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'Trust' and 'Belonging' - What do they mean?

By Trevor Goakes, Executive Deputy Headteacher, OWN Trust

Trust: ‘assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something, one in which confidence is placed, dependence on something future or contingent - hope.’

Belonging: ‘a feeling of being happy or comfortable as part of a particular group and having a good relationship with the other members of the group because they welcome you and accept you’

The OWN Trust stands for Opportunity, Work Together and Nurture. These are the values that define all of us within the OWN Trust.

Looking at the definition of the words ‘trust’ and ‘belonging’, it is amazing how many of those words/descriptions resonate with me, and I am sure with everyone who is reading this. Whatever your role is within the Trust, we all play a part to ensure the best for our children.

We want the children who attend the schools within the OWN Trust to be well-rounded individuals. We want them to be secure in Reading, Writing, and Maths, and have a wide range of cultural capital experiences. 

We are an inclusive Trust for all pupils in which children are encouraged to achieve their full potential regardless of their starting point. Ultimately, we want to nurture pupils who are ready for the next stage of their learning journey. Children who are ready to ask questions, challenge ideas, be resilient, and learn from their mistakes. We want to prepare our pupils to be part of the local community and the wider world.

The OWN Trust is one educational organisation over many sites and will hopefully continue to thrive and grow. It is a ‘family’ of schools where staff are proud to work for the OWN Trust. We want to lead the way so that other teachers and leaders aspire to work here.

I am proud to be part of the OWN Trust. I look forward to going to work. Although based at Woodston, I am fortunate to work across all three schools. Whichever school I am in, I am met with smiles and feel welcomed as part of the team - it is a great feeling to have! (And a cup of tea always goes down well!)

I have worked with staff in all schools and their passion is clear – we all want to do our best. Even if you have not yet had the chance to work in or visit a different school within the Trust, we can still all make a difference, however small, it all helps.

By having a strong understanding of where there is specific expertise across the Trust, we can start to utilise these strengths to help develop each other. I have been delighted to be part of the Trust Teams and Networks that have already been set up and look forward to seeing how they can impact on the Trust. We have looked at this dynamic as an improvement opportunity for staff and not just a ‘working’ together model. We can develop together!

I look forward to working with more staff across the Trust. I look forward to our future, whatever we achieve, and where our journey might take us. I'm certain we will be successful.

Photo by Pierre Bamin on Unsplash