Message from CEO 5th February 2017
On Monday, South Somerset staff fed back at their Listening Event. They demonstrated such high ambition for their pupils and schools. Staff identified what they appreciate about being part of our Trust – the strengths: sharing, collaboration, support and challenge. They also made suggestions for change – having more opportunities to develop expertise and share best practice in teaching specifically. I was so impressed by the way their comments were underpinned by a desire to improve their offer for pupils.
On Tuesday, the Directors’ ‘Learning and Achievement’ Sub Committee looked in detail at the attainment and progress of Pupil Premium and disadvantaged groups across the BWMAT. Rosemary Bailey and Julian Thompson led the discussion drawing on all schools’ data prepared by Teresa and Duncan. The BWMAT Pupil Premium Project is tracking how our PP funding is being spent and its impact. We will be sharing key messages, best practice and other findings from this. Teresa also presented some of the inspirational ways schools are demonstrating and nurturing Christian Distinctiveness.
Attending Norton Fitzwarren’s Local Governing Board Meeting this week, I saw the passion governors have for their school. They showed their high expectations, care and support for pupils and staff. Their discussion demonstrated the quality of their vision for the next steps in the school’s ongoing journey of improvement.
On Wednesday, All Saints Church School, Montacute joined the BWMAT family. To mark the occasion the school held an act of worship attended by staff, pupils, governors, local clergy, parents and carers, Teresa and me. I am sure all present were moved and uplifted by the children’s beautiful singing. It was such a positive, optimistic celebration of hope for the future and of new beginnings. Across the BWMAT, we are looking forward to working with and learning from the talented staff, leaders, pupils and community of All Saints.
In the afternoon, Teresa and I met the Senior Primary School Improvement Adviser from Somerset LA, David Theobald to discuss how we can continue to ensure effective dialogue and good communication with the Local Authority.
The School Organisation Working Group (SOWG) met on Thursday morning. Members of the Diocese Board of Education Committee reviewed ways we have used funding they have generously given to support our growth and the impact this has had. This support, given by the Diocese, continues to enable us to welcome a wide range of schools into the BWMAT family – from small to large, rural and town-based, with self-evaluation judgements of outstanding to those requiring special measures. We are extremely grateful to the Diocese for the way they work alongside and support us with this.
On Thursday, we welcomed new and recently appointed Directors to the BWMAT Board. They received information about how our Trust works including training on governance and safeguarding. Karen Sancto, Head teacher of Trinity Church School, gave a superb presentation on Christian Distinctiveness.
The Central team met at St John and St Francis Church School on Friday for safeguarding training. Safeguarding and child protection is of utmost importance within our Trust. I am very grateful to Sarah Mellor for leading training on this with the team. I know how much she and her work are valued by all of our schools.
Meetings, training and development opportunities this week:
SPTO Training, South Somerset Hub,
Monday 6th February, All Saints, 16:00 – 17:00
BWMAT Leadership Programme, Session 3
Wednesday 8th February, Henderson Room, Old Deanery, Wells, 09:00 – 15:00
Academy Leaders’ Day
Thursday 9 February, Coombe Lodge, Blagdon, North Somerset, 09:00 – 15:30
It was wonderful to hear about the NQT ‘Learning Without Limits’ Day on Friday. Thank you to all NQTs who attended and contributed to exploring features of high quality teaching and learning. Thank you Jan and Bethan for organising and leading this.
I felt very proud of the staff at Bishops Lydeard Church School on Friday when the DfE undertook a monitoring visit. The progress the school is making, supported by Paul Sheehan and Teresa, was seen, recognised and celebrated. The DfE identified the strengths in work undertaken by governors, commented on the improvements in leadership across the school and saw how much progress pupils are making, evidenced through children’s books. Thank you to all staff at Bishops Lydeard for your hard work. As a result of your skill and determination, the school is now set on a positive path of on-going improvement.
The team at Bishops Lydeard, as in all schools across our Trust, are working together to develop high quality teaching and learning. Thank you to leaders, teachers and staff in each of our schools for striving, every day, to make teaching and learning the best it can be to inspire, motivate, support and challenge our learners.