Sir Bobby Robson School announces inaugural headteacher
An Ipswich-based school named after Sir Bobby Robson has announced its first ever headteacher.
Adam Dabin has spoken of his excitement as he prepares to lead the Sir Bobby Robson School, which is due to open in September.
The school, which will be based in Lindbergh Road and run by the Unity Schools Partnership, will offer 60 places for youngsters with social, emotional and mental health needs.
Mr Dabin, 36, has joined the trust following a successful headship of two Norfolk schools – Henderson Green Primary Academy and Lingwood Primary Academy.
He said: “The only way I would have left those two schools was for something very special – and the chance to shape a school from a blank canvas is certainly that.
“I was initially interested in the role because of the name of the school and to be the founding head of the Sir Bobby Robson School and develop an educational and care provision for young people with complex needs is amazing.”
Opening in September 2020, the Sir Bobby Robson School will be a 60-place special school for boys and girls, aged between eight and 16 years old, with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) issue needs.
It was decided to name it after the famous England and Ipswich football manager following a public consultation.
Mr Dabin added: “I am very proud to be the school’s first headteacher. My vision is to create the best provision for our young people, from an academic, social and emotional perspective.
“I want the Sir Bobby Robson School to not be afraid of trying new things to ensure we have the best possible environment and to create a real school community, both with the pupils and parents – and for them.”
Tim Coulson, chief executive of the Unity Schools Partnership, said: “We are delighted to have someone of Adam’s experience and passion leading the Sir Bobby Robson School.
“We will now begin the process of advertising and appointing key staff as we prepare for September’s exciting opening.”
The new school, designed and project managed by Concertus Design and Property Consultants, will include 15 classrooms, soft play and sensory areas, a new multi-purpose hall, staff and parent facilities as well as a kitchen and dining space.
How did you start 2020?
At Unity Schools Partnership, we organised something very special which saw more than 1,000 members of our staff come together for our annual conference and Personal Development Day.
The event continues to grow with a mammoth 210 workshops organised for staff across our primary, secondary and special schools.
The ‘Unity’ part of our name is incredibly important to us. We want all our member schools to retain an individuality in keeping with their school and wider community.
But we also want to ensure they feel part of something special. Whether it is additional support with a certain subject or a chance to learn from each other, we want everyone under our banner to feel united.
That was certainly the case at the start of this month when a sea of staff members congregated at Thomas Gainsborough School.
From traditional classroom teachings to starting the day with the Daily Mile, preventing cybercrime to thriving as an early career teaching, the workshops were hugely varied and attendees had a fantastic opportunity to both learn and network with colleagues.
Every session was hugely informative and engaging and the event represented a major milestone in our work.
Of course, something of this magnitude doesn’t just happen and a particular mention must go to Andy Samways and his team and the staff at Thomas Gainsborough for their incredible organisation.
A thank you also to everyone who attended, supported and hosted sessions, both internally and externally, and to our partners who organised their own relevant exhibition stands. It was a fantastic day.
Monday 6th January also marked another milestone in our journey when Adam Dabin formally began as the new, and founding, headteacher of the Sir Bobby Robson School in Ipswich.
The school doesn’t open until September, but the momentum really starts now as we look to appoint staff and really make a difference for pupils with with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) issue needs.
This is a big priority for the trust going forward and we were delighted to end 2019 with the news that five of our schools have been selected by Suffolk County Council to have new Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) units attached to them.
The schools are Castle Manor Academy, Newmarket Academy, Haverhill-based Burton End Primary Academy and Clements Primary Academy and also Houldsworth Valley Primary Academy in Newmarket.
The funding will enable us to adapt and further enhance our schools to provide additional spaces and we feel privileged to have been selected to take on this provision.
Our ambition is to be a trust of mainstream and special schools and a trust for all children.
It’s been a great start to 2020. Here’s to a successful 12 months for us all.
A headteacher has described the emotional moment he informed staff that their school had received a ‘Good’ rating by Ofsted.
Staff, students and the school community around Woodhall Primary School in Sudbury are celebrating after the recent inspection, which included an ‘Outstanding’ rating for Personal Development.
Headteacher Matthew Fuller heaped praise on the ‘team effort’ while revealing there was a mix of ‘relief and joy’ when they heard the news.
Mr Fuller said: “I am delighted with the report and the fact it has recognised all the hard work put in by everyone connected with the school.
“It is a culmination of a real team effort over the last three years. When I told staff, there was a mix of relief and joy.
“It was a really emotional moment and not something I had ever experienced before.”
In the Ofsted report, school leaders were praised for raising expectations and aspirations for all pupils and this was reciprocated by parents who were “overwhelmingly positive” about Woodhall, according to the inspection.
The report added: “Pupils at Woodhall Primary School receive a good quality of education. Leaders provide pupils with a broad and interesting curriculum that prepares pupils well for life.
“Disadvantaged pupils and pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are nurtured and helped to succeed in their learning.
“The pastoral team supports pupils’ behaviour, emotional development and welfare. This is a real strength. Leaders have a mindset that no-one is left behind.”
Mr Fuller said: “It was particularly pleasing that Ofsted recognised that this was a highly inclusive school which welcomes children from all backgrounds.
“We are also delighted to have such a positive response from parents – where 100% of those surveyed said they would recommend Woodhall.”
Tim Coulson, chief executive of the Unity Schools Partnership, of which Woodhall is a member, said: “I would like to congratulate all the staff, pupils and entire school community for this excellent, and richly deserved, report.”
Unity Schools Partnership have held a hugely successful Personal Development Day at Thomas Gainsborough School.
More than 1,000 members of staff from our 25 secondary, primary and special schools attended the all-day event on Monday 6th January and took part in a fantastic 210 workshops, organised across the following themes:
- Teaching, learning, inclusion and evidence
- Career development
- Social and emotional learning
Tim Coulson, Chief Executive of the Unity Schools Partnership, said: “This was a major milestone in our work with over 1,000 staff attending the trust-wide professional development day.
“We had external speakers and many from inside the trust leading over 200 sessions. There were many who contributed very substantially to the day, but particular mention to the staff at Thomas Gainsborough and to Andy Samways and his team for overseeing the event.
“The willingness to lead sessions and share expertise by our own colleagues alongside external experts was excellent
If you want to have a ‘feel’ of what it’s like to be in this organisation, the annual conference was the day to do so.”
Conference organiser, Andy Samways, Director of Research School and Teaching School said: “This was our most ambitious conference to date and it was fantastic to bring together so many staff from across the trust.
“The expertise shared in workshop presentations by staff from Unity’s schools highlights what a wealth of talented and enthusiastic people we have within our organisation whilst the contributions from external organisations, local through to national, illustrates our commitment to forging effective partnerships to further develop our practices.
The programme we were able to shape enabled choice, specialisation and such a wide range of content. Thank you to all who supported the planning, preparations and implementation of such a great conference – a valuable day full of professional development opportunities sharing experiences, evidence and insights alongside the chance to meet colleagues from across the trust.”
In September, Unity Schools Partnership (USP) launched its Section 10 consultation in relation to its new Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) Free School, the Sir Bobby Robson School in Ipswich.
When it opens in September 2020, the school will have capacity to take 60 pupils in the eight to 16 age range.
As part of the process of opening a new school, Unity Schools Partnership is legally required to hold a consultation exercise (under Section 10 of the Academies Act 2010) to determine whether the trust should enter into a funding agreement with the Department for Education.
This consultation allowed parents/carers and pupils, staff and governors from local schools, other local authorities, councillors, local residents and any other interested parties to learn more about Sir Bobby Robson School and USP and share their views.
We are delighted to publish the full report of our Section 10 Consultation (please click on the link on the top right of this page).
Sir Bobby Robson School Section 10 full report
Staff and students at Thomas Gainsborough School are celebrating after becoming the first in Suffolk to achieve the prestigious Heritage Schools Award.
The award, given out by Heritage England, recognises schools which have engaged with and made significant contribution to preserving and recording their local heritage.
Year 9 students at Thomas Gainsborough School were praised for working with partners on the development of the ‘Sudbury Silk Stories’ project, a Heritage Lottery-funded multimedia project led by Babergh District Council.
Ed Clark, assistant headteacher and project lead at TGS, said: “The way the students engaged with this exciting project, and the way they conducted themselves throughout, was highly impressive and emblematic of why we are so proud of the students at Thomas Gainsborough School.
“To be the first school to achieve the heritage award in Suffolk is a great recognition of the work the students and teachers have put into this important heritage project.”
Wayne Lloyd, headteacher, added: “Thomas Gainsborough School are delighted and honoured to be the first school in Suffolk to be accredited as a Heritage School.
“At the core of our work in school is the belief that we have a duty to ensure that young people understand their place and position within their local community.”
As part of the project, students conducted interviews with members of the silk industry, both past and present, recorded and edited footage in coordination with a media company and even became qualified oral historians in order to formally enter their interviews and findings into the historical record.
Kate Argyle, local heritage education manager at Historic England, said: “The silk industry in Sudbury has a proud and long tradition and Thomas Gainsborough School pupils have played a key part in bringing this fascinating heritage to life as part of the Sudbury Silk Stories project.
Those pupils who worked as oral historians and interviewers met people who share a real passion for their work and they impressed everyone with their insightful questions.
I also want this award to recognise the willingness and enthusiasm of all the teachers who supported the project.”
You can view the Sudbury Silk Stories project at https://www.sudburysilkstories.com/.
A school is celebrating after its inspiring curriculum helped land a prestigious sports award.
Thomas Gainsborough School was named the Secondary School of the Year in last week’s Suffolk Sports Awards, organised by Active Suffolk.
The school was nominated for their work creating an inspiring curriculum as well as running a Specialist Teacher Training Programme alongside Sport England
Ross Myhill, head of physical education at Thomas Gainsborough School, said: “We were delighted to be named Secondary School of the Year and will use the award as a building block to further enhance the education and opportunities offered to students.
“We shall continue to develop the curriculum and our links with the community and local feeder schools to allow even more opportunities for students.
“I am really proud of the team. But this is also a reward for the whole school ethos and the fantastic support we receive.”
The school was highlighted for its inclusive practice run alongside intentionally-developed competitive and elite performance strands as well as an extensive extra-curricular programme, including a variety of trips to see elite sport competitions.
The 14th Suffolk Sports Awards celebrated local sporting heroes across the county during a prestigious ceremony at Milsoms, Kesgrave Hall.
I deliberately write a lot about partnerships.
This can be a collaboration between staff and students, schools and parents or partnering with our local communities.
The Unity Schools Partnership promotes close working within our geographical hubs and between our primary, secondary and special schools, as well as other neighbouring schools.
We are very proud of that fact.
But we are proud too to work in partnership with colleagues in education much wider than this.
So it was heartening to see 10 schools and colleges from in and around Bury St Edmunds form an alliance to raise awareness of the issue of county lines and to start looking at solutions to address this problem.
This week, we held a meeting for parents of each of the schools and colleges – West Suffolk College, Abbeygate Sixth Form, Sybil Andrews Academy, The Albany Centre, County Upper, Culford School, King Edward VI School, Priory School, Thurston Community College and St Benedict’s Catholic School.
We all want to work together to ensure our education around county lines is consistent – a strategy that has been welcomed by police who are doing so much to tackle the problem head-on.
The fact that the meeting, held at and superbly organised by West Suffolk College, attracted hundreds of parents, and we held a second meeting straight after, shows the strength of concern.
It gave us a great chance to start talking about the problem, raise awareness of some of the tell-tale signs and also give a platform to local police to inform the audience about what they are doing.
As we all know, county lines is an issue for the country as a whole, including Suffolk and including the Bury St Edmunds area.
Across the secondary schools, we have held information sessions for students, shown awareness videos and started talking to them about this problem.
This will be ongoing.
Students have been receptive about talking about the issue and I am sure they have gone away with more knowledge of the potential pitfalls.
As the police said during Monday night’s meeting, this conversation must continue across the dining room table.
All the schools would advise parents to talk to their children about county lines and also be suitably vigilant about their activities, where necessary.
We must also reassure parents across West Suffolk that the reality of their children being involved in county lines is minimal.
But that is why we must address it now.
It is about prevention rather than cure. By working in partnership, we have the best chance of tackling this problem head-on.
We will continue to work closely with parents, local authorities and other partners to come up with solutions and help protect our young people.
Pupils at Abbots Green Academy were visited by Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a special visit to the Bury St Edmunds primary school.
Mr Johnson visited a Year 2 London themed activity and Year 3 history lesson on Mummification before meeting with school leaders and team captains and being interviewed by regional media.
Ang Morrison, headteacher at Abbots Green Academy, said: “We were delighted to welcome the Prime Minister Boris Johnson to our school.
“As a school we embrace any opportunity that comes our way and it was a fantastic opportunity for us to share our Rainbow values and vision that we grow each day.
“Even from a young age, our children develop a strong interest in developing a democratic community. So it was such a memorable opportunity for our pupils to ask the Prime Minster some pertinent questions and show their enthusiasm for the society they live in.
“The look on their face when they saw the Prime Minister walking into the classroom was an unforgettable moment for us all.”
Mr Johnson was also greeted by deputy headteacher Jo Uttley, and members of the Senior Leadership team.
Tim Coulson, chief executive of Unity Schools Partnership, of which Abbots Green is a member, said: “It was an amazing day for all concerned and a once-in-a-lifetime experience for school staff and pupils.
“As a trust, we welcomed the opportunity to speak to the Prime Minster about educational policy and, in particular, we welcome the promised increase in school funding.
“Both the trust and the school were delighted to have this opportunity to host the Prime Minster and would extend a visit to any candidates from any of the political parties to our schools.”
The Unity Schools Partnership are in the process of applying to set up a new primary school and nursery in Bridge Close, Romford.
The Department for Education is currently accepting bids for new schools in areas of need around the country.
The need for the new school on Bridge Close is based on the Havering Housing Trajectory which states the need for an increase in primary school places as a result of a number of new housing developments.
Unity Schools Partnership aims to create an outstanding primary free school with high standards of achievement, excellent progress and outstanding teaching.
The Trust is a partnership of primary, secondary and special schools located on the Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire borders with an emerging presence in East London. We share the same values, face similar issues and are geographically close enough to support and challenge each other.
We recognise, however, the unique characteristics of each of the communities we work in and how they are reflected in distinctive school cultures.
We encourage cultural diversity, celebrate the special qualities of each of our schools and recognise that for communities to become sustainable they must develop and grow.
Unity Romford Primary School will be an integral part of our Trust and nd will incorporate the Trust’s ambition for learners – to develop succesful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens.
At the heart of this, the Trust believes that a strong link between home and school is essential for the progress of all children alongside creating an outstanding Teaching and Learning policy.
If you would like to comment on our bid to set up a new primary school in Romford, please email email@example.com.