Principal’s Blog: Issue 8

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I am delighted to share with you my 8th Principal’s Blog, not least because I now know that all members of our founding Year 7 and their families will receive a copy directly! I am very excited to welcome all 240 (yes, we are full!) students, officially into our school community and myself and my team can’t wait to start working with you to help you reach higher, see further and shine brighter!

The Magic Number

It has been brilliant to speak to so many happy and excited families over the last few weeks, all delighted to have been offered a place with us and I am incredibly proud to announce that we are currently full for September. 240 letters have been sent electronically and 240 phone calls have been made! It has been heart-warming to hear the positivity from our young people, who have clearly been working hard over the lockdown period in preparation for starting at TAL. Several you have been reading avidly and have already bought new stationary, please refer to the handy transition checklist on our website for guidance. Not long now!

The Site

Every time I visit the site, I am impressed with just how much progress the team has made. We now have a roof, windows, and internal walls. Phase 1 of the build will be completed by August and phase 2 shortly afterwards. Our specialist classrooms, sports facilities and dining room will all be ready for our new Year 7 students. Recently I showed members of our core Trust team around the site, including our CEO, Michael Gosling. It was great to stand within the walls of our new building and picture it in the future, alive and buzzing with learning.

Sports!

Thank you to all of you who entered our latest sports themed challenge, we have had some fantastic entries. It has been great to read about your favourite activities and see pictures and even videos of you participating in your favourite sports. Our prizes this time are footballs, and we can’t wait to drop them off at your houses! Check out the last image of Joshua receiving his special TAL gift for his entry to our previous portrait challenge! Please make sure that you continue to be active over the months to come, keeping both healthy and happy is important.

NEW Challenge: All the books

At TAL we place a great importance on reading. We will have a fully stocked library where all our students will have access to a wide range of books. We also have a dedicated session every day to Drop Everything And Read and we ask that our students carry a challenging reading book with them at all times in school. For our next challenge we ask that you send us a picture of you reading your favourite book, write us a book review or simply just tell us why you love to read, even better, do all three! We really hope that as many of you as possible take part, we will be giving all entrants an engaging and interesting book as a reward! Our deadline for entries is March 31st.

Communication

We will be emailing all parents/carers on a regular basis and will be sharing information on transport and uniform shortly, in addition to proving you with the TAL Parent Handbook. In the meantime, we urge that you read the most recent email that we have sent and follow the link to fill in the form. This will ensure that we have the information needed to help your child through the transition process. We also urge that you join us on Twitter! You can do this by downloading the app in the app store on your phone and then by searching for @Tal2026. We will be sharing all the latest news on here too.

Spotlight on….

The last few weeks I have been involved in interviewing and appointing teaching staff and leaders to our school. I have been blown away by the strength of the fields and it has been a real privilege to meet so many talented individuals. We continue to create an incredibly strong team to ensure that your children get the best possible education at our school. Team TAL is united in setting high standards and in having high aspirations for every single child, every single day. I am delighted to introduce two new members of the team.

Will Weston | Curriculum Leader Maths

I am absolutely thrilled to be joining Trinity Academy Leeds as Curriculum Leader for Maths. I grew up just a few miles from the site of our fantastic new building so I am very proud to be returning to the area to lead the mathematics department at our brand new school! I have taught at two other local secondary schools and, most recently, I have worked as a teacher of maths, Key Stage Leader and Deputy Curriculum Leader at Brigshaw High School.

I have always loved learning about maths but my passion for the subject was really ignited when studying for a degree in Economics at the University of Edinburgh – I was fascinated by the way that mathematics can be used to guide our thinking and decision-making in real life situations and by the connections that can be made between different areas of the subject. This passion is something that I hope to share with our students through the delivery of a rich and varied mathematics curriculum over the next five years of their educational journey.

We are incredibly lucky at Trinity MAT to be able to work closely with White Rose Maths and the West Yorkshire Maths Hub and I look forward to collaborating with experts from these organisations in order to provide a truly world-class mathematics education for the young people of East Leeds.

Outside of the classroom I am an avid sports fan and most weekends I can be found on the terraces following my favourite football team Cambridge United (somebody has to do it!). I am also a keen musician and enjoy playing the piano – I have played in the band for a number of school productions over the years and this is something I look forward to continuing at Trinity Academy Leeds.

I cannot wait to move into our brand new building in September and meet our wonderful students and their families, I hope you are all as excited as we are!

Rebecca Goult | Curriculum Leader Humanities

I am overjoyed to be taking on the role of Curriculum Leader for Humanities at Trinity Academy Leeds in September. It has been brilliant to be kept up to date on how the construction of the academy is going via Twitter; I can’t wait to see the finished product and for the first cohort of Year 7s walk over the threshold in just a few short months. Having worked in East London for the last six years it feels absolutely wonderful to be returning to my hometown of Leeds.

I joined the Humanities department of my previous school, Mossbourne Victoria Park Academy (another start-up academy) in 2015. The academy, at the time of my appointment, only had years 7 and 8. It was a real privilege to have the experience of teaching students all the way through to year 11 in the roles of Head of Year 7 and, subsequently, Head of History. Our department achieved incredible results and progress for students as well as inspiring a passion for the Humanities. I am therefore looking forward, with relish, to everything the experience of working in another start-up academy will bring. While I am new to the Trinity MAT, the ethos of collaboration, community and care is something which clearly shines through in every interaction with growing staff body of Trinity Academy Leeds and a movement that I am so looking forward to being an active part of.

While my personal subject specialism and passion is History, I firmly believe in the importance of the study of all Humanities subjects in order to create well-rounded, inquisitive, analytical and independent students. On a basic level, the study of Humanities is the study of society; 85% of the world’s population identify with a religion, Geography explains the world around us and History provides an understanding of the society we live in today. Giving students at Trinity Academy Leeds  a critical insight into these key areas, will embed the skills and the knowledge to form opinions on innumerable topics; from government policy, to climate change, to the significance of the statues that we have in Leeds City Centre.

Outside of work I am a committed runner and I am eagerly anticipating returning to the Yorkshire hills. I am also a massive fan of all aspects of musical theatre and am thoroughly looking forward to channelling this through the academy’s Performing Arts specialism.

Karen Cruise | Governor 

Our governing body is growing, and we have added more talent to the team. I am delighted to introduce Karen Cruise, who I persuaded (with some determination!) to join us… I am on a mission to ensure that as many young people as possible are supported to realise their strengths and abilities so that they can excel.

I feel honoured to be part of Trinity Academy Leeds and expand that mission. I have spent 30 years in the corporate world, the last 10 of which were at a senior management level for one of Yorkshire’s largest social housing organisations. Working within teams, leading large departments and contributing to the direction and vision of the company is where my main experiences were formed. I loved the mix of the social and business aspects of my role and how both intertwined. However, I have always wanted to work with young people and 5 years ago set up my coaching company – as a qualified life coach- working with schools, colleges, and universities supporting young people to excel. In 2020 I founded our social enterprise Flourished Minds Ltd still delivering life coaching to young people but with a structure that allows us to access public funding and thus make our services more affordable to the people we want to help the most.

I became a governor with Trinity Academy as I feel this fits perfectly into my ethos of enriching children’s lives; socially and emotionally as well as academically. Getting involved at the early stages of the school makes it extra exciting as we’re all part of a new team, with a fresh approach working towards the same aim.

Thank you for reading my eighth blog! 

Many thanks,
Kat Cafferky