Latest News


Championing kindness: The Anti-Bullying Team’s impact

Fostering a safe and supportive environment for all students is a top priority. Leading this effort is our dedicated Anti-Bullying Team, a group of passionate students and staff committed to addressing and preventing bullying. Their work is not just about addressing incidents but also about promoting a culture of kindness and respect throughout our school community.
The Anti-Bullying Team: Who we are
The Anti-Bullying Team is a diverse group made up of students from various year groups, teachers, and support staff. This mix ensures that different perspectives are considered, and solutions are inclusive and effective. Each member brings unique experiences and insights, creating a robust and dynamic team that can tackle bullying from multiple angles.
Education and awareness
One of the primary goals of the Anti-Bullying Team is to educate students about the effects of bullying and how to prevent it. Throughout the school year, the team organises workshops, assemblies, and classroom discussions. These sessions cover topics such as:

· Understanding bullying: Defining what constitutes bullying and recognising different forms (physical, verbal, social, and cyberbullying).
· Empathy and kindness: Encouraging students to put themselves in others’ shoes and act with compassion.
· Bystander intervention: Teaching students how to safely and effectively intervene when they witness bullying.

By raising awareness, the team aims to create an informed student body that stands united against bullying.
Our Ambassadors
Peer support is a crucial element of the Anti-Bullying Team’s strategy. Students are trained to act as Ambassadors for students, providing a safe space where they can discuss any issues they face. These Ambassadors are approachable and relatable, making it easier for younger students to open up and seek help.
Reporting and support systems
Creating a safe environment where students feel comfortable reporting bullying is essential. The Anti-Bullying Team has established clear and confidential reporting mechanisms. Students can report incidents through:

·       Online Forms: Anonymously submit concerns through a secure online platform.
·       Drop boxes: Located throughout the school for discreet reporting.
·       Direct communication: Speaking directly with a member of the Anti-Bullying Team.

Once a report is made, the team takes swift and appropriate action, ensuring that victims receive the support they need and that bullies are dealt with fairly and constructively.
Celebrating diversity and inclusion
Promoting diversity and inclusion is at the heart of the Anti-Bullying Team’s mission. The team organises events that celebrate different cultures, backgrounds, and identities, fostering an environment where everyone feels valued and respected. These events include:
· Cultural festivals: Showcasing the diverse backgrounds of our students through food, music, and art.
· Inclusive education: Incorporating lessons on different cultures, religions, and identities into the curriculum.
· Campaigns and challenges: Encouraging students to take part in initiatives like “Thank a teacher day.”

Looking forward
The Anti-Bullying Team is continually evolving, seeking new and innovative ways to combat bullying and promote a positive school culture. Future initiatives include expanding the Ambassadors programme, increasing parental involvement, and using technology to reach and support more students.
In conclusion, the Anti-Bullying Team plays a role in making our secondary school a place where all students can thrive academically and socially. Through their tireless efforts, they are building a community based on respect, empathy, and kindness. We are proud of the work they do and are committed to supporting their mission every step of the way.
Together, we can create a school environment where everyone feels safe, valued, and heard.


Year 11 celebrates the end of GCSE exams with shirt-signing and barbecue

Year 11 students gathered for a well-deserved celebration marking the end of their GCSE exams. The event, held on the school grounds, combined the traditional shirt-signing ritual with a barbecue, creating an unforgettable event for both students and staff.
The shirt-signing ceremony, a time-honoured tradition, saw students swapping pens and signatures, leaving messages on each other’s school shirts. The act of signing shirts served as a poignant reminder of their journey together, filled with shared experiences, triumphs, and challenges. The air was filled with laughter as students commemorated their friendships and reflected on their time in secondary school.
Complementing the shirt-signing was a barbecue that brought everyone together. The enticing aroma of grilled burgers, sausages, and vegetarian options wafted through the air, drawing students and staff alike to the feast. The barbecue was expertly prepared by our talented catering team, ensuring a delicious spread that catered to all dietary preferences.
One of the highlights of the event was the opportunity for students and staff to mingle in a relaxed, informal setting. Teachers and students shared stories and laughter, strengthening the bonds formed over the past five years.
While the barbecue marked the end of one chapter, students are eagerly anticipating their next big event: the prom. Scheduled to take place next week, the prom promises to be a glamorous evening filled with music, dancing, and celebration. It will be a final opportunity for Year 11 to come together and celebrate their achievements before they embark on new adventures, whether in further education, apprenticeships, or other paths.


Heartfelt thanks to our wonderful students for the “Thank a Teacher” campaign

At our school, we are incredibly fortunate to have a student body that is not only talented and dedicated but also kind and appreciative. Recently, our students took part in the “Thank a Teacher” campaign, and the outpouring of gratitude and heartfelt messages has brought immense joy to our staff.
A wave of gratitude
The “Thank a Teacher” campaign was designed to give students an opportunity to express their appreciation for the staff who have made a significant impact on their lives. The response was overwhelming. Hundreds of messages poured in, each one filled with warm words and sincere thanks. From handwritten notes to beautifully crafted cards, the effort our students put into this campaign was truly touching.
Building a stronger community
The impact of these messages on our teachers has been profound. The “Thank a Teacher” campaign has not only strengthened the bond between students and teachers but also fostered a deeper sense of community within our school. It has reminded us all of the importance of appreciation and the powerful effect it can have on others.
A message from the staff
To our amazing students, we want to extend our heartfelt thanks. Your kindness and gratitude have touched us deeply and reaffirmed our commitment to providing you with the best education and support possible. Your messages have made us feel valued and appreciated, and for that, we are incredibly grateful.
Continuing the spirit of appreciation
We encourage everyone to continue expressing gratitude in their daily lives, whether it’s a simple thank you, a kind note, or a small act of kindness.


Celebrating PRIDE month: Embracing Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion

As part of our ongoing commitment to Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI), our school council has proudly lead on and celebrated PRIDE Month throughout June. This vibrant and meaningful celebration has provided our school community with opportunities to learn, reflect, and support the LGBTQ+ community.
Promoting an inclusive school environment: Celebrating PRIDE Month aligns perfectly with our school’s core values and our commitment to creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for all students. By embracing diversity and championing equality, we strive to build a community where everyone feels respected and empowered to be their authentic selves.
Looking forward: As PRIDE Month comes to a close, our commitment to Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion continues. We will carry the lessons and spirit of PRIDE throughout the year, ensuring that our school remains a place where diversity is celebrated and everyone feels a sense of belonging.
We are proud of our students and staff for their active participation and support during PRIDE Month. Together, we are making a difference and promoting a culture of acceptance and love. Happy PRIDE Month!


Tackling mental health stigmas: Focus on boys’ well-being during tutor time

In our ongoing efforts to support the mental health and well-being of all students, our school has shone a light, during tutor time activities on breaking down stigmas surrounding mental health. Recognising the unique challenges faced by boys, a significant part of our learning focuses on creating a supportive environment where they feel comfortable discussing and addressing their mental health needs.
Understanding that boys often face societal pressures to appear strong and unemotional, which can deter them from seeking help, our learning places special emphasis on supporting boys’ mental health and well-being. Through discussions and educational materials, we challenge harmful stereotypes and encourage boys to express their emotions openly. We emphasise that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
Our ultimate goal is to create an environment where all students, regardless of gender, feel understood and supported. By tackling stigmas and providing targeted support, we aim to normalise conversations about mental health and ensure that everyone knows they are not alone.
We are committed to the well-being of our students and will continue to evolve our programmes to meet their needs. By addressing mental health stigmas and providing focused support for boys, we hope to foster a school culture that values and promotes mental well-being for all.


Ms. Yellott takes on the Out in the Open challenge for Young Minds

This June, Ms. Yellott is stepping up to make a difference in the lives of young people by participating in the Out in the Open Challenge. This initiative requires participants to complete 300,000 steps over the month, all in support of Young Minds, a leading charity dedicated to the mental health and well-being of children and young people.

The Challenge:

The Out in the Open Challenge is not just a physical endeavour; it’s a commitment to raising awareness and funds for a crucial cause. By taking 300,000 steps in June, Ms. Yellott aims to highlight the importance of mental health and the need for accessible support for young individuals facing mental health challenges like many in our school do.

About Young Minds:

Young Minds is a charity that works tirelessly to ensure that no young person feels alone with their mental health. They provide essential resources, support services, and advocacy to improve mental health care for young people. The funds raised through the Out in the Open Challenge will help Young Minds continue their vital work, offering hope and assistance to those in need.

Ms. Yellott’s motivation:

Ms. Yellott’s decision to participate in this challenge stems from her passion for supporting young people and her recognition of the increasing mental health issues faced by students today. By taking on the 300,000 steps challenge, she hopes to inspire others to contribute to the cause and to raise awareness about the importance of mental health.

How you can support:

There are several ways you can support Ms. Yellott and the Young Minds charity:

1. Donate: Contributions, no matter how small, can make a significant impact. Donations can be made directly to Young Minds through Ms. Yellott’s fundraising page.

2. Spread the word: Share Ms. Yellott’s journey on social media and with friends and family. The more people know about the challenge, the greater the support for Young Minds.

3. Join the challenge: If you’re inspired by Ms. Yellott’s dedication, consider taking part in the challenge yourself. Every step counts towards making a positive change.

Ms. Yellott’s participation in the Out in the Open Challenge is a testament to her commitment to the well-being of young people. By taking on this challenge, she is not only promoting physical activity but also shining a light on the importance of mental health.

Together, we can help young people thrive and ensure that they receive the mental health support they deserve. Let’s step up for Young Minds!


Ethan S shines at the Junior British Bouldering Championships

This past weekend, our very own Ethan S made waves in the competitive world of junior climbing by securing first place at the prestigious Junior British Bouldering Championships. This remarkable achievement is a testament not only to Ethan’s exceptional talent and dedication but also to the core values of our school. As a community, we are immensely proud of Ethan for embodying our LEAD values, particularly Achieve and Drive.
The competition was fierce, with young climbers from across the nation vying for the top spot. Ethan demonstrated remarkable agility, strength, and strategic prowess on the bouldering wall, overcoming each challenging route with precision and determination. His ability to remain composed under pressure and adapt to the various obstacles set before him truly set him apart from his peers.
Ethan’s journey to this point has been marked by relentless practice and an unwavering commitment to his sport. His success at the championships is a direct reflection of the hours he has dedicated to training, the perseverance he has shown in the face of challenges, and the support he has received from his coaches and family. Ethan’s drive to constantly improve and his aspiration to achieve excellence are qualities that we cherish and celebrate at our school.
The LEAD values, which stand for Lead, Empower, Achieve, and Drive, are integral to our educational philosophy. Ethan’s triumph is a shining example of how these values are brought to life by our students. His achievement serves as an inspiration to all, illustrating what can be accomplished when one is committed to their goals and motivated by a deep-seated drive to succeed.
Ethan’s success extends beyond the climbing wall. He is a well-rounded student who excels academically and contributes positively to the school community. His dedication to balancing his athletic pursuits with his academic responsibilities exemplifies the holistic approach to personal development that we encourage among our students.
Congratulations, Ethan, on your incredible achievement at the Junior British Bouldering Championships!


Harmonies after hours: Our after-school music club

Our after-school music club has become a sanctuary for budding musicians. It is a place where creativity flourishes and the joy of music takes centre stage. Each week, students gather to share their passion for music, learn new skills, and collaborate on exciting projects. Among the many talented members, Caitlin G and Owen H have recently had their performances recorded, showcasing their mastery of the guitar and drums respectively.

Owen – A guitar virtuoso in the making:
In the attached video, Owen’s finesse with the guitar is there to see. Whether he’s playing a soulful acoustic piece or rocking out with electrifying riffs, his dedication to his craft is evident in every note.
His journey with the guitar began at a young age, and he has continuously honed his skills through practice and perseverance. He embodies the LEAD values of Empower and Drive.

Caitlin – The drummer with a dynamic beat:
On the drums, Caitlin’s talent shines brightly, as seen in her energetic performance. The attached video highlights her ability to maintain a steady beat while adding dynamic flourishes that elevate the music to new heights. Her drumming demonstrates a keen understanding of rhythm and timing.
She approaches each session with enthusiasm and a willingness to experiment, often incorporating different styles and techniques. Her commitment to improving her skills is evident, and she continually pushes the boundaries of her abilities. Caitlin too embodies the LEAD values of Achieve and Lead!

A community of musical exploration:
The after-school music club is a testament to the power of music in bringing people together. It provides a nurturing environment where students can explore their musical interests, learn from one another, and develop their talents. The club’s activities range from jam sessions and workshops to recording projects and live performances, offering something for everyone.
Beyond the technical skills and creative expression, the club fosters important values such as teamwork, discipline, and confidence. Members support each other, share feedback, and celebrate each other’s successes, creating a positive and inclusive atmosphere.

Please see footage of our talented students;
Owen Hall
Caitlin Gillott


Commemorating the D-Day landings: A Day of reflection and remembrance

On 6th of June, our school community came together to commemorate the anniversary of the D-Day Landings, a pivotal moment in World War II history. This year marked the 80th anniversary of the landings, and we dedicated the day to honouring the bravery and sacrifice of those who fought for our freedom.

Tutor time programme: To ensure that the significance of this day was deeply understood and appreciated by all our students, we organised a comprehensive tutor time programme. This special session included:

Educational presentations: Teachers delivered presentations detailing the events of June 6, 1944, the strategic importance of the landings, and the heroism displayed by the Allied forces. These presentations helped students grasp the magnitude of the D-Day operations and the courage it took to execute them.

Discussion and reflection: After the presentations and videos, students engaged in guided discussions. These conversations allowed them to express their thoughts, ask questions, and reflect on the impact of D-Day on world history and its relevance today.

Lest We Forget: The phrase “Lest We Forget” was a central theme throughout our commemoration activities. It served as a powerful reminder of our duty to remember and honour those who fought and died in the D-Day Landings. This motto was prominently displayed in history classrooms and the hallways reinforcing the importance of remembrance.

Continuing the legacy: Our commemoration of the D-Day Landings was not just about looking back; it was also about educating future generations on the importance of remembering our history. By understanding and appreciating the past, we hope to instill a sense of gratitude and responsibility in our students.

Lest we forget!


Year 10 students shine in concert

We are thrilled to share the recent achievements of two talented Year 10 students, Paige R-F and Maeve H, who delivered stunning performances at a concert held at Lees Hall Golf Course. As part of the Splinters Musical Theatre Group, these young stars showcased their exceptional talents, leaving the audience in awe.
Memorable performances:
Maeve H captivated everyone with her breathtaking rendition of “Quiet” from the musical Matilda. Her performance was so powerful and moving that it held the entire room in silent admiration, demonstrating her incredible ability to convey emotion through song.
Paige R-F impressed the audience with her spectacular performance of “Beautiful” from Everyone’s Talking about Jamie. Her vocal prowess and stage presence shone brightly, earning her well-deserved applause and admiration.
Upcoming show: Footloose
The musical journey doesn’t end here for Paige and Maeve. Both girls will be starring in the upcoming production of Footloose with the Splinters Musical Theatre Group. The show is set to take place at the University Drama Studio in December. For those eager to witness more of their exceptional talent, tickets can be purchased
A proud moment for our school
The music and drama departments are especially proud of Paige and Maeve’s achievements. Their dedication and hard work exemplify our core LEAD value of Achieve, inspiring their peers and setting a high standard for excellence in the arts.
Support our talented students:
We encourage everyone to support Paige and Maeve in their upcoming performances. Witnessing their growth and success on stage is a testament to their commitment and passion for the performing arts!


Celebrating excellence: Mia L and Evie B’s outstanding dance achievements

We are thrilled to congratulate two of our exceptional Year 11 students, Mia L and Evie B, on their remarkable dance achievements. Both students have demonstrated not only immense talent but also dedication and hard work, making our school incredibly proud.
Evie B’s triumph at the Miss Dance of Great Britain:
Evie B competed in the prestigious Miss Dance of Great Britain competition held at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens. This event is a pinnacle in the dance calendar, with only 55 dancers qualifying from heats held across the country. Despite being one of the younger competitors, Evie showcased her extraordinary skills and determination, making it to the final 6 dancers. Her outstanding performance earned her a beautiful trophy, a testament to her talent and hard work.
Evie’s success is a result of her unwavering commitment to dance and her exemplary attitude toward learning. Her achievement at such a young age is truly inspiring, and we are confident that she will continue to shine brightly in her future endeavours.
Mia L’s Dancer of the Year Award
Similarly, Mia L has had an exceptional year, marked by her excellence in dance. Mia was awarded the Dancer of the Year title at her dance group, a recognition of her talent, hard work, and commitment. This accolade reflects Mia’s consistent effort and outstanding performance throughout the year.
Mia’s exemplary attitude toward her learning and her ability to balance her academic and dance commitments make her a role model for her peers. She has shown that with determination and a positive mindset, it is possible to achieve great things both in and out of the classroom.
A proud moment for our PE department and the school:
The achievements of Mia and Evie highlight the exceptional talent and dedication of our students. Their success is not only a personal triumph but also a source of pride for our PE department and our school community. We are incredibly proud of their accomplishments and the way they have represented our school in the wider dance community.
Well done, Mia and Evie! Keep dancing and reaching for the stars!


Teaching democracy: Preparing our students for the upcoming General Election

As the nation approaches the General Election Slides on 4th July, our school is using this opportunity to teach students (again this academic year) about the democratic process that we have in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This initiative is part of our broader curriculum aimed at instilling fundamental British values such as an understanding of democracy, the rule of law, and individual liberty.

Understanding the intricacies of elections and the functioning of a democratic system is crucial for our students’ learning. During tutor time, we are using a comprehensive package to guide our students through the election protocols, the various political parties involved, and the significance of people participating in the democratic process.

Our commitment to a balanced education is reflected in how we approach the teaching of political issues, such as this. In line with pre-election guidance for schools, we ensure that students are exposed to a balanced presentation of opposing views. This approach not only promotes critical thinking but also helps students appreciate the diversity of perspectives that characterise a healthy democracy.

By teaching these fundamental values, we aim to prepare our students to be informed and engaged citizens. The upcoming election provides a real-world context for this learning, making the principles of democracy more tangible and relevant to their lives.

We are proud to support our students in becoming knowledgeable about the electoral process. As they grow into adulthood, we hope they carry forward the lessons learned here, contributing positively to society and upholding the democratic values that are the cornerstone of our nation.

General Election Slides


Youth democracy in action – Tensi’s experience

In February 2024, the Academy demonstrated a commitment to youth engagement and democratic participation by holding a full-scale election. Every student voted to choose their candidate for the South-East area of the city, earning the academy the prestigious silver democracy award.
As a result, four pupils from The Birley Academy were elected: Tensi C (Year 10), Amber S and Noah B (Year 9), and Isla M (Year 7). These young leaders joined the Sheffield Youth Cabinet, which has since held three full cabinet meetings at City Hall and held a residential weekend.
Below, Tensi in Year 10, writes about her experience thus far.

The Sheffield Youth Cabinet’s initiatives:

The first meeting of the Youth Cabinet saw the election of three Youth Parliament representatives and three Deputy Members, who will represent Sheffield’s youth at the UK Youth Parliament.

The second meeting focused on identifying key issues to address at local, citywide, and national levels.

The subsequent residential weekend was dedicated to team building and detailed planning of campaign projects.

Our identified key issues and planned projects:

Five overarching issues were identified and cabinet members divided into groups to focus on each issue. I am working within the Crime and safety group. Projects under this category include:

Safe spaces: Initiatives to create more female-centred town planning and a public postcode for homeless individuals to use when applying for jobs and bank accounts.

Safety buses: Proposals for a training programme for bus staff, new policies allowing passengers to ride without immediate payment by leaving an ID as security, and ensuring all buses are safe for users and drivers.

Safety app: Development of an app to guide users along the safest routes and facilitate quick contact with the authorities.

Efforts to combat knife crime include:
Introducing knife bins for safe disposal
Providing bleed kits for emergency situations
Launching educational and publicity campaigns about knife crime

Other cabinet groups worked on the following issues:

Sixth Form/Post-16 provision: Addressing the lack of post-16 educational options, particularly in Sheffield’s south-east.

Climate change: Collaborating with @MyPocketsArt to create a climate change film to be released later this year. The project will include resource packs with ideas for enhancing biodiversity.

Education: Producing podcasts that tackle topics relevant to young people, featuring specialist and expert guests.

Community cohesion: Campaigning for increased access to youth community services such as the arts, sports, and youth clubs, ensuring inclusivity regardless of class, gender, disability, or race.


The Academy’s successful student election and subsequent involvement in the Sheffield Youth Cabinet highlights a commitment to youth engagement in democracy.
Follow Sheffield Community Youth Services on X @SheffieldYC for more updates.


Celebrating Era’s outstanding presentation during Culture Week

We are delighted to extend our congratulations to Era, a Year 10 student, for her exceptional contribution to our school’s Culture Week, held from the 20th to the 24th of May. Era delivered a moving and educational tutor time presentation on her Albanian heritage.
Era’s presentation provided a profound glimpse into the rich culture, history, and traditions of Albania. Through her engaging storytelling and thoughtful reflections, she not only educated her peers about her heritage but also fostered a deep sense of appreciation and respect for cultural diversity.
Promoting Tolerance and Respect:
One of the most commendable aspects of Era’s presentation was its emphasis on the values of tolerance and respect. By sharing her cultural background, Era highlighted the importance of understanding and appreciating differences, which are fundamental to fostering a harmonious and inclusive community. Her message resonated with the fundamental British values that our school upholds, reminding us all of the importance of mutual respect and cultural appreciation.
Congratulations, Era!
We are incredibly proud of Era for her outstanding contribution to Culture Week. Her presentation not only enriched our understanding of Albanian heritage but also reinforced the values of tolerance and respect within our school.


Staff and Year 11 students exemplify the LEAD values during the May half term

As we continue through the GCSE exam period, we need to acknowledge the dedication and commitment demonstrated by both our staff and Year 11 students who gave up their May half term break to revise for their exams. In doing so they both exemplified the LEAD values: Lead, Empower, Achieve, and Drive.
Leading by example:
Our staff member’s willingness to support our students beyond the standard school hours speaks volumes about their commitment to our students’ success. By leading study sessions, providing individual support, and creating an environment conducive to learning, they have embodied the essence of what it means to lead.
Empowering our students:
Empowerment is at the heart of education, and our staff’s efforts during the half term have been a testament to this principle. By offering their expertise and guidance, they have empowered our Year 11 students to face their exams with confidence.
Achieving excellence:
The dedication shown by our Year 11 students in attending school during their break highlights their commitment to achieving excellence. This level of determination is commendable and sets a positive example for their peers. Their efforts during this crucial time will undoubtedly contribute to their success in the upcoming exams and beyond.
Driven to succeed:
Drive is a key ingredient for success, and it has been abundantly evident in the actions of both our staff and students. The motivation to go above and beyond, whether by providing extra tuition or attending additional study sessions, illustrates a collective drive to succeed.
We are confident that the hard work and resilience displayed will lead to positive student outcomes.


Celebrating Isla’s poem ‘Toy’ to be published in a Young Writers anthology

We are thrilled to announce that Isla M-W, one of our talented Year 7 students, has achieved a remarkable milestone in her creative writing journey. Her poignant poem titled ‘Toy’ has been selected for publication in the prestigious Young Writers book, Through Their Eyes: Verse Is the Word. This anthology showcases the exceptional talents of young poets from across the country, and we are incredibly proud that Isla’s work will be featured among them.
About ‘Toy’
Isla’s poem, ‘Toy’, beautifully captures the bittersweet nostalgia of a toy that once brought joy and comfort but is now left unplayed with. Through vivid imagery and heartfelt emotion, Isla explores themes of childhood, memory, and the passage of time. Her words resonate deeply, reminding us of the cherished moments and the inevitable changes that come with growing up.
Isla’s creative achievement:
Isla’s success in having her poem published is a testament to her extraordinary creative writing skills. Her ability to convey complex emotions through simple yet powerful language is truly remarkable. Isla has worked diligently to hone her craft, and this recognition is well-deserved. Her achievement serves as an inspiration to her peers and highlights the importance of nurturing creative talents within our school community.
A source of school pride:
As a school, we take immense pride in Isla’s accomplishment. Her dedication to her writing and her passion for storytelling exemplify the values we strive to instill in all our students. Isla’s success is an example of what can be achieved through hard work, creativity, and perseverance.
Isla, well done! Your success is a source of inspiration and pride for the entire school community. We look forward to witnessing your continued growth as a writer and to celebrating many more of your achievements in the future.


A night of artistic excellence: Year 11 Art Department Open Evening

Last week, our school had the pleasure of hosting the Year 11 Art Department Open Evening, a special event dedicated to showcasing the incredible talents and hard work of our Year 11 art students. From 5 to 7 pm on Friday 17th May, the Academy was transformed into a vibrant gallery, where parents, carers, and students gathered to celebrate two years of artistic development and creativity.

As guests arrived, they were greeted by a welcoming atmosphere complete with an assortment of nibbles and drinks, setting the stage for an evening of artistic appreciation. The hallways and classrooms of the Art Department were adorned with a stunning array of student artwork, each piece telling a unique story of growth, experimentation, and mastery. From intricate drawings and bold paintings to innovative sculptures and mixed-media installations, the diverse collection highlighted the breadth of talent among our Year 11 students.
It was truly heart-warming to see the beaming faces of the students as they proudly presented their work to their families. Their enthusiasm was infectious, as they shared insights into their creative processes, the challenges they overcame, and the inspirations behind their pieces. This evening was not just a showcase of art, but a celebration of two years of dedication and perseverance.
One parent remarked, “Seeing my child’s artwork displayed like this is incredibly moving. It’s wonderful to witness the progress they’ve made and the passion they have for art. The teachers have done an amazing job nurturing their talents.”
The evening also provided an opportunity for parents and carers to meet the dedicated art teachers who have guided the students through their artistic journey. These interactions fostered a deeper understanding of the educational processes behind the artwork and reinforced the strong sense of community within our school.
Students relished the opportunity to share their artistic achievements. One Year 11 student commented, “Having my family here to see what I’ve accomplished is really rewarding. It’s the culmination of a lot of hard work and creativity, and I’m proud to share it with them.”
We extend our thanks to everyone who attended and contributed to making this evening so memorable. The support from parents and carers is invaluable, and together, we are fostering a community where our students’ artistic talents can flourish.
Here’s to many more evenings celebrating the incredible achievements of our young artists!



Alice and Brooke shine at Eckington open meet

We are delighted to celebrate the achievements of Alice (Year 9) and Brooke (Year 7) at the recent two-day Eckington open meet swimming event, which concluded on Sunday, May 19. Both girls showcased their exceptional talents and dedication, securing several medals in a highly competitive field.
Event highlights:
Brooke (Year 7):
·       2 silver medals
·       1 sixth place medal
Alice (Year 9):
·       1 silver medal
·       1 bronze medal
·       3 sixth place medals
Their outstanding performances are a testament to their dedication and hard work. Both Alice and Brooke embody our school’s LEAD values, particularly exemplifying Drive. Their commitment to excellence is evident in their rigorous training schedule, practicing five times per week to hone their skills and improve their performance.
The Eckington open meet is a competitive event that attracts talented swimmers from various schools across the region, making Alice and Brooke’s achievements even more noteworthy. Their success not only brings pride to our school but also serves as an inspiration to their peers.
Both students have shown that with dedication, perseverance, and a strong drive, remarkable achievements are possible.
Congratulations Alice and Brooke on your success. We are immensely proud of you both!


Spotlight on tutor time reading success

At our school, we believe that fostering a love for reading is crucial to our students’ academic and personal growth. Our tutor time reading programme, has been a tremendous success and has made a significant impact on our students’ reading abilities and enjoyment of literature.
We are thrilled to recognise and congratulate three outstanding tutor groups for their exceptional engagement in the tutor time reading programme. Since September, the students in these groups have collectively read an impressive number of words, demonstrating their commitment and enthusiasm for reading.
Outstanding tutor groups:

·       Pete Robertshaw’s 7A: Approximately 172,000 words read
·       Ruth Mason’s 9C: Approximately 157,000 words read
·       Mel Webb’s 7B: Approximately 122,000 words read
These achievements are not only a testament to the hard work and dedication of the students but also to the effectiveness of our carefully curated selection of books. By providing a diverse and engaging pool of reading materials, we aim to cultivate a lifelong love of reading in our students.
Reading during tutor time offers numerous benefits. It enhances vocabulary, improves comprehension skills, and fosters critical thinking. Moreover, it provides a quiet, reflective moment in the day, allowing students to immerse themselves in different worlds, perspectives, and ideas.
We encourage parents to discuss the books their children are reading at home. Engaging in conversations about the stories and characters can further enrich the reading experience and reinforce the skills they are developing. Ask your children about their favourite books, characters, and what they’ve learned from their readings. Such discussions not only support their learning but also create meaningful family interactions centred around the joy of reading.
Happy reading! The Reading Team


Celebrating student success in the recent poetry contest

We are thrilled to announce the remarkable achievements of our talented students in a recent national poetry contest. Six of our students have had their work published in the newly released anthology, Winter Wonderland: Echoes of Winter.
This prestigious publication highlights the creativity and literary skill of young poets, and we are incredibly proud of our students’ contributions. Congratulations to our published poets: Rosie A (Y7), Tahera G (Y8), Kabisha M (Y9), Jae E (Y7), Lily-Mae M (Y8), Ella C (Y7).
Each of these students crafted beautiful and evocative poems that captured the essence of winter in unique and imaginative ways. Their work stood out among many submissions, earning them a well-deserved place in Winter Wonderland: Echoes of Winter. This achievement not only showcases their talent but also reflects their dedication and passion for poetry.
About the book: Winter Wonderland: Echoes of Winter is an anthology that brings together the best winter-themed poems from young writers across the country. The book explores the beauty, mystery, and magic of the winter season through the eyes of the next generation of poets.
Keep up the fantastic work, poets! We look forward to seeing more of your creative writing in the future.


Scaling new heights with the English national climbing squad

Ethan M, a Year 9 student, has been selected for the prestigious English national climbing squad. This remarkable achievement marks Ethan as one of the most promising young climbers in the country, a testament to his dedication, skill, and passion for the sport.
Ethan’s journey to national recognition has been a thrilling ascent, both literally and figuratively. His selection is the result of countless hours of training, mastering complex routes, and consistently performing at the highest levels in competitions.
As a member of the English national climbing squad, Ethan will now have the opportunity to train with the best climbers in the country. This elite programme provides access to world-class coaching, state-of-the-art facilities, and international competition opportunities. Ethan’s inclusion in the squad will not only enhance his skills but also provide him with the invaluable experience of competing against top-tier athletes from around the world.
As he continues to push the boundaries of his abilities and set new benchmarks, Ethan serves as an inspiration to his peers at The Birley Academy. We eagerly anticipate following his journey and celebrating his future successes as he climbs to even greater heights.
Well done Ethan!


Weekend of adventure for Year 7 students at Kingswood Outdoor Centre

From Friday, May 3rd to Sunday, May 5th, 55 enthusiastic Year 7 students embarked on an exhilarating three-day adventure at the Kingswood outdoor centre near Penistone. The excitement began immediately after school on Friday, with students diving straight into a range of thrilling activities upon arrival.
Throughout the weekend, both students and staff challenged themselves with a variety of adventurous sessions, including:
The Leap of Faith: Climbing a tall pole and leaping from the top to tap a hanging target, all while securely roped up.

3G swing: Paired students were pulled into a vertical position by their peers and released to experience a rapid, exhilarating drop.

Quick zip: A high-speed zip line spanning over 100 meters between two tall towers.

Shelter building: Competing in teams to construct the best shelters using forest materials.

Fire-lighting: Testing survival skills by starting a fire from scratch with flints and steels.

Bouldering: Engaging in various climbing games and problem-solving activities in a purpose-built climbing room.

Indoor caving: Navigating a realistic tunnel, either with torches or in complete darkness.

Nightline: Following a course blindfolded, relying on teamwork to navigate various obstacles.

Evening campfire: Enjoying music, toasted marshmallows, and a warm fire.

Disco: Dressing up and partying after a day full of activities.

Eating: Enjoying three full cooked meals a day to stay fuelled and ready for action.
Our Year 7 students enthusiastically embraced these challenges, demonstrating remarkable effort and determination. Despite some initial nerves and anxious moments, every student participated fully, finishing with smiles, laughter, and a sense of accomplishment. The weekend was filled with screams of excitement and joy.

A special thank you to the accompanying staff – Ms. Calvert, Dr. Webb, Ms. Mason, Ms. Woffenden, Ms. Mitten, Ms. Smith, Ms. Holt-Kape, and Mr. Robertshaw – who were unanimous in their praise for the students. They expressed how much of a pleasure it was to take this group away and would gladly do it again.
Well done, Year 7 – you made us proud!


Celebrating talent: Evans shines on the piano!

We are thrilled to shine a spotlight on Evans O in Year 10.

Amidst the hustle and bustle of break time, Evans captivated the attention of both students and staff alike with his melodies. Mrs. Woffenden was especially impressed and commented on his mastery of the piano.

His skill is a testament to his dedication and passion for music. Not only does his talent bring joy to those who listen to him, but it also serves as an inspiration to others to pursue their own passions and talents.

In celebrating Evans we are reminded of the importance of nurturing and celebrating the diverse talents within our school. Whether it be music, art, sports, or academics, each student brings something unique to the table.

Well done Evans! Your talent is a source of pride for us all.


PE netball enrichment trip at the Canon Medical Arena

On Friday 17th May, 15 students from The Birley Academy had the opportunity to attend a netball match at the Canon Medical Arena, Sheffield. With its state-of-the-art facilities, it proved to be an excellent venue for a trip that was organised as part of our PE enrichment programme.

The experience was more than just watching a high-stakes match between Leeds Rhinos and Team Bath. It was an opportunity for our students to see elite athletes in action. The fast-paced, skillful play provided an excellent learning experience, highlighting the dedication and teamwork required at the highest level of netball.

One of the highlights of the evening was the chance to interact with the players post-match. Our students gathered for photographs and autographs. The players were incredibly gracious, taking the time to engage with them and offer words of encouragement.

Throughout the trip, our students represented the school with pride and exemplary behaviour. The positive attitude and school spirit they displayed were a testament to their character and the values we strive to instill in all our students.

We look forward to organizing more such enriching experiences in the future, fostering both a love for sports and the personal growth of our students.

Congratulations to Leeds Rhinos on their well-deserved win, and a huge thank you to all the players for making this a memorable evening for our students. Here’s to many more inspiring trips and the continued success of our school’s PE enrichment programme.


Celebrating success: Finlay S to represent GB in the karate World Championship

We are thrilled that Finlay S, a Year 9 student, has been selected to represent Great Britain in the upcoming karate World Championship, scheduled for October 2024.

This prestigious opportunity is a testament to Finlay’s unwavering commitment and his exceptional abilities. Being chosen to represent one’s country on a global stage is not only a remarkable honour but also a reflection of Finlay’s hard work, perseverance, and talent.

The World Championship is a platform where athletes from across the globe gather to compete at the highest level, showcasing their skills and pushing the boundaries of their respective sports.

To compete in the World Championships, Finlay will need to fundraise to support his participation, and as a school, we will support this cause alongside his club, the Sheffield Dragons.

As a school, we take immense pride in Finlay’s accomplishment and wish him the very best. Well done, Finlay! We will be cheering you on as you embark on this incredible journey representing Great Britain on the world stage.


Encouragement and well-wishes – staff rally around Year 11 students for their exams

Our staff body came together to offer unwavering support and encouragement to our Year 11 students during a special assembly on Tuesday 7th May.

The assembly aimed to boost the morale and confidence of our wonderful Year 11 students as they began their exams. The assembly was an opportunity for staff members to write messages of encouragement to all our students. These heartfelt messages, filled with words of encouragement, wisdom, and belief in their potential, served as a reminder that they are not alone in this journey and that we are behind them, cheering them on every step of the way.

In the days and weeks that follow, our Year 11 students can take comfort in knowing that they carry with them the collective hopes and support of their entire school community.

Good luck, Year 11 – we believe in you!


Celebrating diversity: Students collaborate with school catering team for Culture Day

In a display of unity and celebration, three Year 10 students recently met with Mr. Bates, the school catering manager, and Mrs. Gillham, Assistant Headteacher, to discuss plans for an upcoming Culture Day. Esther O, Busayo A, and Aderinsola A, all members of the student council, are spearheading efforts to organise an inclusive event in the upcoming half term.

The purpose of the meeting was to explore ways in which the school’s catering could be diversified to reflect and honour the rich heritage of our student body. The goal is to foster greater understanding and appreciation for the various cultures within our school community.

Mr. Bates, embraced the opportunity to work closely with the students. Together, they thought of ideas for incorporating a wide range of cultural cuisines, including Nigerian and African into the school menu for this special occasion.

Mrs. Gillham, impressed by the students’ passion and initiative, offered her full support and encouragement. She commended Esther, Busayo, and Aderinsola for their commitment to fostering a sense of unity and belonging among their peers.

With the groundwork laid the stage is set for an unforgettable Culture Day in half term 6.


Aaron A’s exemplary leadership

We are thrilled to share news about one of our outstanding Year 10 students, Aaron A. Aaron has recently received high praise from his coach at AFC Dronfield, where he is captain of the under 15s.
Aaron’s coach reached out to our school to express how incredibly proud the he is of Aaron and his leadership abilities. This acknowledgment is a testament not only to Aaron’s athletic skill but also to his exceptional character and the core principles he embodies, which align perfectly with our school’s values of Lead, Empower, Achieve, and Drive.
Lead: Aaron’s coach told us he leads by example, showing commitment and discipline in every training session and match. His teammates are inspired by his positive attitude and his ability to motivate others to strive for excellence.
Empower: He actively supports his teammates, providing constructive feedback and encouragement. His ability to empower others fosters a sense of confidence and capability within the team, contributing to their overall success.
Achieve: Aaron’s dedication to achieving both personal and team goals is evident in his performance. In the words of his coach, “When Aaron joined the team in 2019, they were a mid-level team but have surged through the leagues meaning that they will finish their junior football journey in the top division of the Sheffield & District Junior League. On Sunday, Aaron and the team completed the League and Cup double for the 3rd consecutive season, which is very impressive for a grassroots team! Across all 3 seasons they have gained promotion as Champions.” 
Aaron’s achievements are a reflection of his hard work and determination, and he inspires his peers to set high standards for themselves and to pursue their own goals with vigour and commitment.
Drive: Drive is a defining characteristic of Aaron’s approach. Aaron’s perseverance and resilience, even in the face of challenges, embody the spirit of never giving up and always striving to reach new heights.
We are immensely proud of Aaron and his representation of our school at AFC Dronfield. His embodiment of the Lead, Empower, Achieve, and Drive principles makes him a role model for his peers and a valuable ambassador for our school community. We congratulate Aaron on his accomplishments and look forward to supporting his continued growth and success both on and off the field.


Year 10 Geography students explore sustainability at Kelham Island

As part of their applied fieldwork enquiry, Year 10 Geography students recently visited Kelham Island in Sheffield. The students focused on investigating the sustainability of Kelham Island and collected a diverse range of geographical data. Their exploration took them to eight different locations, including the renowned Fat Cat pub (not for drinking, of course!), The Cutlery Works food hall, and the eco-friendly homes in Little Kelham.

This visit provided students with a unique opportunity to observe how Kelham Island has preserved its industrial heritage while integrating modern, sustainable housing and fostering a vibrant bar and restaurant culture.

The first trip enjoyed glorious weather, and the students displayed exemplary behaviour and enthusiasm as they conducted their fieldwork, which included traffic counts and sustainability assessments. They will now analyse the collected data, creating graphs and charts in the classroom to draw conclusions about Kelham Island’s sustainability as a residential area.

Looking ahead, in September, Year 10 students will embark on their second Geography field trip, this time to the Peak District. There, they will investigate the sustainability of tourism in Bakewell. After the success of their urban fieldwork, the Geography department eagerly anticipates the upcoming exploration in the next academic year.


National rocket competition – Student soars to success

In a display of innovation and skill, a team spearheaded by Holly P in Year 8 claimed the title of the best entry from Sheffield, in a national rocket launching competition. Impressively the team claimed 3rd place overall.

The competition tested the limits of creativity. From designing and building their rockets, to executing flawless launches, the achievement underscores the power of collaboration and innovation. Holly’s success serves as a beacon of inspiration for aspiring young scientists and engineers, highlighting the limitless possibilities that lie ahead.

Congratulations Holly on your remarkable achievement!


The Birley Academy hosts KS2 orienteering event in collaboration with Forge and Points Sports Partnerships

The Birley Academy recently played host to a KS2 orienteering event, held in collaboration with Forge Sports Partnership and Points Sports Partnership. Bathed in glorious sunshine, the event proved to be a resounding success, offering KS2 students the opportunity to develop valuable skills such as map reading, while immersing themselves in an unforgettable experience.

The participating primary schools, hailing from various corners of the city, converged upon The Birley Academy to partake in the festivities, with an impressive turnout of over 200 eager students. Under the watchful guidance of our dedicated Year 9 Sports Leaders, the event unfolded seamlessly, with these young leaders assuming the roles of event officials and mentors.

Throughout the day, our Y9 Sports Leaders demonstrated their commitment to ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience for all attendees. From warmly welcoming visiting schools to meticulously overseeing the collection of student points, they exemplified leadership and sportsmanship at its finest. Additionally, they provided assistance to any students who required support with map reading, ensuring that everyone could fully participate and relish the occasion.

Reflecting on the event, it’s evident that it was not only a testament to the collaborative efforts of The Birley Academy, Forge Sports Partnership, and Points Sports Partnership but also a testament to the spirit of camaraderie and sportsmanship that thrives within our school community.


Embracing opportunity: The Birley Academy Joins the CoacHE Programme by the University of Sheffield

We are thrilled to announce our participation in the CoacHE programme, a transformative initiative offered by the University of Sheffield aimed at nurturing talent, fostering aspirations, and empowering young minds. Designed specifically for Year 9 pupils, this two-year course represents a unique opportunity for our students to unlock their full potential, explore the world of higher education, and chart a course towards a bright and promising future.

At The Birley Academy, we are deeply committed to providing our students with access to the tools, resources, and opportunities they need to succeed both academically and personally. The CoacHE programme aligns with our ethos, serving as a catalyst for positive change and personal growth.

One of the key objectives of the CoacHE programme is to encourage regular school attendance, a fundamental pillar of academic success. By engaging students in a dynamic and interactive learning environment, the programme aims to instill a sense of responsibility and commitment to their education, paving the way for future achievements.

Moreover, the CoacHE programme goes beyond the classroom. Through a series of workshops, seminars, and campus visits, participants will have the chance to explore the University of Sheffield first-hand, gaining valuable insights into university life and the diverse array of courses and career pathways available to them.

We extend our gratitude to the University of Sheffield for their partnership and support, and we look forward to the transformative impact the CoacHE programme will have on the lives of our Year 9 students.


Ted triumphs: English champion crowned in national Thai kick-boxing competition

We are thrilled to announce that Ted McG in Year 7 student emerged as the English Champion in the national Thai Kick-boxing competition. Ted’s dedication, perseverance, and exceptional skill were on full display as he faced formidable opponents from across the country.

His journey to the top was marked by countless hours of training, unwavering commitment, and a steadfast belief in his abilities. As Ted basks in the glory of his well-deserved victory, we extend our heartfelt congratulations to him and his family. His achievement serves as a shining example of what can be accomplished through hard work, passion, and determination.

Well done Ted!


Congratulations to Year 7 student Jamie A for his selection to the South Yorkshire regional cricket squad

We are thrilled to announce that one of our very own Year 7 students, Jamie A, has been selected to represent the South Yorkshire regional cricket squad. This prestigious achievement is a testament to Jamie’s exceptional talent, dedication, and passion for the sport, and it fills us with immense pride to see him excel on such a significant platform.

Jamie’s selection is a reflection of his hard work and commitment to cricket, both on and off the field. His talent has not gone unnoticed, and we are delighted to see him earn this well-deserved opportunity to showcase his skills at the regional level. As Jamie embarks on this exciting journey, we extend our congratulations and best wishes for continued success.

Among those celebrating Jamie’s achievement is his form tutor, Mr. Robertshaw, who is a keen cricket supporter and Yorkshire enthusiast.

As Jamie dons the South Yorkshire jersey, he carries with him the hopes and aspirations of all those who have supported him along the way. Well done Jamie!


Students excel in The Brilliant Club’s Scholars Programme – Celebrating academic achievement

We are delighted to announce the remarkable success of our Year 9 and Year 10 students who participated in The Brilliant Club’s Scholars Programme. Fourteen students from each Year 9 & 10 respectively seized the opportunity to delve beyond the curriculum, enhancing their knowledge, skills, and confidence to aspire towards the most competitive universities.

The Scholars Programme offers students an enriching experience through university-style tutorials conducted by PhD researchers over the course of an academic term. It provides a unique platform for students, like ours, to engage with advanced topics, explore new ideas, and develop critical thinking skills, preparing them for higher education and beyond.

Dr. Ashley Parry served as the tutor for our students, providing instruction on the subject of climate change and the UK government’s involvement in addressing this urgent issue. Students participated in a weekly hour-long tutorial for a duration of six weeks under his guidance.

We are immensely proud to share that Tyler M, a dedicated Year 10 student, achieved a remarkable 1st in The Brilliant Club’s Scholars Programme. This outstanding achievement is a testament to Tyler’s hard work, determination, and academic excellence. It is truly commendable, considering the rigorous standards of assessment, with very few students attaining this prestigious grade.

Furthermore, eight of our students secured an impressive 2:1, demonstrating their commitment to academic excellence and their ability to excel in a challenging academic environment. Their achievements reflect not only their individual dedication but also the support and guidance provided by our school community.

As a token of recognition for their accomplishments, all participants of the programme will have the opportunity to attend a graduation ceremony at Leeds University. This event will serve as an occasion to celebrate their academic journey and the milestones they have achieved.

As a result of this experience, all students have expressed their intention to pursue higher education, and participating in this programme has provided them with valuable skills in researching, structuring, and referencing essays, giving them a significant advantage as they prepare for university.

Finally, we extend our gratitude to The Brilliant Club for their unwavering support and commitment to fostering academic excellence among our students. Their partnership has provided our students with invaluable opportunities for growth, learning, and personal development.


Year 10 University of Sheffield programme

Twelve students from Year 10 embarked on an exciting journey into the realm of higher education as they participated in the second day of their University of Sheffield programme on Tuesday 23rd April.

Designed to ignite the passion for learning and provide a glimpse into university life, this initiative aims to empower young people like them with the knowledge and skills needed to pursue higher education confidently.

The day kicked off with a series of engaging workshops tailored to offer a holistic understanding of university life. From practicing budgeting skills to understanding the intricacies of student experiences, our students delved deep into various aspects of academic and personal development. These workshops not only equipped them with practical knowledge but also instilled a sense of responsibility and preparedness for their future endeavours.

One highlight of the programme was the opportunity for our students to participate in team challenges alongside their peers. Through collaborative problem-solving and creative thinking, they tackled various tasks, fostering teamwork, communication, and leadership skills along the way. Judging by the smiles and enthusiasm on their faces, it’s safe to say that our students had a fantastic time!

Reflecting on the day’s events, it’s clear that the University of Sheffield programme has left a lasting impact on our Year 10 students. Not only did they gain a deeper understanding of university life, but they also emerged more confident and empowered to pursue their academic aspirations.

As we celebrate the success of our Year 10 students in embracing this enriching experience, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to the University of Sheffield for their dedication to inspiring and nurturing young minds. With programmes like these, we are confident that our students will continue to thrive and excel, paving the way for a brighter future filled with endless possibilities.


Exploring architecture and history: Year 11, Holly’s sculpture

Art has the remarkable ability to capture not only the artist’s vision but also the essence of culture, history, and human experiences. At The Birley Academy, one such piece of artwork stands tall, reflecting the intricate fusion of architectural inspiration and profound historical significance. Crafted by Holly B in Year 11, this sculpture serves as a testament to her creative prowess and deep appreciation for the architectural marvels that shape our world.

Holly’s inspiration for her sculpture stemmed from the awe-inspiring structures that humanity has erected throughout history. From towering cathedrals to humble chapels, architecture holds the stories of civilisations past and present. What particularly fascinated her was the enduring role of the church in people’s lives across the centuries. Indeed, the church has been a constant presence, witnessing the pivotal moments from birth to death, from christenings to funerals.
In the words of her teacher, Mrs. Jackson, Holly’s sculpture is nothing short of amazing. It is a manifestation of her confidence, creativity, and imagination, meticulously crafted to bring her intentions to life. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, the sculpture serves as a profound reflection of the diverse and exceptional work produced by students in Birley.

Well done, Holly!


Apprenticeships Information Evening

James and Stuart from Sheffield College Apprenticeships Recruitment Team came in to talk to Y11 and Y10 students and their parents and carers about how apprenticeships work and how to find and secure an apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships are a great way of earning a salary whilst you learn and from learning directly from industry experts. If you think you might be interested in an Apprenticeship, explore the information on our school website and use the QR codes to sign up for the Apprenticeships mailing list.


Birley Students Engage in Civic Discourse: Debating Key Youth Issues at Sheffield City Hall

On March 15th, a group of 9 Birley students, alongside peers from 3 other Sheffield schools, took part in an exciting debate tackling important issues for young people today. These topics, chosen through the Youth Parliament’s Make Your Mark ballot, included concerns about the safety of young people in our city, access to cultural activities, and opportunities for work and training.

The debate happened at Sheffield’s City Hall Council Chambers, where our students had the chance to speak in front of the Lord Mayor and city councillors, including our own Birley Councillor, Karen McGowan. It was a fantastic opportunity for them to see how decisions are made in Sheffield’s historic chambers, which have been around since 1896.

Our students gave arguments for and against the debate topics and voted for what they felt was the key issue facing them today. They were then given time to discuss possible action plans with councillors making their voices heard by the people who make decisions in our city.

We are incredibly proud of the exceptional students we have at Birley. They all found the day to be a great experience and a window into how democracy works at the local level.

John E, a Year 10 student, said, “The debate session I attended was absolutely fantastic. It was such a great opportunity for young people to express their opinions and develop critical thinking skills. I loved how the session encouraged students to research and present well-supported arguments. It really helps them build confidence and improve their public speaking abilities, which are valuable skills for school and beyond. Overall, the debate session was a fun and educational experience that I believe should be incorporated into school curriculums.”


Celebrating Year 11’s Commitment to Academic Excellence

In a demonstration of commitment and determination, Year 11 students have gone above and beyond over their Easter break to ensure they are fully prepared for their upcoming GCSE exams and for the final submission of their BTEC coursework. Their unwavering dedication reflects not only their personal drive for success but also the values instilled in them by the school.
Our students poured hours into revising and completing coursework, showcasing the LEAD values of Lead, Empower, Achieve, and Drive that are at the core of our school’s ethos. Their willingness to sacrifice leisure time in favour of academic pursuits exemplifies their understanding of the importance of their education and the opportunities it presents. By prioritising their studies and committing to excellence, they are setting themselves up for favourable outcomes when they receive their GCSE results in August 2024.
Special recognition must also be given to the dedicated teachers from various departments who generously gave up their time to provide guidance and support to the students. Teachers from Food, iMedia, Graphics, Tourism, Music, Drama, Religious Studies, Resistant Materials, History, Geography, French, PE, Health and Social Care, Art, and Engineering have demonstrated their commitment to the success of our students by offering additional assistance and resources during their holiday period too. Their selfless dedication is a testament to the strong bond between students and teachers at The Birley Academy.
As the participating students return to school after the Easter break, they do so with confidence and determination, knowing that they have invested their time and energy wisely in pursuit of their academic goals. Their hard work and perseverance serve as an inspiration to their peers and a source of pride for the entire school community.

Well done Year 11.


Year 11 Students Bake Their Way to Prom Success

In a heartwarming demonstration of community spirit, Year 11 students have banded together to organise a series of bake sales in support of the school prom. Through their dedication and homemade treats, they’ve managed to raise an impressive £425, bringing them closer to creating unforgettable memories at the prom.

The success of these bake sales owes much to the tireless efforts of a few standout individuals. Olivia M, Isabelle R, and Mia M deserve special recognition for their exceptional coordination skills, leading the programme with enthusiasm and efficiency. Their dedication has truly been inspiring.

Of course, behind every delicious treat sold at the bake sale, there’s a talented baker. We extend our gratitude to our master-chefs Issy P, Izzy F, Claudia S, and Charlotte F for delighting our taste buds with their mouth-watering edibles. Their culinary prowess has been instrumental in driving the success of the fundraiser.

Let’s also acknowledge our staff bakers. Mr. Coleman, Ms. Holt-Kape, Mr. Shannon, Ms. Miniot, and Mrs. Jackson have generously contributed their time and baking skills to support the cause, showcasing the strong sense of community at our school.

This collective effort perfectly embodies our school’s core principles: Lead, Empower, Achieve, Drive. Through their initiative, creativity, and teamwork, the Year 11 students have shown what can be achieved when we unite with a common goal.

To all involved – whether you baked, sold, or supported the bake sales – we extend a heartfelt thank you. Your contributions have not only raised vital funds for the prom but have also fostered unity within our school community.

Congratulations to everyone involved – your efforts have truly made a difference!


Empowering Students Through Theatre: Birley Anti-Bullying Ambassadors Attend “Boy at the Back of the Class”

On March 5th, 2024, a group of Birley Anti-Bullying Ambassadors attended a theatre production of “Boy at the Back of the Class.” Based on a novel by Onjali Q. Rauf, the story is a tale of compassion and kindness in a world that doesn’t always make sense and reminds us that everyone needs a place to call home. With a growing number of students from all backgrounds in Birley, this play was an opportunity for Anti-Bullying Ambassadors to see examples of the problems faced by those who don’t speak English in an English-speaking school.

The story follows a group of children who fight to help a young refugee boy who is struggling to find his place and feels lost without his family. The production was fantastic, with adults portraying young children seamlessly, a minimalist set with only a school-style jungle gym as a prop/ backdrop.

Both funny and heart-breaking, the play made students laugh and even brought a few tears.
Reflecting on the experience, one student said, “That was the best school trip I’ve ever been on!” Another eagerly inquired, “When can we visit the theatre again?” Clearly, the students were deeply impacted by the performance and the important messages it conveyed.

This theatrical excursion not only entertained but also fostered empathy and understanding among students, reinforcing the significance of inclusivity and kindness in their daily interactions.


Year 11 students shine in weekend GCSE food coursework – A testament to school support

In an inspiring display of commitment to their studies, 15 students from Year 11 voluntarily chose to sacrifice their leisure time and dedicate their Saturday morning to work diligently on their GCSE food coursework. This dedication not only showcases the students’ determination but also reflects the supportive and encouraging environment fostered within our school community.

Students worked with enthusiasm, eagerly embracing the opportunity to refine their culinary knowledge and deepen their understanding of the subject matter. Mr. Allan, the Curriculum Leader for Design & Technology (D&T) who led the session, expressed his admiration for the students’ initiative and commitment.

“I am truly impressed by the dedication shown by these students. Their willingness to go above and beyond highlights their strong work ethic and desire to succeed,” he remarked.

The decision to spend their Saturday morning in school was not without reward. Mr. Allan noted significant improvements in the quality of the students’ work.

Chopping board with tomatoes, garlic, onions, broccoli, apples and leeks


Empowering student voices: A remarkable Education Council meeting

Acting Headteacher, Mr. Casey, had the privilege of attending a student Education Council meeting and what an enlightening experience it was! Stepping into the domain of student leadership and representation, Mr. Casey was thoroughly impressed by the maturity, enthusiasm, and ingenuity displayed by our student councillors.
The meeting was led by the exemplary leadership of Abbie, the student chair, and Ella, the Vice-chair. It delved into discussions about initiatives aimed at enhancing the learning environment within our academy. What followed was a remarkable showcase of student empowerment and engagement.

Students from The Birley Academy sitting around a table talking with Mr Casey and sharing their ideas at the Education Council meeting
Students at the Education Council meeting shared their ideas with Mr Casey

A proactive approach to improving educational experience
One standout idea that resonated deeply with Mr. Casey was the proposal for the introduction of classroom leaders of learning. Students, with confidence and clarity, articulated how these leaders could serve as ambassadors for their peers, showcasing exemplary classroom practices to visitors or prospective students. This innovative concept not only highlights the students’ understanding of the importance of peer learning but also demonstrates their proactive approach to improving the overall educational experience for everyone in the academy.
Throughout the meeting, students eloquently voiced their perspectives on various aspects of school life, ranging from curriculum enhancements to extracurricular activities. Their insights were not only insightful but also reflective of a genuine desire to contribute positively to their educational journey.

Mr. Casey was particularly impressed by the students’ ability to critically analyse existing systems and propose feasible solutions. It was evident that they had invested time and effort into understanding the needs of their fellow students, as well as the dynamics of the learning environment.
As the meeting drew to a close, Mr. Casey expressed his gratitude to the student Education Council for their dedication and passion. He emphasised the importance of student voice in shaping the future of our academy and pledged to work collaboratively with the council to implement their ideas where feasible.


Students celebrate achieving their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Awards

In a world where achievements are often measured by academic grades or professional accomplishments, it’s refreshing to take a moment to celebrate personal growth and character development. Both Isabelle and Harry, two Year 11 students, have recently achieved the prestigious Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Pupils from the Birley Academy receive their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh awards from Mr Casey, Interim Headteacher
Students Isabelle and Harry receive their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Awards from Mr Casey.

Students demonstrate resilience and dedication
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme is renowned worldwide for its commitment to empowering young people through a series of challenges that foster personal development, leadership skills, and a sense of adventure. Attaining the Bronze level is no small feat; it requires dedication, perseverance, and a willingness to step outside one’s comfort zone. Isabelle and Harry exemplify these qualities in abundance. Throughout their journey towards the Bronze award, they have demonstrated resilience in the face of adversity, determination to overcome obstacles, and a passion for exploring new experiences.

For Isabelle and Harry, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award was more than just a series of tasks to complete; it was an opportunity for self-discovery and growth. From volunteering in their local communities to developing new skills and undertaking adventurous expeditions, they embraced each challenge with enthusiasm and a spirit of adventure. Their achievement is a testament to their hard work, perseverance, and commitment to personal development. It serves as a reminder to us all that success is not solely defined by academic or professional accolades but by the strength of character and resilience demonstrated in the face of challenges.


Birley Academy students elected to represent young people on the Sheffield Youth Cabinet

On 22nd February four Birley Academy students were elected to the Sheffield Youth Cabinet (SYC) to represent Sheffield South East.  SYC is part of the UK Youth Parliament and young people were elected from all areas of Sheffield to represent the views of other young people in the city.  They will have the opportunity to work with local politicians and have a real impact on policy making. 

As part of the process they had to run the election in school.  This involved campaigning across all year groups on their own priorities and ensuring that the resulting election was efficient and fair.  As a result, more than 70% of students in the academy voted and qualified us for Silver Democracy Award from Sheffield City Council.

A huge congratulations to Tensi, Amber, Noah and Isla and a big thank you to the other candidates that weren’t successful this time. Your passion and commitment are commendable!

After a campaign in which seven Birley Academy candidates each crafted a manifesto, all students at The Birley Academy cast their votes in assemblies before the half-term break. 

Ballot papers were counted and on Thursday 22nd February, the election results were revealed. We are incredibly proud to announce that Tensi in Year 10, Amber and Noah in Year 9, and Isla in Year 7 have been elected to represent the Sheffield South East area on the Sheffield Youth Cabinet. They will meet monthly at the Council Chambers in Sheffield Town Hall, collaborating with 35 other elected young representatives from across the city to drive forward and coordinate their campaigns and work in campaign action groups.

We are incredibly proud of our students’ hard work and their success, claiming 4 of the 5 seats in the Sheffield South East area.  We hope this opportunity will be just the beginning of great successes for them.

Seven Birley Academy students were selected to stand for election – their manifestos can be seen below.