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.