Hello! My name is Saira Luffman, and I am very lucky to be able to call myself the Principal of BBG Academy.
I have been in this privileged position since 2016, when I joined the Rodillian Multi Academy Trust. Prior to joining the Trust, I was a Principal at a large comprehensive school which was, in turn, a part of a large, nationally based, Academy Trust. I have been teaching for 28 years, and I began my journey in education as a PE Teacher – but I have also held posts as varied as a Director of Specialism, Head of Sixth Form, Deputy Headteacher… and a dilettante teaching in a variety of other subjects, where the need arises.
It is precisely my background that makes me so proud to be a part of this Trust. I know just how special we are! BBG Academy is an inclusive, considerably oversubscribed 11-16 academy in the heart of Birkenshaw. Like the rest of the Rodillian Multi Academy Trust, we hold the highest standards for behaviour, for aspirations, and for support. We look to ensuring that students are disciplined in their learning, their actions and their lives, and appreciate the fact that children are not ‘just numbers’.
We believe that every single child has a story, that they should be known, and that we should do our level best to aid them in attaining their personal best. We recently (November 2021) welcomed Ofsted to the Academy, and the inspectors commended our supportive, inclusive community. They noted that our students feel as if being a part of our academy is ‘being a part of a family’ which we are incredibly proud of. We are an academy with ‘Team’ at the heart of everything that we do; from our successful sports teams to our academic outcomes, to our Community Champions and charity events – we are committed to providing for every part of the children in our academy.
We do this through multiple avenues. Resilience, like the rest of the academies in the Trust, is taught in a responsive and dynamic curriculum from Year 7. We have worked hard to make the experiences that students have in their resilience lessons both relevant and useful; we want students to feel safe enough to make and learn from mistakes, to challenge themselves and to try new things. Our Year 7s learn British Sign Language, are given opportunities to stretch their confidence and oratory skill in Debate, focus on training their brains in problem solving in chess, and get a chance to discuss and comment on current and social events in direct lessons on Character and Culture. Physically? They get to try their hand at cycling, canoeing, putting up tents and cooking over a fire in our Resilience Camps in England (Y7) and France (Y8).
Although GCSEs are not the only measure of our success, it is fair to say that we have high aspirations for the outcomes our students work towards. As we always say, GCSEs are the keys to the next steps, and we want to give them as many keys as possible! Due to the hard work of our students, and the guidance of our staff, we have enjoyed successful academic outcomes since the academy’s first year of GCSE results in 2016. Since then, we have regularly appeared in the top 20% of Schools Nationally, and at the top three schools in Kirklees based on both progress and attainment. True to form, our students continued to work hard throughout the pandemic, which resulted, in excellent results in both 2021, with 85% of our students achieving standard passes in both English and mathematics, and 63% achieving a strong pass in both in 2021.
We are rightly proud of our students and their achievements - but it is our colleagues and the support from the wider Rodillian Multi-Academy trust that makes us truly unique. We ensure that our colleagues have the opportunity to teach without disruption, to continue their own professional development in a bespoke programme, and to ensure they have every tool they need to be successful in their career. In short, BBG Academy is an amazing place to learn, to teach and to thrive. I look forward to meeting you, and would happily show you what we are all about!