Community Group Meeting 31.01.2024
By Fiona Schneider, Marketing and Communications Officer, OWN Trust
The OWN Trust Community Group was established in 2022 to consolidate the sense of community within the Trust in line with the Four Elements needed to create a Sense of Community (McMillan and Chavis):
- A sense of belonging
- Influence and voice
- A shared emotional connection
- Common values and goals
Since then, the group has met regularly to plan and implement initiatives to meet those aims.
On the 31st of January, the Community Group met to discuss how to involve all of our stakeholders in the Trust community, the activities that are taking place this academic year, and the draft of the internal communications strategy.
We used the matrix of interactions across the Trust to assess the extent of stakeholder engagement. We were delighted to see that there are several interschool activities involving staff and children planned in the Spring and Summer terms including sports, arts, science, and maths events.
We discussed how to increase the children's sense of belonging within the Trust by using existing pupil voice structures to gain their input. We are also developing 'Trust news' slides which for assemblies, which can be used to share what's going on at pupil level across the schools.
Parents are now receiving a monthly update from the Trust via the schools to enhance their awareness of what's happening within the Trust. We will also look at aligning events that take place in each school at similar times e.g. Book Week, and Anti-Bullying Week, and share news about this.
As well as the events mentioned above, the Community Group itself is also involved with organising specific events. We are going to hold our Trust Charity Day on the 8th of July, with donations going to UNICEF. We also have 2 staff events coming up soon. Bethan Strike at OWPS has kindly offered to organise another Quiz Night, which will take place on 28th March 2024. We are also holding an End of Year event on 7th June 2024.
We discussed the draft version of our Internal Communication Guidelines, which is currently undergoing a series of reviews before it is finalised. The purpose of the guidelines is to outline expectations of how members of the OWN Trust Community will maintain effective internal communications. It covers a variety of communication channels and links our Internal Communication Goals to our Trust Strategic Goals.
We are already moving ahead with two areas of the guidelines: establishing a Trust notice board in each school by 1st March 2024 and a staff directory on SharePoint.
Measuring the success of our community initiatives is crucial. We are looking at obtaining feedback from all our stakeholders in the coming months as part of our annual monitoring of progress.
The meeting ended with an interesting discussion about initiatives to enhance Teaching Assistants' sense of belonging. Emily Gray, TA Community Group representative at OWPS, explained how she facilitated a 'coffee evening' for TAs, which she is looking at doing again in the future.
The next meeting will take place at Woodston Primary School on Wednesday 24th April from 1.45pm – 3:00pm.