Tuesday 25th and the morning of Wednesday 26th November 2014 saw the launch of our SPACE Programme, (Social, Personal and Citizenship Education). These days are coordinated across all schools within The Gorse Academies Trust and are an opportunity for students to explore a number of topics. Examples of topics include healthy lifestyles, drugs education, personal finance, democracy and citizenship. We have planned a further two SPACE Days for later in the academic year.

Lessons focused on the five strands of The Ruth Gorse Citizenship Award: Aspiring to Achieve, Caring, Going Above and Beyond, Resilience, and Team Work. These lessons were delivered by TRGA staff, but also incorporated external providers.

For Resilience, we had a guest motivational speaker visit us called Andy Reid. In 2009, whilst serving in Afghanistan with the British Army, he was injured by an IED. He lost both legs and one arm. However, he’s now an author and visits schools as a motivational speaker, telling his story and how he refused to give up. The students also visited a ‘pop-up information market’ at The Morley Academy. There were lots of stalls for young people all on the topic of mental health and resilience. Students were invited to take part in a number of activities including boxing, design work and even watching a film in a cinema on the topic of mental health! There were also a number of experts on hand to answer any questions.

For Teamwork, we had a second guest speaker, Mr Andy Booth. Andy Booth is the Community Ambassador for Huddersfield Town Football Club, but played in the Premiership for both Sheffield Wednesday and Tottenham Hotspurs and played for the England U21 team. He spoke about what it means to be a team player, what life was like as a professional footballer and his ’best ever team talk’. During the visit, he awarded TRGA partnership school status with Huddersfield Town FC. The students also had the opportunity to work with the West Yorkshire Counter Terrorism Unit on a pretend scenario where they were members of the WY police, uncovering a terrorist plot. This was to develop their team building skills and problem solving skills. It also allowed students the opportunity to explore ‘British Values’.