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Red Kite Learning Trust


Youth Board Update - June 2024

Posted 24th June 2024

Keen to learn from our young people, to give them a voice and an opportunity to help shape the future of our Trust, last year we set up our Red Kite Youth Board. This board comprises two representatives from each of our schools, with a Chair for Primaries and a Chair for Secondaries.

Ideas and views are shared with the Trustees and Leaders in our Trust, influencing what we do and how we work together as a community.

On 20 May 2024, our Youth Board met via Teams, with our Trust Chair of Trustees, Mr Chris Tully, Chief Excutive Officer, Mr Richard Sheriff, in attendance. Guest attendees were Ms Sam Shuttleworth, Director of Estates and Mr Tom Ryder, Director of Sport at Harrogate Grammar School.

Red Kite Olympics

Following on from the last Youth Board Meeting, Mr Ryder confirmed that our Red Kite Primary Olympics would take place on Friday 7 June at Harrogate Grammar School. The event has since taken place and a great day it was too! 10 Primary schools took part, with the event spit into three parts, as follows:

  1. Rounders tournament
  2. Athletics - 50, 100 and 800 metres and a relay race
  3. Tug of war competition

There was some good natured but determined competition between the teams but at the end of the day it was Oatlands Junior School who took away the trophy.

RKLT Olympics Group Photo

Our special thanks go to Harrogate Grammar School for hosting, to its PE department for making it such an enjoyable event and to the student Sports Leaders who helped out.

Congratulations to the winners and to all who took part. We look forward to next year to see if Oatlands Junior can maintain the title or whether a new school will be victorious!

RKLT Olympics - Tug of war

RKLT Olympics Presentation Photo

Wind Turbines
Our Director of Estates, Ms Sam Shuttleworth, updated the Youth Board on progress with installing wind turbines in our schools.
There are a number of hoops that we need to jump through in terms of planning permission and suitability of the sites. A feasibility exercise will be undertaken but an initial look at the cost versus savings suggest that it could be ten years before we could expect to see any benefits. There are also implications for noise pollution and the impact on wildlife and the surrounding area. The solar panels we have been installing at our schools are actually more efficient at producing energy.

We will continue to investigate wind turbines, but there is no immediate plan to install any, unless some funding can be secured.

Electric Vehicles
Ms Shuttleworth advised the Youth Board that she is currently looking into potential Government funding for electric vehicle charging points.

Pupils from Rossett Acre enquired about using electric buses for schools. Ms Shuttleworth informed the Youth Board that she had looked into this previously but the cost of an electric bus is double that of a diesal bus. Given current budget retrictions, this is not feasible at the moment but it is something we will continue to look into.

Mr Sheriff spoke about a bus company that has invested millions into switching its fleet to electric/battery powered vehicles. He suggested we could look at hiring from this company instead of others that do not run on green energy.

Sustainability - love thisRe-Wilding Projects

Ms Shuttleworth informed the Youth Board that our re-wilding projects are on-going and she will be catching up with the participating schools shortly.
Rossett Acre Primary School and Harrogate Grammar School are currently working with an ecologist who is helping with their site surveys. 

As a Trust, we are keen to keep the momentum of this project going and hope to roll it out to all our schools.


The last Youth Board meeting was held at Meadowfield Primary School, where the children were shown all the amazing initiatives the Green Team have been working on, including the fantastic seating they have made from eco-bricks, made out of bottles filled with plastic rubbish.

Coppice Valley Primary School representatives reported that they have been inspired to do the same at their school and have been collecting rubbish at break times, making eco-bricks and building chairs.

Oatlands Junior School have built a greenhouse using old bottles, enabling them to grow more plants.
There are some fantastic ideas for sustainability being shared across our Trust and we look fowards to visiting more schools in future meetings to see what they have been involved in.

Election Plans for 2024/25

Every year we need to appoint and Chair and Vice-Chair for the Youth Board. Mr Sheriff asked the Youth Board members to consider if they would be willing to step into the role or who they would nominate. Chairs and Vice-chairs can be from either Primary or Secondary Schools and a mix would be ideal. Those assuming the roles will need to stand up in front of the board and communicate well to make themselves heard. Mr Sheriff spoke of the hard work our current Chairs, Nina and Blake put in to created agendas and leading the meetings to ensure the voices of our children and young people are heard.

The election process will be the same as last year, where interested parties are asked to produce a short video application. Anyone interested in being considered is asked to let their teacher know or email Mrs Niddrie. Elections will take part in the Autumn term ready for the nect Youth Board meeting.

10 Year Plan

Youth BoardMr Sheriff spoke about how the next six months will be an exciting time as we launch a consultaion with our Youth Board to help shape what our Trust will look like in the next 5-10 years. Youth Board members were asked to consider how they want to make a difference and what people should come to expect from our Trust, in advance of a working session in the next meeting.

School Trips

Blake raised that a number of requests for more school trips had been madeTrips by Youth Board members and asked whether the cost-of-living crisis and schools not having enough funding prevents this. Mr Sheriff suggested a review of current trips. The board members discussed a number of the wonderful trips they had been on.
According to our representatives, the cost of transport has been a barrier to more trips taking place and schools have been looking at organsiing great excursions that can be done by foot, such as visiting Temple Newsam House to learn about Tudors, and fundraising initiatives to help finance trips.

Red Kite Foundation

RKLT-Foundation_RedLogoIn relation to the discussion on school trips, Mr Sheriff spoke about the Red Kite Foundation, which is a separate charity, but part of our Trust, where we try to raise money from charitable causes, from people who want to make contribution to our work together. The charitable contributions are for all our schools to make sure that students who would not normally get the chance to do some of these special things, eg, visits, can attend.

Mr Tulley assured the Youth Board that our Trust is very keen to make sure that all the fantastic trips that our schools arrange are open to all students and that everyone gets the chance to go on them. He said that if transport arrangements are causing an issue, then this is something we can look at.

Healthy Eating

Colton - Catering - 2023 (1)Next on the agenda was Healthy Eating in schools and representatives discussed schemes in place in their schools. 

Our brilliant school chefs and catering teams make great food everyday but the rising cost of ingrediants is a challenge. Lots of ideas to improve the quality and variety of meals were shared.

At Harrogate Grammar School there is three serving areas. 'Sustain' is located outside serving paninis and pasta dishes and in 'Thu Hub'  there is the 'Best of British' and  'Jet Setters' serving areas, offering a choice of British food as well as more exotic options. 

Oatlands Junior School have meat-free Mondays, a vegetable garden and also have Funky Food Ambassidors in Year 5 who speak to pupils about food waste and healthy choices.

Austhorpe Primary School have student lunch ambassadors who patrol the food hall and hand out healthy eating tickets to those who have made healthy choices, with a chance to win a prize. 

Colton Primary School offer delicious sugar-free desserts and cakes made with fruit. There is also a Mind Map showing how we can keep our minds and bodies healthy.

Whitkirk Primary School have an allotment that produces vegetables that are used by pupils to make soup. 

Temple Learning Academy have made vegetable beds out of eco-bricks, with produce used in lessons, to make school meals and to donate to the homeless. All pupils are encouraged to try the vegetables.

We are delighted to see so many learnings from the Meadowfield Primary School visit being implemented in our schools. Growing our own produce is a great idea and one we hope to see rolled out across all our schools.

Next Youth Board Meeting

Our next Youth Board Meeting with take place in the Autumn term.

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Austhorpe Primary School is part of Red Kite Learning Trust, a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales with company number 7523507, registered office address: Red Kite Office, Pannal Ash Road, Harrogate, HG2 9PH

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