Aspire Pupils at their celebratory event at The Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre

Newport Live’s Aspire Alternative Education staff welcomed its pupils to the Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre to celebrate their achievements and qualifications this academic year.

In August 2023, Newport Live took on the leadership and operational management of Aspire, from Newport City Council. This collaboration involves a partnership with the Council’s Education Department and secondary schools, The John Frost School, Llanwern High School and Lliswerry High School. Under this arrangement, each secondary school has 12 contracted places for pupils to participate in Newport Live’s Aspire programme. The programme is hosted in community centres local to the school, where students receive education, training, and workshops through an alternative approach, which ultimately leads to a variety of qualifications.

Pupils, along with their parents, carers, teaching staff, and key workers from Newport Live’s Aspire team, attended a celebratory event. Pupils received their Record of Achievement glossy folders and qualification certificates, totalling over 150 qualifications among the pupils. Additionally, they had the opportunity to watch the premiere of the Aspire video on the cinema screen in the Studio Theatre. The video captures the students’ reflections on the programme, its significance, and how it has inspired and benefited them throughout the year.

Sarah Morgan, Chief Education Officer, Newport City Council said of the Aspire programme and Newport Live: “This is one of the most important programmes that we run in education. Not all pupils thrive in a busy and traditional school environment. The Aspire programme provides an alternative and bespoke curriculum for pupils who have had previous challenges in the classroom. The graduation event enables us all to celebrate these young people’s remarkable achievements in core subject areas and in a set of qualifications which support their interests.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the schools who have helped commission the Aspire programme and ensured that the learners continue to have positive links with their ‘home school’ and community”.

Karl Reed, Head of Community Sport & Wellbeing at Newport Live, expressed his admiration, “Our staff and pupils have been amazing this year! In a remarkably short period, we assumed management of Aspire from the Council. We recruited and created a team, which has a blend of youth work and teaching experience, lived expertise, and physical activity and wellbeing knowledge. These passionate and dedicated workers have fostered trusted and supportive relationships with the young people. As a result, pupils have gained confidence, made future plans, and achieved numerous qualifications that will benefit them in the long run!”

Newport Live is committed to further developing the Aspire programme, and the Aspire team is preparing to welcome the next group of students for the 2024/25 academic year.

As Newport Live is a charitable organisation, all of its customers and members are helping to support the delivery of community projects and activities across Newport. 

To find out further information about disability and inclusion, and/or our community sport and wellbeing programmes please contact 01633 656757 or email or