Sporty primary pupils urged to consider Rodilian Academy

The Rodillian Academy opens up places to pupils who want to excel in netball or rugby

Rodilian sportsSporty primary-school pupils in South Leeds, who will be going into Year 6 this September, are being invited to try out for a place at The Rodillian Academy, a secondary school near Lofthouse.

Pupils who finished Year 5 in July can register to participate in a sports trial with a view to securing a Year 7 place at The Rodillian Academy in 2017. The trials will take place on the morning of Saturday 24 September 2016, when pupils will be able to meet the head teacher and the sports team, see the excellent sports facilities, and participate in netball and rugby coaching and tournaments.

The trials offer a novel route for accessing a place at The Rodillian Academy, where competition is normally stiff thanks to the school’s excellent academic performance and its track record of raising aspirations, confidence and resilience among its pupils.

Andy Percival, Deputy Head teacher at The Rodillian Academy, explains why the school is taking this unusual step:

“We prepare all of our students to compete with the best of the rest – in every aspect of life. When they leave us at 16 or 18, to go into further study or employment, we’ll have equipped them to feel confident and empowered in any setting and among any group of peers. Sport is just one way to do this, but it’s an important one because it brings with it so many related skills.

“By focusing on rugby and netball, we’re providing opportunities for our pupils to experience superb coaching, excellent facilities and highly competitive situations. We’ve built very strong relationships with sports clubs, and we work closely with the local England Rugby development team and Yorkshire Carnegie. Participating in this sports development programme will help pupils to build a huge range of soft skills as well – including confidence, competition, dealing appropriately with losing and winning, personal responsibility, and social skills.”

Pupils who win places based on their sporting talent and enthusiasm will also benefit from an all-round education. “Our students do really well in their GCSEs, thanks to excellent teachers who make their subjects interesting and who care about each pupil’s progress,” says Andy Percival. “66% of our students achieve 5 GCSEs (including English and Maths) at grades A* to C, which is significantly above the national average of 57%.”

In its January 2016 report, Ofsted said of The Rodillian Academy: “The curriculum is inspiring… [it] provides pupils with fantastic experiences and prepares them for their future in modern Britain. The academy’s work to promote pupils’ personal development and welfare is outstanding. Pupils are proud of their academy and have a real thirst for learning.”

Further information about the trials is available at or by emailing the school at