Students at Newsome Academy had three surprise guests at a special assembly to celebrate diversity and inclusivity.

Schools are building back from the impact of the pandemic and Newsome headteacher Dean Watkin is keen to make up for lost time.

The school, now part of the Impact Education Multi-Academy Trust, held an assembly with the theme of diversity and inclusivity and three special guests – Huddersfield Town’s Aaron Rowe and club ambassadors Andy Booth and Michael Hefele – joined a session where students could ask them questions.

Mr Watkin said: “Education has been a hot topic throughout the pandemic and schools have had to up their game when it comes to making up for lost time – not just on academic learning but the wide-ranging additional learning that’s also important too.

“Newsome Academy have embraced the start to the new academic year by celebrating recent awareness months such as Black History Month in October.

“When Aaron Rowe, Andy Booth and Michael Hefele entered the room there was a gasp of disbelief. Students didn’t know they were coming. It meant so much to our students to see high-profile people joining in. The buzz was fab.”

Mr Watkin said inclusivity and diversity were at the heart of the school’s ethos. He added: “Newsome is a beacon of inclusivity with a wide-ranging heritage of students and we celebrate this heritage and diversity of background.

“We are proud to have two provisions for hearing and physically impaired children who are totally integrated into school life.

“Our Student Leadership team ensures that the Senior Leadership Team are challenged at all times to kick-start learning after the pandemic and rightly so.

“We have also invested heavily in our own in-house wellbeing services as national challenges pose delays to access to mental health services.

“We have introduced our own counselling service to help break down these barriers since our return to normal learning.”

The academy is particularly proud of Gaganpal Singh who has reached the last stage – out of 300 applicants – in his application for a scholarship to Eton College and University, a unique achievement among Kirklees local authority schools.

Andy Booth said diversity and inclusivity should be celebrated and added: “It’s such an important topic, and one that is incredibly meaningful to us as a club. It was brilliant to see Aaron engaging with the pupils and being a role model for them.

“It’s been a long time since we were able to visits schools in this way and it’s always been a highlight of my role, so I’m personally delighted to be getting out back across Huddersfield and representing Town at events like these.”

Newsome Academy recently joined Impact Education Multi-Academy Trust and is currently undergoing multi-million pound regeneration works to incorporate 21st century learning.