Six biology students awarded in British Biology Olympiad

This year Six A Level Biology students participated in the British Biology Olympiad, a challenging and stimulating exam that tests students beyond the A Level curriculum. Our six students were competing against almost 10,000 students from across the UK and the results were fantastic!

Gold medals were awarded to Elizabeth Torley, Miriam Syed and Henry Fox meaning that they finished within the top few percent in the UK. Gabriel Chojnacka was awarded a Silver medal, Amy Thompson awarded a bronze and Eloise Mitchell was commended.

Elizabeth Torley placed so high (within the top 12 students overall) that she has been selected for the National Finals! This will involve a 3 day residential at Warwick University where the top 12 students will participate in further challenges and an International team will be selected. What an amazing achievement!

A huge congratulations to all six students who participated and good luck Elizabeth!

Emily Brierley becomes first Youth Ambassador for Mindfulness in Schools Project

A1 student Emily Brierley, who was a victim of the 2017 Manchester Arena attack, has been announced as the first Youth Ambassador supporting the National Mindfulness in Schools Charity having found vital support in her meditation practice following the tragic event.

Emily first discovered mindfulness when she was 13 and suffering from anxiety and panic attacks. She now practices formal mindfulness meditation about three times a day for up to 30 minutes each time, which she says not only helps energise her but also allows her to be positive and grateful during the day.

‘I can feel a big difference in myself if I haven’t meditated. Sometimes, just taking a few deep breaths can make a big difference and allow you to bring yourself back to your body so you can recognise how you feel and what you might need in that moment.’

Since the bombing Emily has become a trained meditation teacher and has helped lead a mindfulness workshop for victims of terror at the Warrington Peace Foundation, which included those involved in the Tunisia beach attack, the London Bridge attack, the Warrington bombing as well as war veterans. She is now passionate about bringing mindfulness to more young people and using mindfulness to support people through difficulty and trauma.

Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP) is a national charity which aims to improve the lives of children by providing them with high-quality, research-based classroom lessons. They train teachers to teach secular mindfulness in schools, providing a life skill that children can come back to time after time to help them manage difficulty and flourish. Nearly 5,000 teachers have already attended their life-changing training, and their curricula is used worldwide, having been translated into 12 languages.

Simon Lett, principal at Greenhead College commented:

“I saw Emily speak at a Mindfulness conference in London recently. She spoke brilliantly about how Mindfulness has helped her in her academic studies and overall wellbeing. I immediately thought this is a message that other students and staff should hear and I am really excited to be working with Emily and the Mindfulness in Schools Project to spread awareness of this vitally important work.”

For more information about Emily and the Mindfulness in Schools Project please visit:

Jemima Mitchell

Musical Theatre Student/currently playing Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Class of: 2015

Jemima studied A Levels in English Literature, English Language, Medieval History and Drama & Theatre Studies. 

On finishing her studies at Greenhead College, Jemima attended University to study a subject that she soon realised was not for her. She made the decision to leave University and moved to America for four months to teach Drama. 

When she returned, Jemima decided to pursue her dream and reapplied to University to study Musical Theatre. She is now studying in Liverpool whilst also training in circus. She has also since been back to America to teach circus for another four months. 

Jemima was recently cast the role of Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s outdoor theatre festival ‘The Dell’ with Chalice Productions. She is currently in rehearsals for the show which will be performed in Stratford-upon-Avon in June 2019. 

Commenting on her time at Greenhead College, Jemima said:

While at Greenhead I studied English Literature under Nassim. In second year we covered A Midsummer Night’s Dream, going on a trip to The Globe in London to undertake workshops about the play. I’d never particularly liked English Literature – poetry was incomprehensible to me! I loved acting though and studying Shakespeare finally made me fall completely in love with literature. A Midsummer Night’s Dream has ever since remained my favourite Shakespeare and a play I have always wanted to be able to perform. I’m now currently in rehearsals to play Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Stratford-upon-Avon in June, opening the Royal Shakespeare Company’s outdoor theatre festival at the Dell, with Chalice Productions! It’s an opportunity I could not ever have dreamed of and one I feel in many ways I owe to Greenhead and Nassim, for finally helping me to see the joy in English Literature. So thank you!

Greenhead College students compete at AoC Sport National Championships

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Students from Greenhead College competed at the AoC Sport National Championships in Nottingham at the end of April, coming home with a bronze medal in women’s basketball as they helped the Yorkshire & Humber Region to finish in 5th place.

48 students, competing in badminton, basketball, cross-country, golf, hockey and tennis travelled to the University of Nottingham where they battled against athletes from colleges across England, Wales and Northern Ireland during the three-day event.

Our men’s basketball team narrowly missed out on a bronze medal in a nail biting match against London where they came back from being 6 points down at one point for the lead to be consistently changing with seconds to go.

Cara Inch and Lucie Hall finished 6th and 11th place respectively in the women’s cross country. Fionn Kerry and Leo Hunter finished 17th and 36th in the men’s cross country in some tough conditions, both teams finished in 6th place.  

Our women’s hockey team finished 4th in a very tough field this year and the men’s finished 5th.

Lucy Margetson, Kieron Hinds and Oscar Jessup helped the Tennis team to finish 6th. Angela Xu was part of the badminton team who also finished 6th.

James Bailey performed well in the golf competition battling with some very testing conditions over the weekend, as part of an incomplete regional team Yorkshire and Humber came 8th.

As well as individual glory, teams will be aiming to accumulate points for their region and win the prestigious Wilkinson Sword trophy.

“Yet again Greenhead College has lead the way in being one of the largest participating colleges in the National Championships, showcasing the sporting talent that Huddersfield has to offer and their ability to compete consistently at a National Level. Our students were competing against other colleges who have specific sports academies with first class facilities and who train up to three times a week. ” Commented Adele Crowther, Greenhead’s College Sports Maker.

Principal’s May 2019 newsletter

This online newsletter aims to provide information on some upcoming events and highlight recent College successes.

Progress Assessments and Final Examinations

A1 students

Progress Assessments will run for all first-year students from Tuesday, 7 May to Friday, 10 May.  The normal timetable will be suspended for the duration of these 90-minute assessments. 

A2 students

Formal written examinations will begin for second-year students on Monday, 13 May. 

All students

Students are requested to read the Examination Guidelines booklet which was given to them in Tutorial and show this to parents and carers.  The Exams ApEx page, on the College’s Moodle, will provide information on the time, date and location of each student’s assessment/exam.  

All students can, of course, continue to rely upon the help and encouragement of their Teachers, Personal Tutor, Safeguarding Team, Study Centre Support and the Senior Staff, should they require any additional support.  We also have a confidential counselling service in College and the following link will take you to some important information, web addresses and phone numbers:

Individual successes

Since my last newsletter in February, the College has seen many examples of individual, team and departmental success.  Highlights from the last half-term include the Music department’s Spring Concert, which was full of brilliant performances, the Real World Chemistry event, which saw an outstanding display of student presentations, and Diversity Week, which showcased a wide range of musical talents.

I would like to highlight three examples of outstanding personal success, which illustrate how an individual’s commitment, aspiration and desire to contribute to the wider community, can make a positive difference.

B2EA8AC9-CF40-5D67-298A478D60B822DE.JPGCharlotte Hollingworth

A1 student Charlotte Hollingworth was recently awarded the ‘Young Volunteer of the Year’ award for her contributions to Barnsley Council.  Charlotte has been volunteering for the Dodworth Ward Alliance for the past 18 months and her role involves organising various events to promote the village and regularly meeting local residents, councillors and business owners. 

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A2 student Benji Rowlands will shortly be representing the UK at the International Finals of the Chemistry Olympiad in Paris this July.  In round 1 of the national finals, Benji was placed within the top 28 of all students nationally, qualifying him to enter the extremely demanding second round of the competition which was held at Cambridge University.

Emily BrierleyD5Ew00HXkBAWkDY1.jpg

A1 student Emily Brierley spoke eloquently and movingly to delegates from across the UK and across the world at the ‘Million Minds Matter’ conference in London recently.  I had the great privilege of hearing Emily speak about mindfulness alongside other renowned delegates such as Caroline Lucas MP, Jerome Flynn, Celleach Spellman and Ruby Wax; it was a marvellous, thought-provoking event.

These three examples embody all the very best that Greenhead College students have to offer: a desire to give something back to the community, high academic standards and the resilience to keep going and attain one’s goals. 

Sporting success

Greenhead CD5KmTbGW0AAF_fb.jpgollege sports teams have helped many young people fulfil their sporting potential.  Each Wednesday afternoon, the College comes to life when its regular sporting fixtures take place and students compete against other young people in badminton, basketball, football, hockey, netball, rugby league and tennis.

At the end of April, 48 Greenhead students represented Yorkshire and Humberside in the AoC Sport National Championships, the UK’s biggest sporting event in further education, participating in a variety of sports, including badminton, basketball, cross-country, hockey, netball, table tennis and tennis.  Our students were great ambassadors for the College, representing their region with pride and determination, and winning many medals in the process. 

However, in recent times College funding has fallen significantly, to the extent that replacing the sports kits has become a burden on finances. All the sports kits currently need replacing at a cost of £500 per kit. We really hope that you can donate what you can afford to help young people flourish in their chosen sport.  To make a one-off payment or regular monthly donation, please click on the ‘Donation’ button on

Term Dates

The last day of lessons for A2 students will be Friday, 17 May.  A1 students will finish lessons on Thursday, 23 May and return to College on Monday, 3 June.  The final day of term for A1 students will be Tuesday, 9 July.     

Best wishes,

Simon Lett