In Valentine’s week we hold our BIG Bake – a baking competition for a group of our students from each of our academies and sites. This is an opportunity for our children to see that they are a part of something bigger and also to feel empowered to share their talents and skills with us. Many of our academies run internal bake competitions on the same day and send the ‘winner’ along with their entry to be judged.
In 2019, Romy Gill, celebrity chef and friend of the CLF, judged our bake entries alongside our CEO, Steve Taylor.
Our Big Trip supports our most disadvantaged students to participate in a trip away from their home environment that supports the development of their sense of self and place in the world around them.
We are aiming to fully fund 72 Year 10 pupils to participate in a week of outdoor challenges and activities in Wales run by the Outward-Bound Trust in May 2022.
The aim of this project is to take our students to a new and unfamiliar environment and let them try a range of outdoor activities to help improve their self-esteem, resilience, emotional wellbeing and relationship building skills. Our first trip ran in 2019 with great success and our students talked about overcoming challenges, building positive relationships and returning with a renewed sense of confidence that has translated into their learning. One pupil who took part in our most recent trip said, ‘I did things I never thought ai could and now when I do new things I feel more confident’. We think this quote captures what our Big Trip is all about! Climbing mountains, abseiling, camping outdoors and generally taking on new experiences has led to this group of students feeling inspired to work hard and have more confidence in themselves as learners and citizens.
Each year, we hold an even where students who have participated come together and share their learning experiences with their familiar adults and also benefactors and member of the CLF trust. Marvin Rees, Bristol Mayor, attended our last meeting with the Outward-Bound Trust and was impressed by the way in which our Big Trip program had delivered on its aims.
Our ultimate aim is to make this event sustainable, and hold an annual trip for both Year 5 and Year 9 students, with funds being raised through a combination of corporate sponsorship, fundraising and donations.
The BIG Athletics Event is an annual competition that takes place the last Friday in June. Each CLF Secondary School selects their best athletes to compete within track and field disciplines. The winning academy takes with them the CLF Athletics trophy, with competition also taking place across year groups. The electric atmosphere and resilience demonstrated epitomise the CLF HEART values.
The event has been running since 2017 and all the training and hard work leading up to the event is encapsulated with the competitive spirit of our students. The initial plans were to have a one-off athletics competition, however our staff and students enjoyed it so much that we transformed it into an extremely successful annual event.