph Kellett has signed a two-year contract with the Bradford Bulls Academy and hopes to secure a coveted spot in the under 19s rugby league team at the end of his training. Joseph holds aspirations to play for Bulls’ first team before progressing into the Super League; his ultimate dream is to one day be called up for England. Joseph has been playing rugby league since the age of five after he was inspired to take up the sport after his mum and grandad took him to a match. He trains with the Bradford Bulls two times a week and has been lucky enough to be picked to play twice for the under 16s team – against Warrington and Wakefield.

Spreading cheer in America A Tong Leadership Academy pupil returned home victorious after representing England at the World Cheerleading Championships in Florida. Year 12 pupil Sophie Austerfield realised her dream of representing her country at the world’s most prestigious cheerleading competition, as a member of the Team England ParaCheer Hip Hop squad. ParaCheer is a new division of cheerleading in which a combination of abled bodied athletes and athletes with disabilities work together to create a routine that incorporates elements of hip hop dancing. Sophie’s team won its category and, with it, an impressive trophy and a host of prizes. Sophie first began dancing at the age of three. A member of the Yorkshire Martyrs cheerleading school, dance and cheering has been Sophie’s saviour after suffering mental health issues since she was 11 years old. Sophie explained: “I have suffered severely with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. Going to dance and cheer was something that really helped me get through it. Last year I hit what I would call rock bottom and doing things like going to school and dance was a real struggle. It’s always been my dream to represent my country and somehow I found the strength to go and try out for Team England ParaCheer Hip Hop and I made the team.”


With gaining new experience at the World Cheerleading Championships, Sophie has been working hard to become a coach and has so far achieved Level 1 and 2 training in this discipline.

Minister for the Constitution celebrates the future faces of democracy Pupils from Eden Girls’ School, Waltham Forest met the Government Minister for the Constitution, Chloe Smith MP, as part of a scheme to enthuse more young people about politics, encourage them to vote and to become good citizens. The school’s Democracy Ambassadors were welcomed to the Cabinet Office and given a tour of the Houses of Parliament by the UK Government Minister responsible for democracy. They have taken part in a Government programme for 13-16 year olds to engage people in democracy and champion it among their peers with the aim of increasing their confidence and political awareness ahead of reaching voting age at 18. The ambassadors have led school assemblies to highlight the importance of democracy and have created display boards in school hallways to educate their peers about Brexit and referendums. Chloe Smith MP, Minister for the Constitution, said: “I have been struck by the passion, commitment and depth of knowledge shown by the Democracy Ambassadors. It is so important that young people should have the opportunity to discuss issues that matter to them and develop their opinions about how our country is run.”


NSPCC fundraising proves no obstacle to Lancashire pupils Pupils at our Lancashire primary schools have put their best foot forward to raise a staggering £5,000 for the NSPCC through a series of sporting challenges.

More than £3,000 was raised for the children’s charity by pupils at The Olive School, Blackburn who participated in a sponsored obstacle course. The charity contest, the brainchild of the school’s Pupil Council, included a host of individual and team challenges to test pupils’ physical and mental strength and their teamwork skills. Pupils had to literally jump through hoops, as well as dribble a football, race in a running relay and hold their nerve in the egg and spoon race, as part of the fun events, which were held across two days at the Lancashire primary school. Meanwhile, just 15 miles away, pupils at The Olive School, Preston were also working up a sweat in aid of the NSPCC. The only obstacle this time was a skipping rope, as pupils and staff jumped over them and under them for hours on end in a sponsored skipping marathon. Pupils’ energetic endeavours raised more than £1,600 for the NSPCC - the equivalent of funding the cost of over 300 phone calls to the charity’s telephone counselling service, Childline. The schools’ exceptional fundraising efforts were recognised by the NSPCC when they made special return visits to the schools to present pupils with a certificate and their own NSPCC mascot, ‘Buddy the speech bubble’, who encourages children to ‘Speak Out and Stay Safe’. Buddy now has pride of place in the schools as a constant reminder to speak out if they’re worried. The fundraising event was the culmination of The Olive School, Blackburn’s partnership with the NSPCC, which has seen parents and pupils taking part in a number of activities centred on personal safety. Joanne Bowker, the NSPCC’s Schools Organiser, has visited the school several times this year as part of its work to teach pupils how to stay safe. Joanne has led assemblies for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 pupils as part of the charity’s ‘Speak Out, Stay Safe’ programme, which aims to give children the knowledge they need to stay safe from harm and to speak out if they’re worried. The NSPCC also delivered a workshop for parents as part of the school’s activity programme for Internet Safety Day. Joanne Bowker, the NSPCC’s Schools Organiser, said: “Thanks to the hard work of all the pupils we will be able to reach more children than ever before. The enthusiasm of the children to help others is really great to see, particularly as the money they worked so hard to raise will benefit those who might not have had the positive childhood they deserve.”


16 STAR COMMUNITY It’s ‘advantage’ Eden pupils thanks to tennis leadership course Year 7 and 8 sports leaders from Eden Boys’ School, Birmingham East have participated in a tennis leadership course to develop the skills required to become match officials and coaches. During the summer term, pupils attended the training programme, which was organised by the King Edward School Sport Partnership, with the end goal of coaching at and officiating a tennis competition attended by primary schools across Birmingham. Pupils learnt about the rules of the game and the roles of chair umpire and line umpire, as well as the principles of coaching.

Pupils excel in national enterprise competition A team of young entrepreneurs from Eden Girls’ School, Slough came third in the national finals of the Mosaic Enterprise Competition, beating off fierce competition from hundreds of schools nationwide. The Mosaic Network was launched in 2007 by HRH the Prince of Wales to encourage young people to develop their entrepreneurial spirit and sense of aspiration, particularly in areas of deprivation. The Enterprise Challenge, a national initiative which is open to pupils aged 11-16, gives young people the opportunity to interact with mentors from the business community, who offer them a valuable insight into what it takes to set up and run a business. The Enterprise Competition has garnered significant recognition in the business world, with over 7,000 mentors volunteering their services. The team of Year 8 pupils - Laiba Mahmood, Zainab Zawahir, Nusaybah Hamid, Ameena Rahman and Ashwa Naz - were mentored by industry experts from Centrica PLC, a British multinational energy and services company. They initially spent six weeks taking part in a realistic, online business simulation game where they had to develop and sell a new product – demonstrating how key business issues such as finance, sales, marketing and production affect each other. They also submitted an Ethical Business Strategy to demonstrate their understanding of responsible business practices. After winning their regional heat and beating off stiff competition from other London schools, the team put together a sales pitch, where they developed a compelling business case for providing a service to overcome the issue of low employability amongst refugees and asylum seekers. The girls proposed to start a weekly Sunday school to teach people who are new to the country about British culture, the English language and general life skills. Team LAZANIA competed against four other regional finalists from across the country in the national final, which took place at the London offices of international law firm Hogan Lovells LLP. The pupils pitched the idea for their business to an expert panel of judges, in front of an audience of 150 business leaders. Their hard work culminated in a prize of £1,000 for the school, and the girls received goodie bags and certificates in recognition of their exceptional achievement.


Small Heath pupil commended for bravery A Small Heath Leadership Academy pupil who has battled cancer for two years has been commended for her bravery and determination to succeed. Year 11 pupil Ramlah was nominated by her Head of Year to receive a Star Letter from the Trust’s Chief Executive in recognition of her work as a peer mentor and the commitment she has shown to her studies. Ramlah was diagnosed with cancer two years ago and, since then, has undergone numerous surgeries and chemotherapy. In spite of everything she has been through and the exhausting side effects of her treatment, Ramlah has remained an enthusiastic and active member of the school community. Her optimism, resilience and fighting spirit have made her an excellent role model for her peers. She was the first pupil to volunteer as a Peer Mentor for younger pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9, all of whom have benefitted greatly from her academic and pastoral support. Ramlah, who recently sat her GCSE exams, said: “Although some days have been extremely difficult to manage, I have found school to be an excellent way to distract myself from the symptoms of the illness. I really enjoyed helping the younger pupils with reading and behaviour; this was an opportunity to focus on other people and not just what I was going through. I needed to come to school to be with my friends and all the staff have been very supportive.”

Pupils survive the Dragons’ Den Pupils from Star secondary schools in Bolton and Manchester tested their business acumen when they took part in a Dragons’ Den-style workshop. Teams of Year 9 pupils had to pit their wits against one another to win the backing of the ‘dragons’, a panel of senior staff from global giant PwC. The three-hour workshops gave pupils an insight into business strategy, innovation and teamwork, as well an opportunity to find out what it is like to work for one of the world’s largest professional services businesses. Each session began with pupils being assembled into teams and assigned a ‘dragon’ to mentor them, before being briefed on their business challenge. The mentors provided encouragement and support, as well as providing context to the type of challenges often faced by businesses, including technological advancements, sustainability, product development and the operating environment. The PwC staff pledged their time to volunteer at the three schools – Eden Boys’ School, Bolton and Eden Boys’ and Eden Girls’ Leadership Academies in Manchester – as part of the business’ One Firm One Day annual volunteering day, which aims to give back to local communities. Seven staff from PwC visited Eden Boys’ School, Bolton, to lead the workshop. Teams of Year 9 pupils were set the challenge of creating a business solution to overcome a current societal issue. Pupils were encouraged to develop ambitious and creative proposals, whilst being inspired by real-life examples of innovative services. After agreeing their business idea, pupils then had to distil it into a three-minute pitch, ensuring they captured the dragons’

interest as well as convincing them of its merits. The team relished the challenge and wowed the judges with their inventive ideas – which ranged from an app to help maintain a positive mental health to a product to reduce households’ environmental impact by helping to separate their waste. After a closely fought contest, Team Secret’s idea won over the dragons and saw the team crowned winners. Their challenge was to reduce food waste, an issue affecting many businesses as well as individual households. The team’s winning solution proposed an app that enables people to post information about the availability of leftover food that organisations, such as homeless shelters, community groups and charities, could subscribe to and benefit from the food. The PwC panel praised the five pupils in Team Secret for the confidence and clarity of their pitch, and for identifying a simple solution to a significant issue. Katherine Bond, PwC’s National Schools Engagement Manager (UK), said: “Our staff were inspired by the ideas, energy and entrepreneurial skills of many of the students, and really enjoyed the events.”




PUPILS ‘WHEELIE’ EXCITED BY BIKE SHOW Pupils at The Olive School, Hackney were encouraged to stay ‘wheelie’ fit and healthy when members of the Health and Wellbeing BMX Extreme Cycle Show treated pupils to a daring display of cycling prowess. The BMX cyclists pushed the excitement level up a gear with a variety of stunts, jumps and tricks. They taught the children about the many benefits of taking regular exercise and leading a fit and healthy lifestyle, for both their physical and mental wellbeing.

PUPILS SWAP CARS FOR PEDAL POWER Pupils, parents and staff from The Olive School, Hackney have taken part in a twoweek challenge to leave their cars at home and travel to school in a more healthy and sustainable way. As part of the Sustrans Big Pedal 2019, the whole school was challenged with travelling to school for a fortnight by bike or on foot. They rose to the challenge, reducing their carbon footprint whilst boosting their physical and mental health. Pupils marked the finale of the Big Pedal by dressing up as their favourite comic crusader for Sustrans Superhero Day. The day enabled all pupils to participate in the Big Pedal, even if they were unable to cycle or walk to school each day, by celebrating their human super power of walking, cycling and scooting. Children with the most colourful costumes on the Superhero Day received prizes such as bike lights, pencils, bags and caps. Caterina Park, Principal of The Olive School, Hackney, said: “The Big Pedal was a great way to get more of our pupils travelling actively to school. The school was transformed for the Superhero Day with Supergirl, Batman, Iron Man and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles all attending school for the day!”



Pupils graduate from innovative Mini MBA programme A group of Year 12 pupils from Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School (TIGHS) have graduated from a Mini MBA programme that saw them hone their business and research skills on an Eco Social Enterprise project.

24 pupils from the Blackburn school participated in the bespoke two-week programme featuring workshops and lectures delivered by a series of industry leaders, and visits to leading social enterprises in the North West. The Mini MBA students worked with the social enterprises and community interest companies (CIC) to research and devise new products and services which will improve the environment and the lives of others in response to real-life social and business challenges. The Mini MBA, now in its third year at TIGHS, is an innovative enterprise programme that focusses on the skills and experience that will set pupils apart from their peers when applying to join a leading employer or prestigious university. This year’s Eco Social Enterprise theme has been developed to challenge pupils to identify workable solutions to environmental issues that would benefit people and communities, including the school community.

inaugural study day to inspire and inform pupils’ projects. Participants spent the first four intensive days of the course, which forms part of the school’s leadership programme, in lectures and seminars that helped prepare the students for their industry visits. Sessions in business strategy, leadership, product development and financial management delivered by experts - including leaders from tech company IN 4.0 and community engagement social enterprise Placed - gave students a robust grounding in fundamental business principles, before putting them to practise when they visited social enterprises Alt Valley Community Trust, My Life CIC and Together Housing Group’s Newground CIC.


The programme has been delivered in partnership with the School of Social Entrepreneurship (SSE), which supports 1,000 people a year develop the skills, strengths and networks they need to tackle society’s most challenging issues. The SSE’s Amanda Curtis-Wilson shared her insight and experience on business strategy and planning during the

The programme concluded with students presenting their business solutions to a panel of business and enterprise leaders, including BBC news reporter Rahila Bano and Amanda CurtisWilson from the School of Social Entrepreneurship. Upon graduating from the programme, students were presented with certificates during a ceremony, which took place during the school’s annual careers fair.




Eco Group branches out to plant trees Year 7 pupils at Eden Boys’ School, Preston have established an Eco Club, which aims to improve the environment in the local area and raise awareness amongst their peers about climate change and other environmental issues affecting the planet. The enterprising Eco Group demonstrated their leadership skills by organising a successful bake sale to fund their inaugural project. Sales of cakes and other tasty treats raised £200, which the group invested in four trees to plant in Moor Park. Together with the help of the Park Rangers and volunteers from the Friends of Moor Park, the pupils dug holes and prepared the soil before planting the trees in Preston’s largest park. The Park Rangers and volunteers explained to the boys how the trees would start to take root and grow, and also told them about the Grade II listed park’s illustrious history which dates back to the 17th century. The Eco Group is already formulating and researching ideas for its next activity. Planting trees and flowers in and around the school’s grounds is one project being considered, whilst members of the group are also researching the best indoor plants to boost oxygen levels and improve air quality in classrooms. By working together, pupils are not only learning about ecology and the environment but are also developing valuable skills such as leadership, enterprise and teamwork.

Barkerend drums up support for BBC music day Pupils from Barkerend Primary Leadership Academy ended their week on a high note by taking part in Bradford Music Education Hub’s ‘This is Bradford – This is Us’ celebration as part of BBC Music Day. Musicians from Barkerend joined peers from schools across Bradford for the musical celebration day in City Park. A range of activities and performances took place throughout the day from the ‘Big Sing’ to the ‘Big Dance’, concluding with the day’s finale of the ‘Drum It Mass Workout’, which brought all performers together to play a single composition. This activity saw hundreds of pupils engage in an interactive performance centred on rhythm and physical movement. Leading up to the day, Bradford Music Education Hub asked for schools to produce artwork that reflects their school, with the winning entries displayed in City Park during the day. Barkerend organised an art competition so that children of all year groups could create imaginative pieces. To display the artistic contribution of every pupil, the school has published every piece of artwork in its own book, entitled ‘This Is Barkerend – This is Us’. Pupils proudly brought their artwork to life by producing a video, which was given its premiere in a school assembly. The film soundtrack featured two songs that were performed by Barkerend pupils at the music day, both written by composers from Bradford. The celebration in City Park was captured on film as part of BBC Music Day 2019. BBC Music Day brings the nation together to celebrate the power of music to change lives; from community music initiatives, to working with high profile musicians through a host of performances and activities across TV, radio and online.


STAR COMMUNITY Eden Manchester pupils sweep the board in physics competition Pupils at Eden Girls’ Leadership Academy, Manchester won both categories of a physics competition held at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU). The Young Person’s Physics Lecture and Poster Competition, organised in conjunction with the Institute of Physics Manchester and District Branch, sought to improve the presentation skills of budding young lecturers and capture the imagination of pupils with an interest in physics. All entries had to be on a topic relevant to physics and be accessible to a general audience. Year 7 pupil Aaliya Khan, competing against pupils who were up to seven years her senior, showed extraordinary poise as she delivered an eight-minute lecture on habitable planets and took questions from an audience including academics, teachers, post-graduates, undergraduates and fellow competitors. She went on to win the school/college category for the lecture competition.

Two pupils at Eden Boys’ Leadership Academy, Manchester – Yunus Bobat and Basil Rehman – were runners-up in same category. They co-delivered a compelling lecture on dark matter and dark energy. Eden Girls’ Leadership Academy, Manchester also triumphed in the poster competition, with Year 8 pupil Fatima Azhar winning the school/college category with her ambitious entry on quantum theory. Fellow Year 8 pupils Halima Ali and Amber Mahmood were awarded the runner-up prize with their joint poster on the topic of the atom. The competition’s judges were incredibly impressed with the depth of pupils’ subject knowledge, the quality of their written and oral presentation and their confidence and eloquence.

Schools partnership supports homeless shelter Year 10 pupils at Eden Girls’ School, Coventry are working on a charity project with pupils from two local faith schools to provide food for residents at a centre for homeless people. The school’s philanthropic Community Service programme sees Year 10 pupils committing three days during the year to selflessly support a charitable cause, which forms part of the Citizenship GCSE curriculum. On the Community Service Days, the Year 10 school timetable is suspended to enable all pupils to work on a social action project. The annual programme offers pupils a valuable learning opportunity, enabling them to experience first-hand an enterprise project that makes a positive difference in the community, whilst developing leadership and planning skills. This year’s project is a collaboration with the Sikh-faith Seva School and Blue Coat Church of England School and Music College. Ten pupils from each of the three faith schools are working together to deliver a student-led project that demonstrates values that are prevalent in all of their faiths; in this case, supporting those less fortunate than themselves by making soup to feed 100 residents at Harnall Lifehouse in

Coventry. The residential scheme, which is operated by The Salvation Army, provides accommodation to homeless people in the city for periods of one day to six months, in addition to a range of services to support its residents to secure employment and a home of their own. On the first Community Service Day, which was hosted at Eden Girls’ School, Coventry, pupils agreed the beneficiary of the project and produced a project plan. Pupils put their culinary skills to the test on day two, working in groups to prepare the ingredients and make delicious vegetable homemade soup. Staff and pupils then delivered the wholesome meal to Harnall Lifehouse where Salvation Army staff served the soup to its residents. Pupils will reconvene at the end of the summer term for the final day of the initiative to evaluate its success and document any lessons learnt that will benefit next year’s cohort of pupils.




Olive Birmingham pupils forge friendships with children of different faiths Pupils from The Olive School, Birmingham have formed a partnership with pupils from two local Church of England schools in a project aimed at bringing children of different backgrounds together and fostering and strengthening their understanding of one another’s faiths and beliefs. The pupils have spent a day at each of the partner schools - Bentley Heath Church of England Primary School in Solihull and Moseley Church of England Primary School in Birmingham - to forge new friendships and learn more about different cultures and heritage. The inter-faith initiative is part of The Faith and Belief Forum’s School Linking Programme, which matches pupils from different cultural or faith backgrounds to explore issues of identity, community and belief during three ‘link’ days each academic year. The aim is that pupils should feel confident in communicating and collaborating with anybody, regardless of their faith, belief, culture or background. During the visits, pupils take part in activities to explore their differences and similarities in a sensitive, positive and constructive way. A series of teambuilding activities helped the pupils to get to know one another, such as by partnering with a peer to create a ‘wardrobe’ that reflects an individual’s personality and then comparing each other’s wardrobe to identify any similarities and differences.

Knife Angel sculpture warns of knife crime dangers Members of Eden Boys’ School, Birmingham’s Pupil Council learnt about the dangers of knife crime during a visit to the towering Knife Angel sculpture on display in Birmingham city centre. The iconic sculpture stands 27ft high and is made up of around 100,000 knives which were handed in to police forces across the country during weapons amnesties. The artwork, which was commissioned by the British Ironwork Centre in collaboration with all 43 UK police forces, knife crime charities and action groups, aims to raise awareness of the UK’s knife crime epidemic. It took four years for artist Alfie Bradley to create the momentous piece. Having been displayed at Coventry Cathedral previously, the sculpture made its way to Victoria Square in Birmingham where pupils viewed it whilst consuming the powerful message of the devastation caused by knife crime.


New club inspires Thornbury parents to love books A new book club for parents at Thornbury Primary Leadership Academy in Bradford is aiming to get more people reading for pleasure. The ‘Inspiring Parents’ book club is run jointly by the school, the National Literacy Trust (NLT) and Bradford Libraries. Thornbury Primary Leadership Academy is the first school in the area to establish a book club for parents of its pupils, thanks to a donation of books by the NLT’s Bradford Hub. Parents meet at the school every Wednesday morning to discuss the books they have read and to pick future titles for the group to enjoy. The scheme aims to inspire parents to develop a love of literature, open their minds and imaginations, and to enjoy reading as a fun social activity. By learning about the benefits of reading, questioning and comprehension, it is hoped that the parents’ enjoyment of reading will also help and enthuse their children with their own reading in order to improve their literacy skills, vocabulary, knowledge and imaginations. Clare Daddy, Principal at Thornbury Primary Leadership Academy, said: “We are delighted that the book club has had such a positive and enthusiastic response from parents. The group are enjoying the literature, as well as the social aspect of getting together each week and sharing their views on the books they have read. It’s been a very encouraging launch, and we’re hopeful that our pupils will also benefit from their parents’ new found love of reading.”

High Crags pupils in the good books for Pyjamarama Pupils and staff at High Crags Primary Leadership Academy spent a day in their pyjamas as part of BookTrust’s campaign to give every child a bedtime story. The West Yorkshire school joined thousands up and down the country in the Pyjamarama event, where participants each made a donation to the BookTrust charity in exchange for experiencing the joy of a ‘bedtime’ story with classmates. Pupils took part in a range of reading activities throughout the day, with each class having extended time in the school library to discover new books and introduce their classmates to their favourite authors. At the end of the school day, pyjamawearing parents joined their children for a special Parent Reading Club where they enjoyed readings from a selection of children’s classics.



Bay pupils win big at the Lancaster and Morecambe Sunshine Awards Several pupils from Bay Leadership Academy enjoyed success at the Lancaster and Morecambe Sunshine Awards this May. The awards celebrate individuals and businesses within the region who have made a significant contribution to the local community or achieved something exceptional.

Photo Credit: The Visitor

Year 10 pupil Larissa Hannam, a rising star in British athletics, won the Sunshine Sport Award after her phenomenal performance in a number of high-profile Triathle events last year. Larissa mastered three sports – swimming, shooting and running – in order to compete in the Under 17s category against some of the world’s best young athletes, and became the European Triathle Champion following an assured performance in Germany. Larissa then journeyed to Egypt, where she competed in searing heat to win bronze in the 2018 World Triathle Championships. Following last year’s success, Larissa has continued to win a number of national and regional events, while balancing her relentless training schedule with her schoolwork.

Brandon Hunter, a Year 13 pupil at Bay, was also recognised in the Young Achiever award category. An exceptionally talented dancer who has been performing since he was five years old, Brandon auditioned alongside more than a thousand young hopefuls from around the UK and was one of six young cast members selected to participate in Sir Matthew Bourne’s new adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. Rounding off a successful evening for Bay’s talented pupils, Year 9 pupil Joss Irving was highly commended in the Unsung Hero award category for her volunteer work with Cancercare, where she participates in a young people’s peer support group called ‘Refresh.’ As part of her volunteering, Joss has campaigned for young cancer patients to be able to access counselling services without the need for parental consent.


DAWUD SCOOPS STAR STUDENT AWARD A Laisterdyke Leadership Academy pupil has been recognised as a ‘Star Student’ in the Bradford Telegraph & Argus Education Awards. Year 11 pupil Dawud Ghafar, who was awarded the ‘Star Student – Under 16’ accolade, was described by one of his teachers as a “true inspiration” for battling against significant adversity to excel at school. Dawud, who suffered the heartache of losing his father in 2015, is a carer for his mother, who suffers with chronic asthma, and his sibling. Despite his significant responsibilities outside of school and his own debilitating medical conditions, Dawud has continually excelled academically and continues to inspire his peers and teachers with his positive outlook and his ambition to succeed. Mr Iqbal, Dawud’s Maths teacher who nominated him for the award, said: “Despite all the hardships throughout his young life, Dawud always has a smile on his face. He doesn’t make a fuss about the challenges he has to face and is full of energy and positivity. He is a real pleasure to teach and deserves the best in life. Dawud is a true inspiration to me, his teachers and to all young people.”




Developing a world-class primary curriculum ROSS BREVITT, CURRICULUM AND ASSESSMENT LEAD (PRIMARY)

In our second Star People feature, we talk to Ross Brevitt, who leads the development of the Trust-wide curriculum for the Star primary schools. Ross joined Star in September 2018, having previously worked as a teacher, leader and primary school improvement specialist in London and South East England. Ross works closely with Star leaders and teachers to create an engaging knowledge-rich curriculum.

What inspires you as a member of Star? I joined Star because I was attracted to the Trust’s focus on improving the life chances of children who live in areas of deprivation. I want to help the next generation. For me, the value of Service distinguishes our organisation from others. I have met so many Star employees who share an absolute dedication to serving our schools and their communities. I am proud to be part of such a values-driven organisation.

What does your curriculum development work involve? The present phase of work includes the creation of lesson plans, which will underpin the teaching of science, history, geography, art and design technology in the new academic year. I am also leading on curriculum timetabling and approach - ensuring that


our primary schools are fully supported to develop a curriculum that reflects the values and priorities of the Trust.

Tell us more about your passion for maths teaching? My academic focus at school and beyond was on maths and science - I have always wanted to understand the laws of the universe and how they apply to everything we see and do. As a teacher, I developed a practical understanding and passion for how children learn maths. No two children are the same, and finding the best way of presenting a problem to a child so they ‘get it’ has always been something that I have found very rewarding.

My favourite fiction book is ‘The Time Traveller’s Wife’ by Audrey Niffenegger. I have always enjoyed science fiction books, especially ones involving time travel.

What interests do you have outside work?

What are you currently reading?

I’ve just moved into a smallholding, where I keep goats and chickens. I am interested in self-sufficiency, and aspire to feed myself and my family from my own land. I know I probably won’t become completely self-sufficient, but I at least hope to produce a large range of vegetables, eggs and (perhaps!) goat’s milk and cheese. I would like my children to grow up with a practical understanding of where food comes from.

A John Lennon biography. I am a Beatles fanatic and a walking encyclopaedia of dates and events from their heyday in the 60s.

I also love football; I am an avid Liverpool FC supporter, and play left midfield myself (I’m left-footed) when I have the time.

PUPIL STAR LETTERS ROLL OF HONOUR All pupils listed in the Roll of Honour have received a Star Letter - a personal letter of congratulations from the Trust’s Chief Executive - in recognition of their exemplification of our STAR values (Service, Teamwork, Ambition and Respect).

KATIE WEEKES, Highfield Leadership Academy - Winner of the Reg Johnson Young Chef of the Year competition

AMMARAH UGHRATDAR, TIGHS - Pastoral and Achievement Tutor who helped steer Year 11 students to success

RUBY WILLIAMS, Highfield Leadership Academy - Winner of the Reg Johnson Young Chef of the Year competition

HADIA RAHMAN, TIGHS - Pastoral and Achievement Tutor who helped steer Year 11 students to success

HALIMA ALI, Eden Girls’ Leadership Academy, Manchester Prize winner at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Young Person’s Physics Lecture and Poster Competition

MAJEDA ALI, TIGHS - Pastoral and Achievement Tutor who helped steer Year 11 students to success

AMBER MAHMOOD, Eden Girls’ Leadership Academy, Manchester - Prize winner at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Young Person’s Physics Lecture and Poster Competition FATIMA AZHAR, Eden Girls’ Leadership Academy, Manchester - Prize winner at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Young Person’s Physics Lecture and Poster Competition AALIYA KHAN, Eden Girls’ Leadership Academy, Manchester - Prize winner at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Young Person’s Physics Lecture and Poster Competition YUNUS BOBAT, Eden Boys’ Leadership Academy, Manchester - Prize winner at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Young Person’s Physics Lecture and Poster Competition BASIL REHMAN, Eden Boys’ Leadership Academy, Manchester - Prize winner at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Young Person’s Physics Lecture and Poster Competition MUSTAFA ASLAM, Eden Boys’ Leadership Academy, Manchester - Shortlisted finalist in Manchester Metropolitan University’s Young Person’s Physics Lecture and Poster Competition GEORGIA THORNTON, Bay Leadership Academy - Award winner at the Lancaster and Morecambe Sunshine Awards LARISSA HANNAM, Bay Leadership Academy - Award winner at the Lancaster and Morecambe Sunshine Awards BRANDON HUNTER, Bay Leadership Academy - Award winner at the Lancaster and Morecambe Sunshine Awards

ANNESAH KHOLWADIA, TIGHS - Pastoral and Achievement Tutor who helped steer Year 11 students to success HUMAIRA TOORAWA, TIGHS - Pastoral and Achievement Tutor who helped steer Year 11 students to success RAYHANA GAJARIA, TIGHS - Pastoral and Achievement Tutor who helped steer Year 11 students to success HUMA SAYED, TIGHS - Pastoral and Achievement Tutor who helped steer Year 11 students to success MARYAM BIBI SIDAT, TIGHS - Pastoral and Achievement Tutor who helped steer Year 11 students to success MAHNOOR SAYED, TIGHS - Pastoral and Achievement Tutor who helped steer Year 11 students to success BLUE AYRES, Highfield Leadership Academy - Winner of the Young Engineers Competition MIA BEILBY-DUCKETT, Highfield Leadership Academy - Winner of the Young Engineers Competition LEE BLACK, Highfield Leadership Academy - Winner of the Young Engineers Competition AMALIA GOLAM, Highfield Leadership Academy - Winner of the Young Engineers Competition RAMLAH, Small Heath Leadership Academy - Remained an active member of her school community whilst overcoming challenging circumstances IBRAHIM GURJEE, Eden Boys’ School, Preston - Raised over £2,500 for charity

SAALEHA IQBAL, TIGHS - Pastoral and Achievement Tutor who helped steer Year 11 students to success

JESS BELMONT, Bay Leadership Academy - Represented England in the Word Cheerleading Championships and won a bronze medal

HUMAYRA NAMAZI, TIGHS - Pastoral and Achievement Tutor who helped steer Year 11 students to success

MOHAMMED UMAR PATEL, Eden Boys’ School, Preston Voluntary work in local community

MAARIYAH S PATEL, TIGHS - Pastoral and Achievement Tutor who helped steer Year 11 students to success

ZAYN WADIWALA, Eden Boys’ School, Preston - Selected to represent the Lancashire County Cricket Team

SIMRON MALIK, TIGHS - Pastoral and Achievement Tutor who helped steer Year 11 students to success

JAY KENT, Bay Leadership Academy – Support to SEND students within school and delivery of “social skills” support group

KHADIJA ABDULGANI, TIGHS - Pastoral and Achievement Tutor who helped steer Year 11 students to success ZAHRAA GHASWALA, TIGHS - Pastoral and Achievement Tutor who helped steer Year 11 students to success

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