Andrea Arlidge, chief executive of Wellsway Multi Academy Trust, has been named a national leader of education (NLE), and Wellsway School has become a national support school and a national teaching school.
National leaders of education use their knowledge and experience to provide additional leadership capability in other schools in need of support.
Teaching schools work with partner schools in an alliance to provide teacher training and professional development.
Mrs Arlidge said: “We are delighted that the strength of Wellsway School and our multi academy trust has been recognised in this way. We are looking forward to developing our work as a teaching school, supporting school staff and new entrants to the teaching profession to make a difference in their schools and trusts.”
Schools Minister Lord Agnew said: “I’d like to congratulate Wellsway School and Andrea Arlidge on being appointed as a teaching school and a national leader of education. They should be very proud of this achievement.
“Teaching schools and national leaders of education are supporting other schools, attracting and training the best new teachers and developing the next generation of leaders.”
Children from 11 primary schools visited SBL Academy to hear a talk by the author-illustrator Cressida Cowell.
Cressida wrote the bestselling children’s series, How to Train Your Dragon, and is touring the UK to promote her new novel, The Wizards of Once, a magical adventure story of the warring worlds of Wizards and Warriors.
Nearly 600 children were welcomed by SBL principal Dean Anderson and many were inspired to hear about Cressida’s writing career, the inspiration behind her books, and her childhood spent on a remote island off the coast of Scotland. She also enthused staff and students alike about her new campaign #FreeWritingFriday, which encourages children to write creatively and independently.
Several of the schools that attended decided to initiative #FreeWritingFriday, in which each child is allowed to write whatever they want for ten minutes.
Cressida said: “Every child should have one notebook that no one corrects, in which the child writes and draws purely for the joy of it. Children are naturally creative and imaginative thinkers, but can get put off writing by the corrective red pen. In this one notebook, spelling, grammar and neatness should be completely irrelevant – what’s important should be the ideas, and that it’s fun.”
SBL librarian Laura Richards, who organised the visit, said: “The students that attended the event were impeccably behaved and asked some really insightful questions. We were very proud of our SBL Student Librarians and Book Club members who helped out and represented our school. They also got the opportunity to come and chat with Cressida while she signed books, and ask her questions about her work. We all had a fantastic time.”