For my final blog of the academic year, I want to articulate two things that I hope you will see are very much related.  First, I want to thank all of my colleagues – leaders, teachers, support staff, administrative staff and governors and directors – for their hard work, expertise and support for me, our school communities and one another.  It has been another year with many achievements and celebrations – none of which “come naturally” but rather emerge from a considerable amount of thought and work from dedicated colleagues, pupils, and their families and communities. Second, it would be timely to draw your attention to only a glimpse of how our schools are working more closely together.  Whilst much of this work takes place “behind the scenes” via subject and other network meetings, there are occasions when it is more visible.  On Friday 30th June, pupils from across our Trust met together for a day of leadership development, hearing from guest speakers giving their perspectives on leadership and then working in teams comprised of pupils from across our schools on a range of challenges, and later working in school-based teams on taking pupil leadership in their own schools to the next level.  

  The following Friday saw all our schools working together via our trust-wide training day.  With a focus for teachers and subject leaders on assessment and feedback in all its many forms, the day was supported by materials from the Education Endowment Foundation and was delivered across three of our secondary schools, with a fourth venue as the place for our Early Years colleagues, who welcomed Greg Bottrill (author of the wonderfully-titled “Can I Go and Play Now?”) to facilitate their development of best practice.  Our support and administrative colleagues had a range of activities that were more bespoke to their roles.  It is only through coming together that we can offer such opportunities, and this is recognised by so many within our family of schools.  

I will close this month’s blog with an infographic.  John Taylor MAT sent out to all its staff across all its schools an invitation to express in just a few words what the Trust meant to them.  The results from our respondents are represented here, with the more frequently submitted words given greatest prominence in size:

To see “collaborative” emphasised by colleagues as the single most significant word inputted, followed by “supportive” is a source of tremendous personal pride, and a testament to the collegiality of our people. Their generosity is as considerable as their expertise.  One of the trust’s key values is “Collegiality: listening to others, sharing with others, learning from others.” The exemplification of this value is at the heart of our work, and its success. As always, thanks for reading – and have a wonderful summer.