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Staffordshire business class cluster /

Welcome to the business in the community section

School /

Sandon College

Our mission is to become a Great school in everything that we do: teaching and learning, student progress, behaviour and safety, and leadership and management. We believe that relationships and high expectations are central to this goal and commit to a fundamental principle: that the future of all the youngsters in our care, is in our hands. Our college motto is “Summa Sequendo - Aim for the Highest” which embodies the spirit of self-belief and commitment to excellence in everything that we do.

Haywood Academy

Haywood Academy is justifiably proud of its reputation as warm, friendly and inclusive school that produces well-rounded, confident and successful young people. Based in Burslem, Stoke on Trent with a good Ofsted rating, the College is committed to community and multicultural cohesion for all students whilst helping them to be the best they can be. Our students are part of a family; a community of polite, well-behaved and caring individuals who work hard and aim high to achieve their potential. All of which takes place in an enjoyable learning environment where the focus is on consideration for others and an awareness of differing needs and responsibilities.

Cooperative Academy

The Academy is part of the Co-operative Academies Trust (CAT), a multi-academy trust with academies in Stoke-on-Trent, Manchester and Leeds. In September 2012, we moved into a brand new £23m building, complete with the very best facilities for our students. We are a caring and supportive community; we pride ourselves on providing high challenge but also significant support for our students, whether that support is academic or social and emotional. We are proud to be a diverse community, we welcome everybody. Our core values are equality, responsibility and respect. Our behaviour and rewards system is built around these core values. We are conscious that we are shaping young people for the future and not simply training them to pass exams.

Discovery Academy

The Discovery Academy's aim is to ‘Discover Tomorrow Together’. As we begin our second year in our fantastic state-of-the-art building, we are looking forward to another successful year. For the first time, demand for places in Year 7 exceeded the number available and the 240 students who joined us in September have settled in really well. Everyone who visits the Academy comments not only on the amazing facilities, but also on the high standards of behaviour shown by our students. With a focus on ‘Pride and Respect’, and a strong pastoral structure in place, our students tell us that they feel safe and well cared for and are well supported in every area of their learning. Attendance at our recent Open Evening indicated that Year 7 is likely to be over-subscribed again next September and The Discovery Academy will remain the biggest and best in the city.

Staffordshire Sports College

Our state-of-the-art sports facilities are widely appreciated and enable the school to be at the centre of the local community. The school has an ambition to provide outstanding sporting and community facilities. Giving students access to these facilities allows them to learn in some of the best environments imaginable. We are proud of our state-of-the-art tennis centre in particular, which allows students to train in world-class facilities with excellent coaching. Our library is a vital feature of the school community, allowing students to access resources at their own pace.

Excel Academy

Holden Lane High School first opened in 1963 and has a long tradition of academic excellence. In September 2013, fifty years after it first opened, Holden Lane High School became the Excel Academy. Our guiding principle is for every student to excel in everything they do. Every student is encouraged to achieve their best in the pursuit of excellence. Our strong ethos of pride and mutual respect, together with high quality teaching and learning, provide our students with the opportunities to exceed their expectations. The Excel Academy’s students leave as aspiring, motivated and confident young adults. Our outstanding new building creates a safe, vibrant environment with cutting-edge facilities which, together with our innovative personalised curriculum provide the basis for success. We welcome you to visit the school, either on our Open Evening or during the normal working day, to experience for yourself what The Excel Academy has to offer. “The ‘respect and pride’ agenda is promoted in all aspects of the school’s work and is evident across the school.” OFSTED

Ormiston Horizon Academy

Ormiston Horizon Academy, formerly know as James Brindley High School/James Brindley Science College, is an 11-16 mixed school located at the top most point of St Michaels Road in Chell, Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire.

Thistley Hough Academy

Thistley Hough Academy is a mixed community secondary school located in the village of Penkhull in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. The school was built in 1938 as a school for girls but now caters for both girls and boys aged 11–16.

Partnerships /

Stoke on Trent College

Stoke on Trent College are the largest provider of further education in Stoke and North Staffordshire, with around 15,000 students each year on full-time and part-time study programmes, apprenticeships, professional qualifications and university-level courses. They also help thousands of local people each year to gain the basic skills needed for work, be it English and maths, employability skills or specific work-related qualifications. Their students routinely win awards in regional and national competitions and the challenge helps to unleash their talent and prepare them for the competitive world of employment. The College are one of the newer members to the Staffordshire Business Class Cluster and are in the final stages of forming a partnership with a Staffordshire school.

Hanley Economic Building Society

We celebrated our 160th anniversary on 21st October 2014. Our aim is to combine the traditions and roots of a mature organisation with the verve and efficiency of a modern business, by operating as a successful mutual organisation with high quality customer service at its core. By tailoring our service to individual customer needs we can demonstrate the value of a choice proposition. We also offer, through our subsidiary Hanley Financial Services Ltd, Financial Advice ensuring we find a product tailored exactly to your needs.

Lucideon

Lucideon is a leading international provider of materials development, testing and assurance. Through our offices and laboratories in the UK, US and the Far East, Lucideon provides materials and assurance expertise to clients in a wide range of sectors, including healthcare, construction, ceramics, aerospace, defense, engineering and energy. The company aims to improve the competitive advantage and profitability of its clients by providing them with the expertise, accurate results and objective, innovative thinking that they need to optimise their materials, products, processes, systems and businesses.

Keele University

Keele is the largest campus based university in the UK. Although Keele is full of heritage – architectural, cultural, academic, social - it doesn’t mean we’re traditional. Radical, adventurous, challenging, quirky, ambitious and aspirational are just some of the words that people have used to describe Keele.

Riverside

We are proud to say that we are one of the leading registered providers of social housing in the UK, providing support and affordable housing to people of all ages and circumstances throughout England.

Home Retail Group

Home Retail Group plc is one of the UK's leading home and general merchandise retailers. It is the parent company of Argos and Homebase. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

Steelite International

Steelite International is a world-leading manufacturer and supplier of award-winning, inspirational tabletop ranges for the international hospitality industry. The company’s core chinaware products are manufactured at its factory in Stoke-on-Trent – one of the most modern and efficient tableware production units in the world. We believe that one of the most effective ways for our business to support young people facing social disadvantage is to form long-term partnerships with the schools those young people attend. Steelite have teamed up with Haywood Academy to support its students under the Business Class framework.

Novus Property Solutions

Novus Property Solutions offer a comprehensive range of property refurbishment and building maintenance services. We are a one-stop shop that brings a full range of services together under one roof. We operate through a nationwide network of over 30 offices, offering local knowledge with national strength. Novus community investment activities focus on how we can create a positive impact for both our customers and the community in the areas in which we work. Novus have committed to supporting Business in the Community’s ‘Business Class’ initiative. Business Class is a government-endorsed programme, which provides a systematic framework for business to support young people by forming long-term partnerships with the schools those young people attend. The school that Novus have partnered with is Thistley Hough Academy in Stoke.

Pupils /

Insight Into Professions

Insight Into Professions

Coop business students get an insight into different professions. Over a series of 4 events, the Business Studies GCSE students from Coop Academy were able to find out about a range of different business support professions at Stoke on Trent College. Interactive challenges were run for Marketing (‘could you market a new chocolate bar?’), PR (‘how would you deal with a PR crisis?’), Finance (launching a profitable business) and HR (dealing with people problems at work), all delivered by the professionals from the College in these disciplines. The students thoroughly enjoyed the sessions and have been able to use some of the knowledge they gained within their studies back at the Academy.
Question Time Panel

Question Time Panel

As part of Responsible Business Week over 100 students from seven schools in the Stoke Business Class Cluster will quiz representatives from locally based businesses. Stuart Seddon, Novus Chairman is Chairing the panel as part of his role as the lead for the Stafforshire Business Class Cluste - See more at: http://www.bitc.org.uk/…/responsible-business-question-time…
School Scholarship

School Scholarship

As reward for being one of the first recipients of the Novus Student Scholarship programme,Thistley Hough pupil and budding musician Sam Green got to pick out a brand new guitar, ably assisted by Novus Chairman, Stuart Seddon
Best Small Company

Best Small Company

The Hanley Economic has been awarded one of the Sunday Times best small companies to work for because of its involvement with Business in the Community .... http://appointments.thesundaytimes.co.uk/article/best100companies/
Careers and Skills Event

Careers and Skills Event

A small group of students from the Discovery Academy attended the inaugural Business In The Community (BITC) Awards at the Britannia Stadium to receive certificates for their efforts this term working with our business partner, Riverside Housing. Alongside this, all schools took part in a 'race car' challenge to build (using limited resources) and then race, their cars against each other. Discovery students came 1st and their trophy and car are in display in the cabinet outside the staffroom. Congratulations to all students involved!
Community Assembly

Community Assembly

As part of the Cz/PSHE assembly programme, students received an assembly looking at their local Community and the wider community of Stoke On Trent. Riverside Group residents were on hand to give students a first-hand account of living within a productive, caring community and how this fosters tolerance and respect amongst all residents. Many thanks to the residents for giving up their time to come and speak to us!
Press Conference

Press Conference

12 students and 2 staff form the Co-operative Academy of Stoke-on-Trent took part in a Public Relations event at Cauldon College on Wednesday 2nd March. The students learnt about the key aspects of Public relations including the way PR is used to advertise the business for free and the way businesses use PR as damage limitation during times of crisis. The students took part in a mock press conference where they were split into two teams; one team took the role of the journalist panel with the other taking the Board of Directors positions. The groups battled it out during the press conference, with the journalists trying to squeeze the truth out of the directors, whilst all the time they were trying to keep their cards close to their chest.
Mock Interviews

Mock Interviews

Following on from last year’s success, staff from Riverside will be engaging with a number of Year 11 students to help them prepare for interviews in a Mock style interview exercise. Approximately 20 children will go through an telephone interview style process consisting of standard questions and a theme based scenario formatted upon a real vacancy that exists within Riverside. After each interview, the school will be given constructive feedback for each student’s performance. Each student will be given detailed notes about their interviews which they can use to prepare for actual interviews in the future.
Cluster Awards Event

Cluster Awards Event

A number of leading businesses and organisations from across Staffordshire organised a career, skills and Awards Event for over 80 school pupils. Awards were presented to pupil’s who have been involved in Business Class Projects and have demonstrated excellence. Pupil’s who attend gained valuable career advice and learnt some new skills as well. 80 pupils were surveyed after attending the event and 100% of respondents said that their confidence had been improved.
Teacher Feedback

Teacher Feedback

Mr. Myatt, Ormiston Horizon Academy, Curriculum Leader commented; “I have seen first-hand how an inspiring Business Class project can not only help our pupils learn new skills, but also dramatically improve their confidence, and this can only be a positive thing when they are moving on to future employment or further education. With this in mind our Cluster developed and launched our own Business Class Awards. In 2015 80 pupils were acknowledged with an Award. This is a great way to help build their confidence.”
Teacher Feedback

Teacher Feedback

Mr. Donlan, Thistley Hough Academy Assistant Principal commented; “Every pupil involved in a Business Class Project has improved their skills and employability. One example of this was in our mentoring project. 20 pupils were identified as being in danger of not getting the grades they required. Every pupil involved in this project has now gone on to an Apprenticeship, Level 3 course or A-Levels.”
Home Retail - Lauren Wilmoth

Home Retail - Lauren Wilmoth

Lauren commented when asked about how our Cluster promote volunteer opportunities; "All of the Businesses involved in our Cluster highlight volunteer opportunities at their staff meetings, and at Home Retail we regularly update our employees this way as it is a great way to involve our employees in opportunities that not only benefit the pupils at our partner school, but we find benefits our employees through helping them develop new skills.
Lucideon Leading by example

Lucideon Leading by example

All 8 Businesses CEO’s (or equivalents) have given the Programme their full backing. Each leader or a board member have been directly involved in a project. Lucideon Chief Executive, Tony Kinsella fully endorses their partnership with Excel Academy, showing his support by attending their monthly planning meetings. 100% of the Businesses involved in the Staffordshire Cluster report and update to their respective Board of Directors on their partnerships impact and progress against Action Plan.
Stuart Seddon Overview

Stuart Seddon Overview

Stuart Seddon, the Novus Chairman established the Staffordshire Business Class Cluster in September 2013. Novus partnered with Thistley Hough Academy - a secondary school located 4 miles from their Head Office. The aim was to create a long-term partnership, generating improved performance for the benefit of pupils. Seven more business and school partnerships have been formed since. Across the Cluster needs-led activities take place ranging from; strategic advice, mentoring, skills projects, volunteering and improving school facilities. In 2014/15 the businesses in the Cluster volunteered 1,718 hours, and supported 3,065 pupils by improving their skills and employability. In terms of investment over £225,526 has been invested by the 8 businesses. All eight businesses donate their time and any costs relating to projects within their partnership.
Cluster Meeting at Stoke College

Cluster Meeting at Stoke College

The Staffordshire BITC Business Class Cluster met again, this time at Stoke College to share best practice and continue developing the programme.
Keele supporting Science Week

Keele supporting Science Week

14 students from the Medical School at Keele University worked with year group 7 to 10 pupils from Thistley Hough Academy on a variety of topic's related to their science curriculum. Students were engaged in a range of practical and theory lessons delivered by the medical students.
Lucideon supporting Science

Lucideon supporting Science

Two members of staff from Lucideon visited Thistley Hough as part of British Science week, Chris Green, Electrical Engineer and Lee Bullock, Physicist both undertook controlled experiments which gave pupils an interesting insight into their work and the work of Lucideon. Two classes were engaged with over 60's taking part!
Riverside Employment advice

Riverside Employment advice

As part of their Careers programme during Cz/PSHE time, students in Year 9 and 10 have received visitors from across the different business sectors of Riverside Group into form time to discuss their job roles and give an insight to the work of different job sectors within a company. Students left the sessions with an understanding of what employees are looking for in the next generation of workforce and even some hints and tips of interview techniques! Well done Year 9 and 10.
Riverside Mock phone interviews

Riverside Mock phone interviews

Students were involved in Mock telephone interviews as part of Riverside's preparation for working life post 16 programme. Students were interviewed by members of Riverside Group using their own in house interview schedule. Students were nervous beforehand and studied their job specifications intently! Chris Flynn, Riverside Director, was impressed with the quality of answers that students gave and their professional telephone manner. Students received feedback through the post shortly after the event. Well done Year 11!
Mentoring project launched

Mentoring project launched

20 pupils from Thistley Hough who are in their final year have been paired up with a Novus Directors. The Novus employee will mentor the pupil aiming to provide support in the focus areas jointly identified and agreed on. These focus areas are around revising, advising on career opportunities, identifying areas of improvement, or just being there as someone to talk to. Meetings are taking place once a month until the pupil's finish their final year.
Developing a school farm

Developing a school farm

Developing a school farm has been something that has been discussed at Thistley Hough for a number of years, but has never been able to get off the ground. With Novus now on board, the Principle felt this was the perfect opportunity to give a big push and make this vision a reality. The school pupil’s were involved in designing the farm, a steering committee has been set up, a number of experts from a farming background and a background of developing school farm have also been brought on board. With a lot of hard work, planning and pupil involvement the first section of the farm has now been developed. A team of 30 Novus volunteers spent the day constructing paths and fences to make the grounds ready for small live stock!
'Bed to Fed' initiative launched

'Bed to Fed' initiative launched

Ormiston staff, Matt Nelson, who grows his own vegetables and chef Derek Allison are leading on a garden project to help pupil's understand more about healthy eating. This involves the pupil's being involved in composting organic materials for the soil so vegetables to be grown. These vegetables will then be prepared and served by the students, watch this space.
Supporting Industrial Cadets

Supporting Industrial Cadets

Novus provided support to a number of pupil's from two of the Staffordshire Cluster Schools through hosting one of the Challenges in the Industrial Cadets Programme. The project involved inviting 10 pupils from two local schools in Stoke to our head office skills academy to take part in a 'Financial Painting Challenge' to improve the pupils skills and provide them with a taste of the world of work. The Industrial Cadets initiative is a new initiative being rolled out across the country to provide school pupils with work and skills experience. Novus are proud to be one of the founding businesses involved in this programme and this initiative is also being championed by his Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, with the Prince personally visiting last year's Industrial Cadets at their school.
School saving scheme launched

School saving scheme launched

All Year 6 students to have the opportunity to open a bank account during the Y6 entry evening. They can start the bank account from £1. The aim of this club is to encourage students to save money on a regular basis from as little as £1, and importantly full training will be provided to the pupil's involved, which Hanley and Ormiston hope through this project that the pupil's involved will learn a very valuable life skill. HR manager, Chris Hammond, said: "Although we've done similar things with schools in the past, it's not been to the same extent. We've embarked on a three-year partnership with Ormiston Horizon and will be looking at doing other things with them as well."
Novus supporting BITC Skills Show

Novus supporting BITC Skills Show

Business in the community (BITC) held an employment event called 'Your Choice, Your Future' with over 500 school pupil's from across the West Midlands attending the event which was held at Edgbaston Cricket Ground. Novus Property Solutions are a member of BITC and we are also chairing a Business Class Programme in Staffordshire. It was for this reason that BITC invited Novus along to support the event. At the event we had an information desk with lots of information about careers at Novus and the construction sector, and we also had a paint stand to allow school pupil's to learn some new painting skills. the Novus team also held a number of challenges throughout the day with school's competing against each other in the 'Novus Tower Challenge'! The event was a big success with feedback from lots of school pupil's saying that they are now going to consider a career in construction.
STEM Ambassadors

STEM Ambassadors

Lucideon who are partnering with Excel Academy have been providing STEM Ambassadors working with the Yr 9 students at to provide “hands on” demonstrations of how you can test the physical properties of ceramic materials. The students were supplied with 5 different clay bodies from which they made and fired ceramic tiles and were going to test strength and water absorption properties to see if the different clay bodies gave different results. One of the STEM Ambassadors commented: "When working with the raw clays, the session on “Mud Pies and Clay Sausages” went down well, some were amazed that you could be paid for doing these types of tests, and get important information from the results."
Holly Condliffe, Star Pupil

Holly Condliffe, Star Pupil

Holly has been acknowledged as a Star Pupil as a result of her true passion and talent for Art. When she was offered the opportunity to design and make one of the awards for The Hanley she was so excited she could not wait to start the design process. Holly drew her design and started adding colour whilst ensuring that she gave consideration to the award theme. When it came to converting her design to reality, she decided to make it out of glass - a material she had not worked with before. She took her time and experimented with the materials and with different methods in order to get her design exactly how she wanted. Holly wanted the award to be perfect as she knew it would be awarded to someone within The Hanley for their achievements.
Luke Haye, Star Pupil

Luke Haye, Star Pupil

Looking back at some of the activities that our Cluster partners have been up to and this one is a great example of how a business can utilise the creativity of young people! Luke Haye a pupil from Ormiston Horizon Academy designed a poster for Hanley Economic that they then used within their business!
Hanley Economic supporting pupil's

Hanley Economic supporting pupil's

Hanley Economic have been supporting Ormiston Horizon Academy through a Curriculum Enrichment day, the Hanley employees involved commented how they really enjoyed supporting the pupil's.
Hamna Waseem, Star Pupil

Hamna Waseem, Star Pupil

A Thistley Hough Academy pupil in Stoke on Trent has won a tablet computer for winning a skills painting competition. Two Novus employees set up a paint stand at the Academy Career's event offering an opportunity for pupil's to try painting and be mentored by a trained Painter and Decorator and also ask any questions about a potential career in construction. The competition element was a great way to add a little bit of pressure to the situation and the winning pupil commented how it had really lifted her confidence.
Bradley Chomyn, Star Pupil

Bradley Chomyn, Star Pupil

Bradley has been highlighted as a star pupil for volunteering at the Potters 'Arf Marathon Event. He was involved in all aspects of supporting the Marathon which included a range of tasks, from bag packing to handing out snacks and nibbles to VIP’s and members of the public. Hanley Economical sponsor this event and all Hanley employees get involved in volunteering on the day of the event, one of the Hanley employees commented about Bradley; during all activities Bradley was extremely enthusiastic and focussed on what he was required to do, whilst also representing his school and The Hanley incredibly well. Bradley was commended for his attitude, polite manners and enthusiasm when carrying out his tasks.
Supporting career event

Supporting career event

Novus attended a school careers day helping teach the school pupils new skills and ask questions about careers in Construction. Two Novus employees attended the evening of the Thistley Hough Academy Career Event. Novus supported this event as part of Business in the Community's Business Class initiative. Fifteen pupil's took part in the training sessions with many more asking questions and advice from the Novus team.
Hanif Ali, Star Pupil

Hanif Ali, Star Pupil

Pupil's at Haywood Academy were invited by Steelite to create a design that would go onto the distribution wall of the Steelite Factory that overlooks a canal. The brief the pupil's were given was ‘Back to the Future’, they were allowed to use our own interpretation of what they thought this would involve. The pupil's wanted to create something that was unique and would stand out on the distribution wall. One part of the design contained a car, based on the DeLorean car which is featured in the ‘Back to the Future’ film. Pupil Hanif was highlighted as a Star Pupil by the Steelite employees involved for hard work, passion and enthusiasm, and they also commented that he has some great potential and a bright future ahead of him.
Business Class Cluster meetings

Business Class Cluster meetings

Now into our second year, the Staffordshire Business Class Cluster have been meeting quarterly to share progress within each business and school partnership and share best practice. Stuart Seddon the Chairman of Novus Property Solutions chairs the Staffordshire Business Class Cluster and commented; "I am really proud of what we are achieving as a cluster, through these partnerships hundreds of pupils have benefitted from extra support which they otherwise would not have had. For me ultimately it is about providing all the pupils in the Cluster partnership with inspiring opportunities that will help them in their educational and career journey, and I am pleased to say we are achieving this."
Khabad Abdel, Star Pupil

Khabad Abdel, Star Pupil

Novus property Solutions through the Business Class Programme provided a week long work experience opportunity for a Ormiston Horizon Academy Pupil. Khabad Abdel worked with the Novus commercial team on one of their largest contracts. Khabad did so well he has been offered paid work if he wishes during his school holidays.
Thistley promotional video

Thistley promotional video

One of the key focus areas for the Novus and Thistley Hough partnership is to build upon the reputation of the school, but one of the challenges is getting the message that the school wants to get out into the wider community. It is for this reason that the Novus Marketing team have been supporting Thistley with a range of public relations and communication initiatives. One of the most exciting initiatives is the development of a school promotional video. Novus have funded and directed the video and have brought in a market leading video production company to develop a video with a message that the teachers and pupil’s feel will do the school proud. To view the video: https://youtu.be/_bkz1FGrT0w
Keele Unversity support pupil's

Keele Unversity support pupil's

Through the Staffordshire Business Class Programme Keele University provide school pupil's at Haywood Academy with an insight into what University is all about! Keele University recently delivered a class session to Haywood Academy's Year 7 called 'University: What's it all about? The aim of the session was to introduce pupils to the idea of what University can offer and the benefits of Higher Education. We talked about the various subjects and courses available at Keele and at other universities and the potential careers that these courses can lead to. The class engaged in some interactive group work activities which, as this was their first week at Haywood Academy, helped the students to introduce themselves to others and make new friends. The aim of the Excellence Academy is to work with high achieving students to help them achieve their full potential!
Ormiston pupil's support Awards

Ormiston pupil's support Awards

Through the Staffordshire Business Class partnership Ormiston Academy pupil's support Hanley Building Society's Annual Staff Awards. As part of the Staffordshire Business Class Cluster Hanley Economic Building Society would like to thank the Year 8 students Ormiston Academy who made 6 individual fantastic awards for Hanley’s Annual Staff Awards Event. See the photo below of one of the hand made awards!
Novus hold Skills Competition

Novus hold Skills Competition

Novus hold a Skills Challenge Competition at our National Training Centre. A number of Thistley pupil’s spent the day at the Novus National Training Centre with some of our best trades people. All the pupil’s took part in a painting competition. The pupil’s worked in team’s and had to replicate a challenging painting design. Novus employees were on hand to provide advice and mentor the pupil’s. The feedback from the pupil’s was very positive, with many enjoying the hands on side of the activities. The winning team also won a star prize which added a competitive edge to the challenge.
Anna Lear, Star Pupil

Anna Lear, Star Pupil

Anna was part of a group of students that took part in the Work Experience exercise set up between Ormiston Horizon and The Hanley to enable students to familiarise themselves with the world of work. Anna was identified as a Star Pupil as she excelled throughout her placement and acted with the upmost professionalism and professional courtesy. Anna organised other members from the academy during the week and actively went out of her way to learn new skills and practices from experienced members of The Hanley team. We were all extremely proud of Anna’s achievements during her placement.
Riverside supporting PSHE

Riverside supporting PSHE

As part of the PSHE assembly programme, students received an assembly looking at their local Community and the wider community of Stoke On Trent. Riverside Group residents were on hand to give students a first-hand account of living within a productive, caring community and how this fosters tolerance and respect amongst all residents. Many thanks to Michael and Joan for giving up their time to come and speak to The Discovery Academy students!
Lesley Heath, Star Pupil

Lesley Heath, Star Pupil

The brief for this 8-week project was to create a piece of artwork that would decorate the side of the plain HR building. The title for this brief was ‘Art on a Plate’, we were told that the design had got to include healthy eating and the environment. To enable us to create the design we had a tour of the factory, and saw first-hand how the pottery products are made, this involved working closely with all the departments at Steelite. We were given a chance to have a go at some of the roles like decorating plates. Lesley was identified by Steelite employees as the pupil that stood out the most in terms of her effort and end product.
Hanley Building Society

Hanley Building Society

As part of the Staffordshire Business Class Cluster, Hanley Building Society have opened a branch in their partner school to provide all the pupil’s easy access to banking facilities. The Ormiston Horizon Branch opened in October and will be run by the schools Saving Support Officers @BITC1 @BITCWestMids
Cluster Facebook page set up

Cluster Facebook page set up

The Staffordshire Business Class Cluster have set up a 'bespoke' Facebook page to help the group communicate and share best practice. It is also hoped that using social media as an avenue to communicate the activities taking place across the business and school partnerships will encourage more pupils to put them selves forward to get involved. To visit the page visit: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stoke-Business-Class/1442131636054600
Abigail Gaitley, Star Pupil

Abigail Gaitley, Star Pupil

“Root ‘n Fruit” is a community allotment project which links up businesses and people from the community to help them learn about, grow and use fruit and veg. They also donate the produce free of charge to people in the local community who would benefit from receiving it. Haywood Academy students were asked to design a logo and a competition was run with year nine GCSE art students. The winning design was created by Abigail Gaitley. Abigail’s design will be made into a logo by Steelite’s designers – to make it useable on mugs; letterheads; posters; Facebook etc. As part of the prize Abigail will also have a tour of the Steelite factory, including meeting the designers and seeing how the design is converted into the log. Well done Abigail, you are a Star Pupil!
Business Class career event

Business Class career event

The Cooperative Academy in Stoke held a school career event involving all the Business Class partners. The main hall at the school had numerous organisations from local businesses, to further education, to public sector bodies. Overall the pupil's were provided with a great opportunity to explore numerous career paths to take into consideration for their future.
Creating school garden

Creating school garden

Novus donated £500 to their partner school Thistley Hough Academy to invest in developing a school garden area. Pupil's turned a section of the school grounds into five garden plots which will be managed by the different 'house' team's at the school. The Novus Chairman Stuart Seddon attended on the day of the 'big dig' to provide a helping hand.
Teaching hands on skills

Teaching hands on skills

The first project that Novus supported Thistley with was a Career Fair held at the school in the evening after school hours. The aim of the event was to provide pupil’s with an opportunity to meet local businesses and further education Providers. The Novus Training Team supported with this event and took along the Novus skills stand to provide pupil’s with a chance to meet one of our employees and ‘have a go’ at painting. Our Training Manager Jackie also attended providing career advice for the pupil’s interested in a career in the construction sector. A painting competition was also held to challenge the pupil's at the event.
Milla Hulmes, Star Pupil

Milla Hulmes, Star Pupil

Developing a school farm has been something that has been discussed at Thistley Hough for a number of years, but has never been able to get off the ground. With Novus now on board, Holly felt this was the perfect opportunity to give a big push and make this vision a reality. The school pupil’s were involved in designing the farm, a steering committee has been set up, a number of experts from a farming background and a background of developing school farm have also been brought on board. A competition was held asking Thistley pupil's to design what they felt the school farm should look like, and it was Milla Hulmes who won this competition! Her ideas have been incorporated into the farm master plan.
Nathan Harley, Star Pupil

Nathan Harley, Star Pupil

Nathan and two other pupil's from The Thistley Hough Academy joinned Novus on a week long work placement as part of their school's work experience week. All three pupil's rose to the challenge and performed very well during this period as they spent a day in a different Novus department from Marketing, to Accounts, to the Bid Team. The feedback from each department was that Nathan was excellent and that they would offer him a job if there was one going. For this reason the Novus Chairman, Stuart Seddon offered Nathan a paid job over his summer holidays.