Scotholme is a medium sized primary in the heart of Nottingham City. I have been the Head Teacher here since April 2006. Alongside the Governing Body, the staff have worked tirelessly to ensure that our children leave school with the very best standards they can achieve in reading, writing and maths, together with a passion for life and learning. We aim to instil confidence, responsibility and success into every child in our care.
For us, the decision to become an academy was a difficult one. Although we welcomed the greater freedom and collaborative working that academisation brings, we did not want to lose our identity and become ‘one of the same’. Our individuality is something that has always set Scotholme apart and staff were adamant that they didn’t want that to be eroded in any way.
Becoming part of the SHINE Multi Academy Trust has been very reassuring. It really is completely different to the idea of the ‘everyone does the same’ MAT that we were so worried about joining. The schools which are part of the Trust, are all very different but we all share the passion for giving children the very best and the dedication which is required to make this happen. Working with like-minded people is both a privilege and a challenge.
On a daily basis, the life of our school has not significantly altered. However, we are gradually putting together more and more opportunities to support our pupils, improve teaching and learning and to provide the very best in training and support for our staff. As a school leader, far from feeling that I have any less control over the destiny of my school, I now feel that I have more. As a group of Head Teachers, we are taking our schools on an exciting journey, which both allows us and expects us to be different, yet at the same time binds us together in a common purpose.
Ranskill Primary School joined SHINE on January 1st 2017. We made the decision to convert to academy status as we felt with greater autonomy we could provide better educational opportunities for our pupils. We strongly believe in the values and ethos of SHINE and therefore, for us, it was a no-brainer as to which trust to join. We're proud that we are one the first schools to become part of this forward thinking establishment. Since joining, our curriculum has been enhanced, pupils are enjoying better learning experiences and staff feel valued and supported due to the wealth of professional development opportunities that have presented themselves.
Ironville & Codnor Park Primary
Going into special measures is never a nice experience for a school and it’s always hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
After it happened to us, staff morale was very low and the parents and carers had lost faith in the school. Just after Christmas we were lucky enough to be approached by the SHINE MAT to become our sponsor. After the initial meeting we knew we had found the MAT for us.
Since Easter the school has been working with the SHINE to improve standards in teaching and learning. Staff morale has improved dramatically and everyone feels valued and appreciated. Those parents and carers who are able to come in to school have noticed a difference already and are excited about the improvements we have made to support the educational needs of their children. Visitors are saying that the school now feels like a different place.
We eagerly await the conversion date so we can continue on our journey with SHINE enabling us to continue to improve our school with a MAT who care about our children, staff and the wider school community.
Whitemoor Academy (Primary & Nursery)
I became Headteacher at Whitemoor Academy in September 2018. At the time, the school was one of three founding members of Shine Multi Academy Trust.
I was motivated to apply for the post of Headteacher after attending the annual conference, in which the nature and extent of the SHINE ethos seemed to be getting the right balance in putting the needs of the ‘individual’ at the heart of the ‘system’. This struck a major chord with me.
Since I have been in post, it is evident that a great investment has already been made in the provision of opportunities for pupil and staff personal development. My original estimation is proving to be correct…. In simple terms, SHINE is doing what it says on the tin!
From a newly appointed Headteacher’s point of view, I strongly feel that I have had nothing but exceptional help, advice and support. I can furthermore see that this network of support and advice, which comes from the SHINE organisation is readily available at all levels.
Of course, there are likely to be difficult times ahead. Change is ever constant. The SHINE MAT will continue to grow and develop. This will produce many challenges for everyone involved. I am convinced however that this particular Trust is one which is firm in their principles and will stick to them and use them to illuminate the way forward in this future.