Our Extra Special visitor

This edition of the Hub newsletter is slightly later than usual as we have been excitedly waiting for the official photographs of our local MP Rishi Sunak’s visit to the Hub last Friday.

Every other Friday is pizza day in the Hub, the pizza oven was still burning when he arrived after providing the Hubsters and our loyal customers on the Business Park with some delicious creations.

The Hubsters were buzzing with excitement while we waited outside for him to arrive, some even waving their Jubilee flags as they couldn’t contain their enthusiasm.

Rishi (who is MP for Richmond – Yorks) and also Chancellor, stepped out of his car with a beaming smile and was eager to meet everyone. He was also very interested to see the pizza oven and hear about the micro business that the Hubsters are running to raise money for Hub extras. One of the Hubsters explained about his recent idea for a fundraiser to make money to buy a basketball hoop, which Rishi was very impressed to hear about.


Jenson showing off his skills with the basketball hoop he raised money for.

The next stop was the food tech room where the boys showed Rishi how to make a hub pizza, this was finished off with a sprig of oregano from the Hub herb garden.
The Hubsters proudly talked Rishi through how to make a pizza in the wood-fired pizza oven.  The younger Hubsters were helping keep the oven going with kindling and showed him how they add more fuel when needed.
The Hubsters were very keen and proud to show Rishi  around the Hub, they showed him their individual workspaces and their beautiful work.  He was delighted to hear about what life was like in the Hub and eagerly listened to them talking about their school experiences before they came to us.

He was also very interested to see the pool table and hear about the pizza making session that raised money for it.

On the way around the guided tour we spoke with Rishi about the Hub ethos, that we are one big family. We celebrate and embrace Neurodiversity and the Hubsters understand that each one of them is different. We believe that just because our brains work differently, doesn’t make us ‘broken’ or not ‘normal’. Neurodiverse brains just think differently and given the right support and inclusive environment, neurodivergent children can prosper and we can enhance their skills (or super-powers as we call them).

The Hubsters are very pleased with their Neurodiversity wall display depicting how differently our brains can work. Often neurodiversity means we use a different part or side to the brain to neuro-typical people. This can result in many diverse skills – (superpowers). If you look closely you can see two tiny hand prints belonging to Lily! ❤️

p.s this was a labour of love fixing to the wall….

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When Rishi left the Hub after his guided tour and he had said his goodbyes, the Hub staff and pupils were buzzing with excitement. We all thoroughly enjoyed giving him a flavour of what life is like in the Hub. He was very interested in the work that we do and also in listening to the Hubsters speaking so emphatically about their fondness for the Hub and their time with us.

The visit was made such a success by the behaviour and conduct of the pupils. We couldn’t have asked for more from them and were so very touched by what fabulous ambassadors they were for the Hub. They understood and appreciated the need to be polite, respectful and were this and more. One hubster even made pizzas for Rishi’s team, which they were extremely very grateful for.

We look forward to seeing you again soon Rishi!

Hub garden

Without exception, every Hubster has contributed to the Hub garden and we are delighted with how beautiful it looks. Even the hardest to reach Hubsters, who aren’t quite ready for much academic work are very happy and take pride in helping with the garden. Even watering is gardening, it brings connection to the garden and to each plant, teaching the pupils about horticulture at its basic level. We place a huge emphasis on gardening, due to the many benefits it can bring. It connects us to the natural world spiritually and emotionally and sometimes the simplest things in gardens can reach the deepest into us.


Evidence suggests that just simply looking at green spaces can reduce heart rate and blood pressure and stress levels. We know that the garden is already giving the Hubsters the opportunity to connect with each other and to bond with a shared purpose. It is increasing their intake of vitamin D, is another form of exercise and is teaching them new skills.

Gardening is brilliant for improving mental health by providing a sense of achievement, self esteem building, even increasing attention span. Not to mention the more academic outcomes such as measuring, maths, improving vocabulary and most obviously, there is the science aspect too.

We are also very excited to mention that we will be adding to our qualification prospectus and will be offering a qualification in horticulture very soon.

We have our very own Forest Gump with a lawn mower! Dylan mowed the hub garden for us and just kept going and ended up mowing most of the communal grassed areas! Great work Dylan, don’t forget to come back.
We did our bit for the environment by recycling plastic bottles. A great way to water the garden is to cut them in half and make tiny holes in the lids, placing them upside down and allow the water to slowly drain out. They even catch the rainwater too!

Wow look at our cauliflower -we are busy planning what we are going to cook with it.

The Hubsters cleverly mounted our solar fountain on the wall. One Hubster added colour and washing up liquid. Unexpectedly they had made their own sensory experience. Each child who passed it popped their hands in to feel the bubbles!

What do we do in the Hub when we don’t have enough growing space? We make more.  A huge well done to Mihal and Dylan for their success in building a strawberry planter. We can’t wait to share pictures of our harvest – and of the Hubsters eating them.

Click here to take a video tour of the Hub garden

Click on the image above to take a video tour of the Hub garden.

Embracing neurodiversity

Each Hubster (and some teachers) were given a plain brain diagram, or half if they preferred. We discussed neurodiversity and celebrating our differences. Everyone was asked to depict what they feel inside their brain looks like. We talked about the different hemispheres and how the brain works. We think you will agree the results are incredible!
Everyone started with the same diagram and look what we produced! We wonder if you can spot which ones of us have ADHD, ASC or dyslexia? Some are easier to spot than others.
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Thrive in the Hub

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Everyone, without exception, Hubsters and teachers alike, loves our daily Thrive sessions. They are always filled with laughter, creativity, positivity, love, empathy, and genuine support for one another. These pictures need little explanation but show just how the Thrive approach is instrumental in our ability to build such trusting and lasting relationships.
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Hubsters working hard

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We mustn’t forget the fantastic academic work that our Hubsters are producing, they continue to impress us every day. Quite often, mainstream school is not working for our pupils and when there they are so unsettled that they are not able to access the academic side of school life.

Just look at this project to build a shed for a tractor. Not conventional academic work but such an enriched experience. We talked about angles, we measured, we constructed – a fantastic learning experience.

Pizza Friday with Rishi

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These are just some of the other pictures of Rishi’s visit to the Hub and the pizza making that went on before and was delivered to our hungry customers.  Smiles all round 🙂

Home Cookery

These pictures need no introduction, the joy of creating and eating the meals is very evident. Another Hubster has also submitted their Btec Home Cookery assignment, fingers crossed for some more great results.

And finally….what a beautiful cheesecake produced by our lovely Chloe for the Jubilee, it looked and tasted incredible! Rishi was very impressed.

We look forward to sharing another update with you next week. Please do get in touch with us if you have any comments or questions about the Hub, we love to hear your feedback! x