Elevating Social and Emotional Learning at City of Peterborough Academy

Social and Emotional Learning

Humanutopia is dedicated to empowering young people to make positive changes in their lives and wider communities. In 2018, we began a partnership with the City of Peterborough Academy to create a transformative Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) programme. This case study outlines the programme’s inception, implementation, and the remarkable outcomes we’ve observed so far.

The Challenge

The City of Peterborough Academy serves a largely disadvantaged demographic, calling for more than just academic guidance. The educational institution sought a structured and impactful SEL programme that could be seamlessly integrated into its current curriculum. This was not just about ticking boxes, but about genuinely impacting lives and the broader community.

Our Solution

We collaborated closely with the academy’s leadership to design a custom SEL programme that addresses the specific needs of their students. Our initiative centred around developing ‘Heroes’, student leaders who receive specialised training to support their peers and mentor younger students during transitional phases in their educational journey, such as moving from primary to secondary education.


Upon commencing the programme, we initiated workshops and full-day experiences aimed at fostering essential competencies like self-awareness, social awareness, and relationship-building. Beyond the one-off sessions, we built a curriculum that was iterative, allowing for continuous development and reinforcement of these crucial skills.

We were also aware of the necessity to engage parents and the local community for the programme to be truly effective. Our strategy included coaching students to connect with local stakeholders and empowering them to initiate community projects.


Two standout student ‘Heroes’, Abigail and Aariz (names changed for confidentiality), have been monumental in not just recognising their self-worth but in mobilising their peers. They have been involved in various community projects, including food donations to local homeless shelters and toy collections for the children’s ward at the local hospital.

Feedback from teachers has highlighted:

  • Increased problem-solving abilities among students
  • Improved teamwork and communication skills
  • Enhanced resilience and coping mechanisms

In addition, attendance rates have risen as students have become more engaged with school life, and academic performance has seen a noteworthy improvement.

The Future

The success of our partnership with the City of Peterborough Academy was recognised nationally in 2019, with our group of ‘Heroes’ being awarded as the best in the country. We continue to work hand-in-hand with the academy’s dedicated pastoral staff to evolve and expand this life-changing programme.

Principal Ben Pearce aptly summarises the programme’s impact, stating, “The humanutopia programme is massively pivotal to our students becoming well-rounded, polite, and resilient young citizens.” This sentiment encapsulates the vision both humanutopia and the City of Peterborough Academy share, and we look forward to continuing this rewarding journey.

For more information about how humanutopia can benefit your organisation, please contact us.

This case study is a testament to what is achievable when organisations align their visions for the betterment of young lives. We are proud of the strides we have made and look forward to a future filled with even more success stories.

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