Within The GORSE Academies Trust we are passionate about, what we call, Enrichment++. Enrichment++ is the experience that students have outside of the classroom; these enrichment opportunities allow students to socialise with students and create new friendships, whilst also having a positive influence on self-esteem, well-being and confidence.

At John Smeaton Academy we offer a rich and varied Enrichment++ programme including students having the opportunity to participate in the trust’s BIG 3, The Trinidad Legacy and GORSE debating in addition to the more ‘traditional’ activities such as Art, charity and community work, Debating, Dance, Drama, Music, Sport and Technology.

We encourage all students to participate in a minimum of one extra-curricular club per week in order to support their progress and engagement with learning.

The GORSE Academies Trust’s BIG 3:

On 25 May 2000 Nelson Mandela said: “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.”

Sir John Townsley and the professionals within The GORSE Academies Trust believe that sport plays an integral role in the development of all young people. It leads to improved fitness, health and well-being, concentration span, attitude and academic achievement. Most importantly, however, we believe sport can give our young people experiences they would not otherwise have.

In order to enable our young people to experience the most wide-ranging opportunities possible, we run the “BIG 3” programme.  These are three sports – Rowing, Volleyball and Karate – which we believe contribute to this trust wide focus on improving the lives of the students in our care.  These sports offer students with different skills and natural abilities, the opportunity to try something completely different and to rise to the very top of their sport as young athletes.  

The Trinidad Legacy

Embedded across all Academies within The GORSE Academies Trust, The Trinidad Legacy aims to establish an understanding of the environment, climate change and our impact on the world amongst students and colleagues.

In 2017, The Ruth Gorse Academy was the first school in the world to have a colony of leaf cutter ants foraging through a 50-metre network of tubes that snake their way through the Science department. Beyond providing unparalleled enrichment and opportunity for experiments, our leaf cutter ants inspired us to take 40 students to Trinidad in 2019 to see the complex relationship these social insects have with their natural habitat of Trinidad’s rainforests. The Trinidad 2019 expedition continues to inspire projects across The GORSE Academies Trust as a part of The Trinidad Legacy. You can learn more about the legacy projects here.