Author: neil

Learners and staff are amazing at getting stuck into fundraising challenges at R.E.A.L., and this years’ Red Nose Day was another perfect opportunity to show what R.E.A.L. can do.

Staff set themselves a goal to take it in turns cycling 150 miles in eight hours, which equals the distance of riding from our site in Worksop to Leicester, and back again.

The day went brilliantly and the cyclists, including a learner, ended up clocking over 200 miles and raising over £250 for Comic Relief.

We’re sure the reward of sweet treats may have served as some encouragement on their miles as Concorde hosted a bake sale too. Full of homemade cakes and biscuits, the sale raised just under £100 for the Comic Relief pot.

R.E.A.L. Independent School Blidworth, were locking up for the day when they were asked by police if they could provide a safe place for local care home residents to take shelter.

Unfortunately a fire had broken out at neighbouring Hatzfeld House care home and the residents had to evacuate. Luckily, nobody was injured and after two hours, six fire engines and lots of tea and biscuits, the residents were able to return home.

The manager of Hatzfeld House kindly dropped off a lovely hamper to say thank you to R.E.A.L. for their help.

Ali Wellings, Head of Behaviour and Attitudes said: “I’m super proud as always of the amazing team we have here. The Blidworth community has made us feel very welcome and it was lovely to be able to support them with this incident. We’re now talking about ways we can work together in the future as part of the community.”

A professional drama company performed ‘The Secret Garden’ for learners at R.E.A.L.

M&M Theatrical Production took to the stage at the Old Library building, Mansfield in front of a packed audience of over 30 learners and staff.

Andy Richmond, Deputy Headteacherat R.E.A.L. said: “It was fantastic to see the learners coming together and enjoying the production. Thanks to R.E.A.L Creative Arts for hosting the event and all staff from across the sites that supported the learners.”

If you’d like to learn more about our Creative Arts provision, read all about how young people can learn and grow in the subject areas of Art, Drama, Fashion and Music here.

Knowing what life was like in the 1800’s is something you normally have to read about or watch on TV. 

At R.E.A.L., we love giving young people the chance to experience education outside the classroom, which is why a learner visited a Victorian workhouse as part of their class.

Claire Wallett, Specialist Teaching Assistant, and a learner stepped back in time at The Workhouse and Infirmary at Southwell to become Victorian school children. Clare said: “We put our maths and English to use by reading facts about how the workers and children were treated in the infirmary.

“We compared portions of food using scales and weights and looked at wage comparisons for male and female workers, the men were paid double!”

World Book Day is a chance for young people to bring their favourite literary worlds to life, and staff and learners across R.E.A.L. did not disappoint in their transformations.

All R.E.A.L. sites joined in the fun, but it’s fair to say those at Underwood went all out with their fictional costumes.

This meant Cruella De Vil, Willy Wonka and Where’s Wally were all in the same room, which is a sight you don’t expect to see.

Hannerlore Southern, Site Lead Teacher said: “We had a fabulous day celebrating World Book Day! Everyone had to be on their toes, dodging wizarding duels and trying to catch Gangster Granny who was out to pinch some pearls whilst Cruella was out dognapping!”

Don’t worry though, no dalmatians were turned into fur coats on the day!

National Careers Week is an exciting opportunity to showcase a diverse range of career options to our learners, and diversity is certainly what was delivered.

Learners were treated to an extremely unique opportunity to learn about the use of plastics in medicine. Richard Arm, Senior Research Fellow at Nottingham Trent University brought in plastic organs for learners and staff to hold and spoke about his experiences of developing synthetic organs.

We also hosted our annual Careers Fair at Mansfield Town Football Club, where learners could speak to various industries, ranging from the police, colleges, care homes and manufacturing.

Clare Walker, Head of Personal Development said: “We would like to extend a huge thank you to all of the employers that took part in the Careers Fair. The feedback from employers and learners was overwhelmingly positive. The event inspired learners to think about their next steps and future pathways.”

It’s incredibly important at R.E.A.L. for learners to feel like their voices are heard; for our learners to know they’re in a comfortable environment where they can suggest ideas and changes they’d like to see.

Learners at Concorde House, RIS Mansfield have a ‘Learner Voice’ display board as a platform to write down their suggestions.

Victoria Gardner, Deputy Headteacher at R.E.A.L. said: “The board is a valued part of our routine at Concorde and learners write their suggestions every half term.”

At the beginning of the year, a new request was submitted for ‘more dogs’ and learners were not disappointed as they were greeted by the lovely Lola and Albus.

Victoria said: “Everyone loves having the dogs around and they’re highly regarded members of the team.”

Previous suggestions have resulted in the refurbishment of a building, repurposing an outdoor area into a ‘chill zone’ and going on theatre trips.

Victoria said: “Lola and Albus have built lovely relationships with the young people and regularly seek cuddles from everybody. Sometimes even a lunch or two!”

Mental health is important all year around, yet Children’s Mental Health week provides an important opportunity to have a national conversation about mental health.

R.E.A.L. Independent School Mansfield has a ‘conversation of the week’ board and this month the question was: “How do we help ourselves have good mental health?”

Answers included ‘a good night’s sleep’, ‘keeping in touch with friends’ and ‘doing exercise.’

As well as prompting conversations about mental health, RIS Mansfield created a ‘pot of humour’ during Children’s Mental Health week. The jar is full of jokes for both learners and staff to pick out each morning and is next to the ‘pot of positivity’, a jar with motivational messages.

If any learners are struggling with their mental health, please know they can speak to us. We do offer a counselling service at R.E.A.L. giving children and young people high quality, professional support for a wide range of emotional needs. For all enquiries about our counselling service, please email

There’s not many people who can say they’ve had their work displayed in a museum. However, four learners at R.E.A.L. can proudly announce they’ve achieved this.

Duncan Allen, STEM co-ordinator at R.E.A.L. was organising a visit to The Sherwood Observatory at Mansfield Museum, when he was told about an exhibition of LEGO models.

Duncan said: “The exhibition included 3D printed objects and LEGO models, documenting astrological exploration. I was very keen to promote this with my learners as we’d been studying Mars exploration using 3D printed models, and building programmable space rovers using Lego robotics over the last year.”

Duncan offered to share the learners’ work with the museum who kindly accepted. Duncan said: “The collection complements the current exhibition beautifully.”

The Sherwood Observatory exhibit includes many rockets, satellites, telescopes, educational activities and astronomical photography.

Duncan said: “Our contribution includes a 3D printed multi-tool designed by NASA, to be used on board the international storage station, five space rovers and a display celebrating the women of NASA.”

The exhibition ended on February 17 and all learners received a certificate to honour their work.

Learners at R.E.A.L. experienced the magic of live theatre as they watched “An Inspector Calls” on stage.

The play was performed at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal and learners from Concorde House, Woodhouse Road and the City Hub went along.

Victoria Gardener, Deputy Headteacher said: “It was a fantastic performance! The learners thoroughly enjoyed the play and we were all sitting on the edge of our seats.”

Learners had studied “An Inspector Calls” as part of their English Language curriculum, but watching the play live sparked further questions and theories after it finished.

Victoria said: Taking young people to the theatre has lots of benefits from improving literacy and social skills, to inspiring a love of the arts and live performances. 

It also supports learning in a different environment, allowing young people to actually experience the books they are studying.”