More than 3,500 people attended a summer fayre at The Discovery Academy on 1st July 2023. Staff and students at the Discovery Academy in Bentilee opened their doors to the community on Saturday.

The event, which ran from 11.30am to 2.30pm, had ‘something for everyone’ with a football tournament, raffle, tombola, and a wide range of stalls run by staff, students and the wider community.

And such has been the success the school is already planning a Christmas event.

Principal Jayne Schofield, who recently took over the running of the academy, said was keen to ‘re-engage’ with the community after there had been some discontent during a row over toilets earlier in the year.

She said: “This used to be an annual event pre-covid. We decided after recent difficulties it was time to re-engage with the community.

“We had a mixture of community stallholders and stalls run by students and staff. We had such a positive response.

“This building is the children’s building. The community has to be part of it.”

Miss Schofield said the school, which currently has 1,400 pupils and will be at its 1,500 capacity in September, needs to improve. She said: “It is about making sure we offer not just an academic education but all of the softer skills. We just need to give the kids the opportunities and experiences that they have not had over a number of years, for them, their futures, Bentilee and Stoke-on-Trent.

“We are on an improvement journey. It is about understanding the context, the community, and unlocking the journey the school has been on before we start to implement change.”

Students Mackenzie Hambleton and Summer Goodwin, aged 15, ran a stall after making bath bombs.

Mackenzie said: “We made them at home using vegan and cruelty-free methods.”

Lewis Myatt, aged 15, Pat Hamala, aged 14, and Liam Barker, aged 15, sold lemonade they made themselves.

Liam said: “We thought people would want a drink and we provided a nice, refreshing drink. We were really busy.”

Cathryn Owen, the academy’s operations manager, added: “The fayre was a huge success. It is going to be a bi-annual event. The next one will be at Christmas.

“The stalls were amazing. The year 10 business studies students came in and helped. The community really supported us.