Lord Chief Justice’s visit to Barnsley Academy

March 2022

Barnsley Academy was delighted to welcome the Ian Burnett, Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales to the school this week.

The visit provided students interested in a career in law with the opportunity to ask insightful questions into his role and understand more about the justice system in England and Wales.

This was part of an exciting opportunity for our students and forms part of a programme to raise aspirations of students. One student said, “for a while now I have been looking into different paths to take for my future in law: university, apprenticeships, A-levels, etc. So, by meeting Lord Burnett it has given me a sense of comfort and relief, knowing the paths he took and the opportunities he had. Also meeting George and Karl (local judges) showed me that you do not need to be from a prestigious, London background to have the same opportunities; something I was worried about previously. I am very grateful for the push I received to continue down the law route and one day meet him again as the barrister I hope to be.”

Young Artist at Barnsley Academy Shortlisted in International Art Competition

March 2022

Sian, a talented young artist in Year 11 at Barnsley Academy, is in the running to take home the top prize at United Learning’s International Art Competition after her work was selected from 57 entries for the final shortlist.

The art competition, now in its 14th year, challenges students aged between 15 and 18 across the Group to draw, print or paint an original piece of artwork and submit a high-quality digital photograph of the piece. Those students who finish in the final four are given the opportunity to have their work displayed at Tokyo’s celebrated International High School Arts Festival, whilst the winner receives an all-expenses paid trip to Japan to see their piece exhibited in person.

Having progressed through the first two rounds of judging, Sian is one of ten students across the country to see her work be shortlisted. Sian’s piece, titled ‘Deep in my thoughts’ is a hyper realistic self-portrait in pencil, which depicts Sian from a bird’s-eye view with her hair falling behind her. It demonstrates her attention to detail, with every individual strand of hair drawn with immense precision.

Speaking of her piece, Sian said:

“The piece that I entered into the competition has a very special meaning to me – I created it last year as a way of processing the grief I felt after my grandma passed away.

“I am thrilled to have been shortlisted amongst such exceptional talent from across the country and especially to have my work presented alongside A Level students. I'm so excited to be in with a chance to go on this once-in-a-lifetime trip to Tokyo.”

Naveed Khan, Principal at Barnsley Academy, said:

“I am delighted that Sian has made it to final ten. Her artwork is incredible and we are so proud of her. What is particularly pleasing is that Sian’s work has been selected amongst a very high calibre of artwork, including work submitted by A Level students. We have our fingers crossed that she wins the competition and gets the opportunity to travel to Tokyo. Irrespective of the outcome, this a great achievement and one I’m sure she will remember for many years.”

All ten pieces will now go before United Learning’s Executive Team and a panel of professional artists who will have the difficult task of voting for their favourite artwork. The winners and three runners-up will be announced via social media on 17th March.

Child’s Champion Crufts Nomination

February 2022

We are delighted to share that one of our students, Olivia and her dog Ruby are currently finalist for Crufts The Kennel Club Hero Dog Award. This award is recognition for her special canine companion, Ruby and this category recognises Ruby’s support and positive impact on Olivia’s life.

You can watch the Crufts finalist video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9lXxJT3fik

Voting is now live, and you can vote for Olivia and Ruby here:


Please take a moment to vote for this wonderful duo and support one of our Barnsley Academy students.

Magdalen College, The University of Oxford Trip

February 2022

Just before half term, a group of our Year 9 students visited Magdalen College and St Edmund Hall, which form part of The University of Oxford as part of our raising aspirations programme. Students engaged a talk from Magdalen’s Outreach Facilitator who is originally from Barnsley, question and answer sessions, tours of two colleges at Oxford University as well as attending academic sessions.

Our Year 9 students thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and the University staff found our students to be “a pleasure to work with”.

The experience has inspired many of the students to consider top universities for the next steps of their academic paths with one student saying, ‘the visit to Oxford University was a great opportunity for us all. It gave me a lot of information about the University and made me feel as it could be a potential option for me in the future’.

Key Stage 3 Film Night

February 2022

We held our first Film Night at Barnsley Academy, which was a real success. The school was opened up to Year 7, 8 and 9 students and their families to watch a classic film, Back to the Future. The after-school event provided parents, carers and students the opportunity to use the school facilities and meet staff.

We are already looking forward to our Key Stage 4 Film Night in March.

United Learning launches International Art Competition

January 2022

United Learning has launched its annual International Art Competition which gives young artists from schools across United Learning, including Barnsley Academy, the opportunity to see their artwork exhibited in Tokyo. 

We are excited to announce that three Barnsley Academy students have submitted pieces, which are now being put before audiences on social media (Facebook and Instagram).

Along with public voting the pieces will also be judged by United Learning’s art teachers and executive team, as well as a panel of professional artists.

The winner and three runners-up will be announced via social media on 17th March. These top four students will be given the opportunity to have their work displayed at Tokyo’s celebrated International High School Arts Festival whilst the winner, will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Japan to see their piece exhibited in person. 

We are eager to get the local community and school behind our students, who have created three unique and expressive pieces of work. 

Each piece of work is shown below and links to vote for them on Facebook and Instagram underneath the images. Please take a moment to vote for our talented Barnsley Academy students. 


Deep in my thoughts: https://www.facebook.com/unitedlearning/photos/a.3052025615057893/3052018301725291

Fight or Flight: https://www.facebook.com/unitedlearning/photos/a.3052025615057893/3052016921725429

The Highland Express: https://www.facebook.com/unitedlearning/photos/a.3052025615057893/3052018461725275


Deep in my thoughts: https://www.instagram.com/p/CZMMT4hsIES/?utm_medium=copy_link

Fight or Flight: https://www.instagram.com/p/CZMKR3msvoJ/?utm_medium=copy_link

The Highland Express: https://www.instagram.com/unitedlearningartcompetition/p/CZMMdUasXnT/?utm_medium=copy_link

BAE Systems, RAF & Royal Navy Educational Programme Roadshow 2022

January 2022

Barnsley Academy Year 8 students really enjoyed a visit this week from the BAE Systems, RAF & Royal Navy Educational Programme Roadshow 2022.

This theatre roadshow celebrates STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and aligns closely with national curriculum to provide an engaging performance to inspire students in these subject areas.  

The theme of the show was magnetism, in which students learned about the integration of magnets, magnetism and electromagnets in their everyday lives. 


Motivational Speaker - Steve Beckles-Ebusua

January 2022

Last week Year 11 had a visit from Steve Beckles-Ebusua, a well-regarded motivational speaker who has a vast amount of experience speaking to and working with students to support motivation and positive habits for success.

Steve worked with all our Year 11 students in 50-minute workshops, in which our students completed tasks to build their confidence. Our students found the experience extremely valuable and provided some fantastic feedback:

'I found the experience enjoyable and learnt a lot about the way we look at things - such as learning specific quotes to live your life by - and how that can affect our outcomes in life. The speaker was very friendly and engaging. Overall, it was an empowering experience.' – Trudie

‘As someone who finds self-confidence a topic that is very hard to grasp due to the stresses of revision for GCSEs, Steve (the Speaker with the Orange Tie) was phenomenal at calming yet motivating me for the future ahead by relating to how far he has come as a person - we all felt like he was one of us. Myself and my fellow classmates all thoroughly enjoyed his funny yet educational presentation and we all especially appreciated how he got every student involved in the tasks, building our confidence without us even knowing, so by the end of the session we left with a positively uplifted demeanour. The personality of Steve was visibly represented by his incredible sense of style: the orange tie easily reflects a friendly, down-to-earth and memorable image which we were all grateful for. I was so thankful that he gave his time, energy and wisdom to help us see challenges as a hidden opportunity, educating younger people that ‘when you change the way you look at something, the thing you are looking at will change’. – Elizabeth

The experience was highly rewarding for our Year 11s, so much so that Steve will be coming back later in the year to work with our Year 10 and Year 9 students.

We look forward to welcoming him back.



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