Brownhill Learning Community

Science Club

A group of pupils and their parents / carers recently took part in a science club at the Darnhill Site. 

The work they did formed part of a national study to identify the health of local environments.  They collected and studied soil samples and conducted a specimen count of local inserts collected in the soil samples.

This was a great project and the participants thoroughly enjoyed it!

Have a flick through the digital booklet below for more information.

BLC Anti-Bullying Films

The two films that you are about to watch were made almost entirely by our students, with only the minimal amount of help from the Youth Team.  From initial ideas for stories to directing and editing, BLC students were in the driving seat!

We hope you enjoy watching our films and take a positive message from them.

Part 1

Part 2
Groundbreaking new achievement for BLC students

On October 25th at approximately 4pm 4 tired but happy BLC students achieved what no other BLC students have achieved before... they completed their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award.

They had just arrived at a tiny hamlet in the Peak District known as Perryfoot, which in its usual sleepy state, had no idea that the 4 young people had just completed a journey of 50km over 2 days to get there.

This was also the end of a 6 month learning journey in which Zoe, Luqman, Emily and Adrian have learnt first aid, navigation, how to put tents up, the country code and how to cook on trangias.  They have completed 6 months of biking, 3 months of litter picking, 3 months of bike maintenance and 3 expeditions to get to their own bit in the middle of nowhere, on that particular road junction surrounded by farms.

In doing so they join an elite group of teenagers.  Only 5% of 14-25year olds achieve their D of E Bronze and as such it is a highly recognised and valued award that will massively benefit our students in their future search for further education and employment.

Their D of E Leader Thom Hall said "I am immensely proud of them, they have met all the demands of an expedition and passed them with flying colours.  They have been really focussed on this and the amount they have learnt is incredible.  While the award has been achieved through cycling, what they have progressed in most is confidence and independence, and I think that will take them far".

What did the students say after 2 gruelling days in wet, cold conditions, huddled up in tents on a freezing October night? "We don't want to go home, can we keep going!" Absolutely amazing!!

Fun at the Fair!


The 2016 Spring Fair was just as successful as those before it.   Staff, students, parents, carers and members of the wider BLC community all came together to embrace the fun of the fair!  There was lots on offer including a raffle, egg and spoon race, toy tombola, chocolate egg hunt, pets corner, face painting, badge making, Easter piñata, plant sale, biscuit decorating, smoothie stall and of course our famous tug-o-war!


Thank you to all who helped to organise this great event and of course to all who turned up to support it.

Homeless Project

During a meeting at Number One Riverside, Rochdale we came across a former student who had unfortunately been kicked out of his home and was going to the council to seek accommodation.  We quickly realised after talking to him that we couldn’t help him or advise him in dealing with homelessness because we didn’t have knowledge or accurate understanding.

We decided it was important to educate our students on the topic of homelessness so we contacted the Sanctuary Trust in Rochdale and was introduced to John Wigley.  John works at the First Steps Shelter and was keen to work with students in schools to teach them what it means to be homeless, why people become homeless and what to do if they become homeless.  John kindly agreed to give our students a tour of the Shelter and explain how the whole set up worked.

We followed up our trip to the Shelter with a variety of activities aimed at further educating the students about homelessness, including role play, discussion and debates about the topic. The response from students was really positive and this showed in their discussions. They really took onboard what John spoke to them about and seemed to understand the reasons why some people become homeless.

We selected a small group of students who had engaged particularly well in the sessions to take part in a ‘Cookathon’ on 1st February 2016.  The students travelled to Rochdale to present the food they had prepared to Mick Kinsell, First Steps Shelter Manager and Dave Lackner-Smith, CEO of the Sanctuary Trust. The food was greatly appreciated and students were thanked for their efforts.

Students said that this had been a really positive experience for them and had given them a greater understanding and empathy for the homeless.