Since assuming the role of Principal at Boston Spa Academy earlier this year, Peter Hollywood, who served as Vice Principal from September 2020, says well-rounded students with life skills and resilience are the traits they try to develop and instill in their 1,500 students before they leave for the world of work or continuing education.
In addition to break and lunch clubs, there are now 80 after-school clubs and sessions that cover just about everything from sign language and spoken languages to public speaking, musical theatre, debate and meditation.
They were relaunched in September after COVID regulations put them on the back burner and the principal says students have returned to school with renewed enthusiasm.
“They feel renewed gratitude for what school gives them, whether it’s routine and structure, or the knowledge and wisdom that will give them.”
Rowing, karate and volleyball are as much a part of the sporting offering as football, rugby or cricket and this year, with 170 students taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, this makes Boston Spa the second largest major provider of the program in West Yorkshire.
Mr Hollywood said: “We offer 80 (after-school sessions) a week which is phenomenal. When you look at the participation, it’s wonderful, the students really embrace it. I believe this far exceeds any offering that a public school has in the area and, I would say, nationally.
Foxwood School: Memories of Leeds’ first full curriculum
The enrichment program that has been implemented at the Boston Spa and the House program that is expected to be reintroduced with vigor are Mr. Hollywood’s primary goals, as well as
The Performing Arts Center and links with Opera North and The Northern School of Contemporary Dance and travel and experiences, such as the opportunity to visit China and Trinidad.
He explained: “For me, it’s really important that we develop students who are strong, confident, who are holistic and who follow passions for things outside the classroom. It’s important that we support students in terms of well-being. and life skills needed to become employable people with the skills to be resilient.
“We’re trying to make sure there are enough systems in place that will allow us to focus more on some of the areas that are really important to us and to make sure that wellbeing and support are in place.”
Enrichment is also one of the ways Boston Spa, part of the GORSE Academies Trust, wants to compete with other local schools to make it the number one choice for families.
Students in all groups organize community events and charity events to teach social responsibility.
Boston Spa differs from other GORSE Academies in that it is located in a more affluent area of North Leeds where, like others, were deliberately located in disadvantaged and challenging communities in order to improve outcomes and opportunities for youth.
Mr Hollywood added: “We have a number of villages in the locality which are probably a more affluent community than others. A school driver makes sure that families send their children to their local school. With exceptional disposition, we are increasingly serving the local community.
Support YEP and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news and breaking news on Leeds United. With a digital subscription, you’ll see fewer ads, enjoy faster loading times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click on here register.