I cannot believe it has almost been 9 months since I started my Industrial placement with the Trust, however I do feel as though I have gained so much experience in this time for which I am very grateful.
The last few months with the Trust have definitely been the most different so far as remote working became the norm. I was amazed by the work ethos amongst Trust colleagues since January to drive the complete switch to remote teaching and learning in the most effective and efficient way possible for students. It has undoubtedly been an extremely difficult time for schools, and I have been so impressed to learn the lengths staff have gone to ensure every student has access to education, no matter how many challenges they face.
The biggest project that I have worked on with the Trust so far has been around the expansion of the Trust family to include our first primary, Mill Field Primary Academy. Mill Field officially joined the WRAT on 1st December 2020, and in preparation for this the Trust wanted to make a huge splash of a celebration. As this was Christmas time, we had lots of fun decorating the building and ensuring that every pupil, and staff member, in the academy received advent calendars and other Christmas treats, such as storybooks stickers and sweets. This was very special as some pupils do not get to celebrate the magic of Christmas at home.
Another rewarding part of this time of year was the CEO Christmas awards. Every year, the Trust ask the principal at each academy to nominate a student to receive a Christmas present, and their year manager does some detective work to discover their dream present. I was grateful to be a part of this process of sourcing and presenting the gifts as some of the students may not otherwise get to experience Christmas at all. The faces of the students receiving their presents unexpectedly was lovely.
Another area I have worked closely on since starting with the Trust, with particular emphasis on since the most recent Covid lockdown, is supporting Staff Wellbeing. When the third lockdown was announced, the Trust looked for ways it could support the Health and Wellbeing of its staff. From this, we entered partnerships with The Yorkshire Fitness Coach and Yoga Instructor in training Hattie Thorpe-Gunner, to offer all 550 staff across the Trust 4 x free exercise classes every week.
I was also lucky enough to do a Level 2 Educare course in supporting teacher wellbeing recently which taught me a lot about the causes and symptoms of work-related stress, and most importantly how to avoid and overcome these. I have been so grateful to witness firsthand the impact that positively engaging with physical and mental health can have on colleagues, and this is something that will continue to be a priority in my future working life.