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For many secondary school students and pupils in primary schools, up and down the county, exams and tests are now in full swing.

It heralds an important time for students and one that we hope will culminate in them getting the results their hard work deserves.

GCSEs bring out the best in our students. It has been encouraging to see them so focussed in their preparation in recent months.

The same applies for the vast majority of the 11 year olds taking their SATS who are also keen to showcase the best of their work, despite their tender years.

I must also commend the hard work of all our staff who have prepared students for exams and coursework. Much is said about ‘exam stress’.

We are fortunate to have staff who are experts at helping pupils be both ready and take these important events in their stride.

Many schools held bespoke revision sessions outside of the classroom or sent out special notes of good luck, and once again I find myself marvelling at their dedication and commitment.

But schools can’t do it all by themselves.

Our young students also need the support of their families and I would like to thank them also for their support.

Away from exams, I was also heartened to hear about a great initiative emanating from Samuel Ward Academy in Haverhill.

Led by Tujan Sari, Head of Key Stage 3 PE, every single Year 7 student at the school has now obtained a basic first aid certificate.

Tujan is now planning to role this out across the whole school.

Samuel Ward has just under 1,300 students so this will be a truly impressive feat.

It is also in line with the plans of Unity Schools Partnership to install defibrillators within each of its schools across Haverhill, Sudbury, Newmarket, Bury St Edmunds and Romford.

We feel this is an important resource, both for our students and staff but also for the local community.

Schools are a crucial cog in any community and we strive to do everything possible to help our students achieve excellent work in and out of the classroom.

Learning basic first aid skills is another wonderful example of that.

But, as I have stressed before, schools must also about thinking about the wider world.

I write this at the start of Mental Health Awareness Week and some of our secondary schools have joined together to promote resources and activities around the theme of body image.

By partnering together and by teaching our young minds about the importance of exams, some of society’s biggest issues and so much more, makes me hugely proud to lead this trust.