This time last year we were working incredibly hard on the joyful work involved with academy conversion as we were preparing to join The Priory Learning Trust on 1st April 2018. One year on, 1st March, I have started to reflect on the journey we have been on. It has been a busy year, some may say a hectic year but has it been worth it? In my opinion-yes. Definitely.
Being part of a Multi-Academy Trust really does feel like being part of an extended family-#OneTeam. My family are incredibly important to me. I have two big brothers and one little sister. We get on ridiculously well, sharing the same quick sense of humour and love of all being together. We talk quickly, laugh a lot and share a set of core values. I am also blessed with four children of my own. Mealtimes with everyone home are my favourite times of the day. We talk, argue, laugh, all have strong opinions, laugh more and generally love being together. It isn’t all sweetness and light by any means. Sometimes when I have been shopping, my teenage daughters look me up and down and pull the sort of face that says, ‘Are you really going to wear that?’ ‘That cardigan makes you look like a dodgy teacher’ and other lovely compliments. My children sometimes make me feel very old-they take the remote control off me when I don’t find the right programme quickly enough and tut loudly when they notice I can’t walk and text (how do young people acquire this skill?) Despite them sometimes annoying me intensely there are way more good times than bad. I know that even if we have had major ‘discussions’, when we don’t agree and even when one of us is close to tears of frustration we still have each other’s best interests at heart. We are really proud of each other’s successes. We are a family. #OneTeam
This week we had our first internal Trust review. We were visited by 2 secondary senior leaders, a primary head teacher and an HMI all who work for the Trust. I was nervous. I felt sick. I wanted to showcase our beautiful school and valued the opinions of the people visiting whom I admire, respect and want to impress. Timing wasn’t great, tt was the first day back after half-term; I couldn’t remember the passcode to get into school let alone what we do for our pupil premium children.
Fortunately, as the day went on our children were just superb and the staff were pretty awesome too. Even the weather was excellent and the sun shone. I felt like a proud Mummy Hen watching her brood. My school family are the best! The reviewers were honest, thorough and supportive. They asked lots of questions of everybody and generated opinions based on their snapshot of the day. The feedback was kind, specific and helpful. The whole day was really useful. It celebrated what we do well and gave us ideas of how to enhance our good practice.
Being part of our Trust is like being in a family. I don’t always agree with everything but I do feel that I have a voice and that I am listened to. I feel like my opinions are valued even when they are not acted upon…yet. I can try things out knowing that I will get an honest response when I ask for thoughts of others. I feel like if I look dodgy in a cardigan, I will be told and loved despite my error in judgement! I like being part of a big family. #OneTeam.
Headteacher – St Anne’s Church Academy
Executive Headteacher – Pawlett Primary School