Parents, students and staff at Ted Wragg Trust schools across Devon have been praised for their resilience following what the Trust describes as the most ‘challenging year.
Moira Marder, CEO of the Trust, said that despite the challenges, staff at the schools had demonstrated ‘absolute professionalism, resilience, dedication, care and compassion’ as its schools stayed open throughout the pandemic.
And she added that the support of parents and students at the 12 Ted Wragg Trust schools had been vital to schools being able to operate and deliver lessons for all in school and remotely.
Moira said: “As we come to the end of our school term, it feels appropriate to reflect on the year. I have been consistently amazed by the dedication of our staff to provide the best education for our students in the most extraordinary of circumstances.
“I would like to put our thanks on record to them. But also, it’s important to acknowledge how vital the co-operation of our students and the fantastic support of parents has been during this period.”
Moira added: “In-between lockdowns and since returning, I have been delighted with the progress out pupils have made, and although last year has been extremely challenging, we look forward to the future with huge optimism. In the last week of term, we have been delighted to see many of our secondary schools organise wonderful proms. A fittingly positive way to end the year.”
Within just a few months of lockdown being announced last March, the Ted Wragg Trust schools had implemented and adapted to new ways of working, delivering traditional teaching for vulnerable and key worker students attending school and online learning provision for those who were self-isolating at home.
Marine Academy Secondary, was recognised for leading the way with its trailblazing online learning provision of interactive live lessons for all subjects across the whole school, fulfilling all the hours of the curriculum – and was the only school in the country to be featured in the book Teach Like a Champion Team – Teaching in the Online Classroom. Surviving and thriving in the new normal by widely respected and one of the most influential educationalists in the world Doug Lemov.
Tim Rutherford, Deputy CEO – Ted Wragg Trust, said that safeguarding and welfare had remained a high priority in all of the Trust’s schools, with pastoral teams making regular calls, virtual meetings and home visits to support pupils and their most vulnerable families; interactions which were welcomed by the families.
He added: “Staff went above and beyond to ensure students eligible for free school meals, continued to be supported providing high quality food parcels to those self-isolating at home. These food parcels provided a real lifeline to families.” The Trust also worked in collaboration with Exeter City Community Trust to help hundreds of children and families in need over the festive season.
The Trust joined forces with organisations, companies and individuals across Exeter in a united front to ensure hundreds of disadvantaged primary school children could access the technology they needed to learn effectively and not fall behind in their education. The appeal gained huge support with substantial donations from local businesses and £10,000 from Exeter City Council’s winter Covid-19 support fund.
Tim said: “Whilst the last year has been one of the most eventful and challenging years for the Trust so far, it has also proved to be one of the most rewarding. The Trust has continued to grow, and whilst we would normally be talking about the amazing individual student successes and exam results, there has still been huge accomplishments, such as the rapid development of blended learning, trust-wide collaboration and development of a common curriculum and assessment.”