News 27 Nov 2023

A Recap of October's Staff Training Day

Cheviot Learning Trust, formed in September 2023 held a first collaborative conference for staff at the end of October.  Colleagues came together at Chantry Middle School, The King Edward VI School (KEVI), Prudhoe Community High School, and Highfield Middle School, to learn more about Cheviot and to begin to form networks and connections to support the further development of practice across all schools. 

Sarah Martin-Denham from the University of Sunderland delivered the keynote address, which focused on inclusive practices; Co-CEO’s Simon Taylor and Alice Witherow spoke about the vision and values of the trust, whilst Rebecca Taylor and Sam Connor detailed the work of the Teaching School Hub in supporting teacher development. There was a range of breakout sessions and the day unfolded as a blend of learning, networking, and professional development activities.

Feedback from Our Employees

The event's success was not merely measured by the comprehensive agenda but by very positive feedback from the attendees. An overwhelming 74% rated the day as highly productive, expressing eagerness for continued engagement through similar training events. 

The feedback from our staff included: 

"Sharing good practice and being inspired by the ideas of others was great to have the time to do." 

As well, "It was good to be able to find out what is happening in other schools and I was able to take back to our head teacher the need for some form of assessment for foundation subjects rather than just teacher judgement - concrete evidence. "

Notably, the feedback resonated with a strong sense of being heard and motivated at work, fostering supportive relationships, and finding value in the training provided.

Breakout Sessions: Nurturing Professional Growth

Teachers and teaching assistants met together in their relevant phases, and Headteachers planned a day which was specific to the needs of their phase and which enabled colleagues to hold professional discussions with their counterparts from across different schools.

The First School focus was on Assessment, Writing, support for SEND and Communication and language following an input from Rebecca Bulpitt (NCC).  Middle School groups worked on the curriculum and planning, often in specific subject groups.  High school colleagues very much focused on the curriculum and pedagogy, sharing exam board choices and the preparation of students for examinations.

Cheviot business and operational teams had a wide range of workshops to choose from.  We are very grateful to the facilitators, many external to the trust, who supported these events -

  • Estates and Compliance: Sarah Charlton from the Trust 

  • Energy Management: Adam Vaughan of JDDK 

  • Communications: Andy Baxter from JUMP and Simon Brown from RealSmart 

  • EVERY HR System: Dom Flint from the Trust

  • Governance: Fiona Ewart from the Trust

  • Staff and Student Data: Mark Frazer from Northumberland County Council, with Kate Simpson from the Trust

  • Finance System & Accounts: Helen Beaton, Jen Marshall and Karen Hirst from the Trust 

  • GDPR: Vicki Evans from Northumberland County Council

  • Google Staff Sites & Google Admin Tips: Mark Tait from the Trust and from ICT North, Dan Smith 

Fostering Collaboration: The Heartbeat of Cheviot Learning Trust

Most importantly, the event echoed the Trust's commitment to improvement through collaboration. Attendees expressed enthusiasm for networking across different schools and staff groups, relishing the opportunity to share practices, gather inspiration, and propagate innovative ideas. Staff feedback supported a shared desire for more regular exchanges, recognising the potential and value in cross-school and trust interactions, and working with external partners to help manage tasks within our roles. 

Cheviot Learning Trust is dedicated to empowering its schools and employees. Through collaborative platforms, meaningful training, and a nurturing environment, the Trust’s vision is to improve through respect, cooperation and innovation to achieve excellence - Together, We Thrive."

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