Chair of the Trust
So many successes and remarkable things characterise life in our Arbib schools, and we are incredibly proud of the trust we have become. Our recent Ofsted report at one of our schools, The Langley Academy, recognised all the hard work behind the scenes and highlighted many positives. Our 2023 SAT results are also looking very good, with plenty of examples of being significantly above the national average. However, data is all well and good, but I am a great believer in what you see for yourself as being the crucial litmus test. I have very special opportunities to witness the life of the trust during my frequent visits to our schools, and I regularly see the profound impact we have on the lives of our children, students, and visitors. Here are some of my highlights from this year:
- Classics for All - I attended Eton's Classics for All presentation evening. I listened to our erudite students who presented, with insight and some humour, about their classical studies programme.
- Oracy Programme - I participated in judging the strong contestants in the Voice of Change competition at The Langley Academy. It is always great to see how our student’s confidence has grown under the leadership of our senior team.
- Celebrating our Successes – Our Celebration evenings across our schools are particular highlights of the year; this is where we show and value a broad range of talent and achievement. I attended The Langley Academy Awards evening and was mindful of the diverse skills of our exceptional students, including a choral performance, piano recital and hospitality provided with canape made by students.
- Culture Days are held across all three schools, where we celebrate our diverse cultures. Being at The Langley Academy Primary Culture Day was a real privilege, particularly seeing the joy that the children took dressed in clothes representing their cultural heritage. They proudly walked the dais as their country was called out, but many of the same children also ‘walked up’ for England too, a deeply positive message.
- Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion - We have EDI committees across all our schools. During an EDI meeting at The Langley Academy Primary, the children took immense pride in explaining how they applied for their roles and the interview experience. They also happily told me of the benefits of these experiences, including ‘when I apply for university’ and ‘listing my experience when I apply for a job.’ They seemed ready to take on the world!
- Drama productions - Seeing pupils’ proud preparation and their joy in performing reminds me that we are never static - it is never all about the academic or the fun things alone but the clever way in which all facets of school life come together for the benefit of our children and young people.
Activities and events like these show all the impressive and varied activities and opportunities we give our children, young people and their families. These opportunities would not be possible without the support of our Governors, Trustees, parents and staff.
To help us create rich experiences for our pupils, young adults and staff, we use all the skills and expertise within the trust to develop initiatives that make all of our lives better. Here are some examples:
• Partnerships in the community have gone from strength to strength. The Hive at The Langley Heritage Primary continues to successfully push boundaries, giving our children confidence and aiding the primary to secondary transition.
• Teacher support and the implementation of ‘Walkthrus’ has developed at pace and positively influenced teaching practice.
• Museum Learning is in our DNA - throughout our schools, there is lots of evidence of excellent Museum Learning activities and displays. The Museum Learning team and their resources help our children and students learn at greater depth.
• Strong safeguarding processes and practices Senior Thames Valley police describe us as ‘excellent’ and ‘exceptional’ in this area.
These are a small sample from innumerable examples of things we feel proud about, but what they each have in common: everybody in our community is working together! Nothing good happens in the Trust without effort and commitment. That goes from the highest levels of leadership, teaching, management and support to those welcoming guests to the car park and reception.
Whenever I visit Langley, I am always struck by the cheerfulness and welcome of our staff on the gate, those on reception in our schools and the site staff. We are often told that the friendliness, helpfulness, and respect of staff to one another are notable features of the Trust. This warmth and welcome were also one of the things that teaching staff raised with myself and Rachel, another trustee, in a pulse meeting during the year.
“My time as a teacher and my other educational roles, including as an HMI, leave me in no doubt that none of this comes about without hard work, expertise and commitment on the part of staff. Dedication and skill shines through.”
Oona Stannard, Chair of Trustees