Chulmleigh Academy Trust

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Week Ending 25 November 2016

A week in the life of the Chair at Chulmleigh Academy Trust. Strategic planning, listening and learning, monitoring, visiting schools and supporting.  Visit my Twitter account for regular thoughts, comments insights and information @ChairatCAT


Monday morning started at 7.45 am with the regular meeting of CAT Strategic Development Group consisting of members of SLT and Directors. It is important as a Trust we continually keep our ‘eye’ on the future and strategically plan. In this meeting we discussed the work involved developing an alliance of schools as Training Schools, with Chulmleigh the lead school. I hope this develops further

Being in Chulmleigh Community College at this time in the morning provided me with an opportunity to attend the weekly staff briefing session. I think it is important that Directors are ‘visible’ to staff and this briefing session added to my ‘visibility’ at the College.

On to my weekly meeting with Mike to keep in touch with current information about the Trust’s schools. Linda Morris (Business Manager) joined us for our regular agenda item on the ‘business’ elements of the Trust’s work.

Different Directors hold different portfolios and mine is SEN and Pupil Premium. To keep well informed I meet regularly with Nick Smith (SENCO). This morning Nick had arranged a learning walk around classes at the College to enable me to gain deeper understanding of approaches to teaching for differentiation of need across subjects. This was a well organised and very informative visit.

I finished my Monday morning with my weekly meeting with Adrian Wade (Company Secretary). On our agenda was the preparation for the agenda of the next Board of Directors meeting.


On Tuesday evening I attended the Parents’ Forum at Chulmleigh Community College. It is extremely helpful to listen to parent’s views, thoughts, questions, concerns and ideas.


I was pleased to learn that on Wednesday Sir Nick Harvey visited Chulmleigh Academy Trust to gain information about the funding issues for small schools, especially in North Devon.

On Wednesday I visited Lapford Primary School and spend time in Hawthorn class (Y3,4, and 5). The lesson I visited was Literacy and I had the opportunity to observe the lesson and look at the pupil’s work. The lesson started with individual pupils reading their reading bookings, then into a full class teaching session, followed by working in their literacy books while sat in their groups. The lesson was focused on changing a story written in the third person to their own story written in the first person. The pupils had good learning behaviours and were very engaged in their work.


Thursday and a visit to Early Years and Key Stage 1 at Chulmleigh Primary School. It was possible to see the progress children made from 2 year olds attending the pre-school to the pupils in year 2. The visit provided me with an opportunity to talk with Lully Newman who is lead for Early Years.


Time for reflection. An important part of being Chair. Helps my analysis of the week and the work of CAT, and reinforces my learning and understanding.