Monday, 15 December 2014


I visited Firth Park Academy in Sheffield this morning with David Grey, the Master Cutler, Doug Liversidge, who chairs the Cutlers Education Committee and George Kilburn, the Cutlers Company Chief Executive.

We were there to discuss the success of the scheme with Chris Keen, the Academy Principal, who has been a passionate advocate of the programme and its impact on his students, and with Dean Jones, the Interim Principal who will be running the school until the end of the Summer term. Chris Keen is leaving the academy after Christmas to take up an executive headteacher role for the Rugely Academies, three schools sponsored by the Creative Education Academies Trust.
We wanted to visit Firth Park Academy, which it is one of the real success stories for Made in Sheffield, because the programme has been so positively embraced by staff and students in both the advanced manufacturing and engineering and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS trust strands and with the added bonus of the Cultural Ambassador programme. Firth Park was one of the original school involved in Made in Sheffield and at the end of the morning we met some of the amazing young people on their three programmes.

We also met Zeena Rasheed, who heads up performing arts at the academy, who talked to us about the Firth Park Cultural Ambassadors. Her enthusiasm for the cultural elements of the curriculum and her energy and commitment to her students shone through our meeting. Zeena is passionate about the arts and sport and can see enormous benefits for her students in engaging with the cultural sector in Sheffield and through it their world of work. She had brought with her two young colleagues from the Sanctuary Housing Association who talked about the work the cultural ambassadors had done with Park View Residential Care Home which provides care for those needing residential and dementia support.

It was rewarding to visit Firth Park and see once again the impact this programme is having.

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