On 12th February Archway Learning Trust hosted its first Student Awards ceremony. This was held in the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham and was attended by over 1500 parents, staff and guests. Over 500 students took part in a glittering evening of music, art and drama, culminating in a choir made up of students from across the Trust aged 5-18. This was definitely one of the most memorable events in my entire teaching career. Students were awarded for their aspiration, resilience, for what they had contributed to their own well-being and that of others, their leadership skills as well as their community engagement. It was a confirmation, if ever there was one needed, of the terrific talent of our young people across the age range and how coming together as one ‘family’ brings powerful connections and helps us to be better than we could be alone. Watching some of the oldest students in the Trust supporting and praising some of the youngest, watching students with a variety of backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities and religions, singing and performing together was surely what schools are all about.
Preceding this event, the Trust was honoured to be invited to meet with Lord Agnew, Under Secretary of State at the Department of Education. There was a discussion about issues such as governance, finance and the benefits of Multi Academy Trusts (MATs) working together. The government often talks about the power of MATs to bring best practice together and help every school or academy become the best it can be and helping parents to understand what MATs are all about.
During our Student Awards ceremony I hope that our parents understood what a ‘family’ of schools really can achieve together and the power we have through working together in helping everyone be their very best. Certainly our students sparkled at the Royal Concert Hall and it was a moment to savour and celebrate.