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Posted on: January 24th 2019

Creating an Inspiring Curriculum

Curriculum leaders from across the local area have attended sessions hosted by The Redstart Teaching School to consider some very innovative and transformational work around designing a new inspiring curriculum model to offer all our children.  Schools who are reviewing or renewing their curriculum, or were simply interested to know more, were invited to participate in the free sessions and to share their ideas and experiences. 

The first session looked at creating a framework to the approach and how teachers can fully contribute to the curriculum design with the aim of creating a bespoke curriculum that is broad and balanced and contains rich first-hand purposeful experiences.  The first session was extremely well attended and delegates were encouraged to describe the kind of curriculum experience they want for their children.  The next session will look at how these ideas can be taken forward.

The project is being led by Deputy CEO's of The Redstart Learning Partnership, Dale Burr and Sue Rogers.  

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The Redstart Learning Partnership Governance Review Posted on: 27/02/2020

The Redstart Learning Partnership Governance Review

After the recent storms Ciara and Dennis and what has seemed an endlessly murky and wet winter, it’s a real treat to look out of the office window and see catkins blowing in the wind, the tree outlined against a pale blue sky. Better still, the nursery children have been out in the garden below the tree with Mr Burr, hunting for earthworms and hedgehogs. Ofsted doesn’t stop them enjoying this glimpse of spring and it’s so great for all of us to be reminded of what TRLP is all about – helping children to have a wonderful experience of learning that they can take with them throughout their life. Ensuring that we all remain true to the vision and values of the Trust is the responsibility of everyone who works with us but it is the Trustees and those who help govern the schools who are tasked with setting that vision and those values. It is a particular challenge in the education system that volunteers are asked to step forward and shoulder this responsibility. Establishing a system of governance that combines the elements of inspiration, leadership and compliance across such a complex organisation is a challenge with which MATs across the country have been grappling. TRLP Trustees have been reviewing, revising and consulting on the Trust’s governance structure since the end of the last academic year, seeking a way to find the perfect formula for a Trust that includes nine schools in widely different environments and contexts. The model has now been refined, with two main committees undertaking the key strategic functions demanded by the DfE, Charity Commission and Companies House, to whom the Board of Trustees are answerable. The Business and Audit Committee and the Education Committee are being strengthened and expanded with clear action plans and targets. We know that each of our schools is at the heart of the community that it serves. Key to success is the relationship of the school with the parents and members of that community and so it is appropriate that they should be invited to be part of new Teaching and Learning Committees that will support each school, looking at evidence of how the school is progressing and reporting up to the Trust’s Education Committee. Even this will be flexible, where the needs of small schools or vulnerable communities call for a different model and, of course, taking note of the distinctive nature of our Church of England schools. Please look out for information from your school in the coming weeks on how you could be part of the team. By Tess Gale, Director of Operations Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A message from the Trust Posted on: 31/01/2020

A message from the Trust

The Christmas break already seems a distant memory and January has been a long and busy month. To help make the return to work something to look forward to (even more), the second trust staff quiz took place on 10th January at the Cricket St Thomas Golf Club. Fourteen staff teams from all of the schools took part, tackling rounds on a range of topics from identifying the fiendish pictures of Mr Burr and Mrs Rogers in a range of national costumes, to sport, religious leaders, film, ‘linkee’ and the most popular and highest performing round by far, where teams had to identify different chocolate bars by tasting tiny samples. With dazzling compering from Mr Burr and his able assistant, Mr Heath-Coleman, combined with the technical expertise of Charlie Main, our hosts are waiting for a call from Channel 4 to commission a series. Despite some fierce competition (some extremely fierce, particularly in the ‘linkee’ round), the team from Holy Trinity proved victorious by a narrow margin from last year’s winners from Priorswood. With staff having clearly got a taste for competition (and chocolate), we now have a rounders match and BBQ set to take place at Holy Trinity in the summer term. If you catch sight of staff members limbering up and practising their rounders swing, you will know why. It’s always good to have something to look forward to and we are delighted to be able to offer something back to our hard-working staff who take such trouble to give our children something to look forward to each day at school.Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
More Brilliant TA's Posted on: 1/05/2018

More Brilliant TA's

Another round of the Redstart Teaching Alliance Brilliant TA programme has come to a close with some fantastic feedback from delegates. TA’s from across the area were invited to attend the four day course which covered areas such as personal and professional conduct, teaching and learning, knowledge and understanding and working with others. The sessions were held at Redstart Primary School in Chard and Maiden Beech Academy in Crewkerne, which gave delegates a mix of age ranges to observe during their learning walks. The course feedback was extremely positive with many delegates finding meeting TA’s from different schools beneficial, especially those staff working in very small schools. The delegates commented on their increased confidence in working with children and with other staff and found it useful to discuss different strategies for SEN children. Other benefits included sharing stories and how others resolve situations; developing new ideas to use in the classroom; taking strategies back for their own practice; seeing different structures set up in classrooms and how these work, and managing different behaviours. Course organisers commented 'We were so pleased to welcome another enthusiastic cohort of delegates to the programme and look forward to finding out how the course will impact their teaching going forward'. The Redstart Teaching Alliance is planning to expand this successful programme next year.  For details of how to register for a place please email kwilson@redstartpartnership.co.uk Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
Brilliant 'Brilliant TA' programme Posted on: 19/01/2018

Brilliant 'Brilliant TA' programme

On behalf of The Redstart Teaching Alliance, The Redstart Primary school offered a comprehensive training programme for Teaching Assistants keen to develop their knowledge and skills. The programme was designed using the professional standards for teaching assistants with the aim of ensuring excellence in the classroom, by effectively supporting teaching and learning. The Redstart Primary School ran a four day ‘Brilliant TA’ programme which was open to any TA’s within the Redstart Alliance. The programme covered topics such as Personal and Professional Conduct, Teaching and Learning, Knowledge and Understanding and Working with Others.  Participants also observed a number of TA’s in the classroom to see ‘Brilliant TA’s’ at work. Andrea Johnson, HLTA and Chris Hunt Head of School at the Redstart Primary School have enjoyed welcoming the delegates to The Redstart Primary school for each session. Candidate Gisela Quast commented “This course has helped to clarify what the expectations are of being an Excellent TA and what it looks like on a practical level. It has massively boosted my confidence”. Course organisers commented “It has been a pleasure to welcome a keen group of TA’s willing to participate enthusiastically in discussions, share good practice and develop their own knowledge and skills. It has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience”. Another course has been planned to start shortly which will include visits to other schools. For further information on the next course, or to register your interest, please email kwilson@redstartpartnership.co.uk for details. Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
Chard school trust leader elected to panel for improving education Posted on: 29/11/2017

Chard school trust leader elected to panel for improving education

Chief Executive Officer and Executive Principal of The Redstart Learning Partnership, Suzanne Flack has been elected to the Headteacher Board for the South West region. Headteacher Boards provide advice and scrutiny for the Regional Schools Commissioner.  Members make recommendations for new multi-academy trusts, new sponsors for multi-academy trusts, and look at improvement plans where schools are not performing as well as they should. Suzanne Flack has led The Redstart Learning Partnership, a multi-academy trust based in Chard, Somerset since 2015.  It currently manages five schools, a mix of small rural and larger town-based schools across south Somerset. Suzanne said:  “It’s vitally important that the views and experiences of all kinds of educational backgrounds are considered when important decisions are being made about our nurseries, primary, secondary, special schools and colleges.  I’m delighted to be elected to the board and will use my background in the primary school sector, particularly with rural schools, to help guide local education policies.” Eric van den Barselaar the Chairman of The Redstart Learning Partnership stated: “Having our Chief Executive involved with the South West Headteacher Board will directly benefit all the schools and children in The Redstart Learning Partnership. The Headteacher Boards have already helped a growing number of academies to share expertise with neighbouring schools and within multi-academy trusts, driving improvement for thousands of pupils.”Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
Blackdown Hills school receives £3000 for new environmental learning zone Posted on: 21/02/2017

Blackdown Hills school receives £3000 for new environmental learning zone

Buckland St Mary Church of England Primary School, in the heart of the Blackdown Hills, has received the go-ahead for a brand new environmental education garden in its grounds. The school is now seeking volunteers to help make this valuable new learning facility a reality.   Work on the garden is due to start this spring with the creation of a wildlife area and a pond. This will transform the area where the old nursery building once stood.   The garden has been made possible through a grant of £3,000 from the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Sustainable Development Fund.   The school also received support from Blackdown Hills Natural Futures, a three-year Heritage Lottery Fund project which is supporting local people to set up community wildlife projects and gain new skills in nature conservation. The Natural Futures team helped school staff and volunteers to plan the layout and fundraise for the garden.   Blackdown Hills Natural Futures Project Manager James Maben said: “What started as an idea during an environmental education session has grown into an exciting school project involving a host of local experts and volunteers. As well as creating important new habitat for wildlife, the project will ensure the school has a fantastic new outdoor learning space.”   The school is looking for volunteers to help with creating the space.  Anyone who has skills and time to share should contact the school.   Head of School Steve Morton said:   "Although we're in an area filled with natural beauty and wonder there is little opportunity for children to get close up to nature in the school grounds. It seemed only right to take an area that been cover by concrete for over 30 years and breathe new life into it. Once finished, our new environmental learning garden will be a great resource - for Forest school, guided learning and play.  I'd like to thank the AONB for the grant and the parents and local community who have already put in time to help get this project off the ground."   Ends Notes for Editors About Buckland St Mary Church of England Primary School Buckland St Mary C of E Primary School is part of the Redstart Learning Partnership, a multi-academy trust of four primary schools also including The Redstart Primary School, Chard; Minerva Primary School, Taunton and Castle Primary School, Stoke sub Hamdon. www.bucklandstmaryceprimaryschool.co.uk About the Heritage Lottery Fund From the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife, we use National Lottery players' money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about.  www.hlf.org.uk About the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) The Blackdown Hills is one of 46 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the UK and is characterised by hedgerows and copses, small farms and intricate field patterns, steep valleys and narrow, winding lanes - for many it epitomises our mental picture of the English countryside. The Natural Futures project is run by Blackdown Hills AONB Partnership hosted by Devon County Council. www.blackdownhillsaonb.org.uk About the Blackdown Hills Natural Futures project (BHNF) The Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership received funding for the Blackdown Hills Natural Futures (BHNF) project from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund. Additional funding came from Devon County Council Locality Budgets, Somerset County Health and Wellbeing Budget, South Somerset District Council Community Grant, South West Water, Wessex Water, Wessex Watermark and the Viscount Amory’s Charitable Trust. The project aims to find out more about the natural heritage of the Blackdown Hills; to raise awareness of the area’s natural heritage and to help local communities to build skills and confidence to set up their own natural heritage projects. The project is following a ‘Discover it! – Share it! – Do it!’ approach; an innovative and exciting process involving training, research and communication, to support community participation and conservation action. The project will run for three years and started in January 2015.  The project is being be run by the Blackdown Hills AONB Partnership and is supported by Blackdown Hills Trust; Blackdown Hills Parish Network; Devon Biodiversity Records Centre; Devon Wildlife Trust; Plymouth University; Somerset Environmental Records Centre; and Somerset Wildlife Trust.Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
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