The Orchard Community is a Stoke on Trent based Multi-Academy Trust. The name for the Trust was devised by a Y6 Pupil at Forest Park Primary School who won the competition for naming the Trust. His idea for the name is based on the fact that schools resemble orchards. He says that “Children are like trees and plants, requiring some attention in order to grow better. Teachers are like gardeners and with their support, the trees will blossom and bear fruit. The word Orchard also reminds us that trees are all different in colours and have different usefulness, similar to children’s futures, which are shaped in schools, which I call orchards”.
We currently have 5 Primary Academies and 2 Special School Academies in our MAT. In addition to these, we also have one associate member school. Our Head Office is at Watermill School in Stoke-on-Trent.
The Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees, the body that oversees the running of the Trust, meets twice each term and is supported in its work by the Clerk to the Board. The Board consists of the Senior Executive Leader and 11 other Trustees. Headteachers are also invited to all Trustee Board meetings and committee meetings. The Trust’s Chief Finance Officer also attends all Trust Board meetings and relevant committee meetings.
Each of our MAT schools has a Headteacher or Executive Headteachers and a Local Governing Board. Responsibilities are delegated to each of these via the Trust’s agreed scheme of delegation. All members, Trustees, Headteachers/Executive Headteachers and Governors share the vison, mission and moral purpose of the Trust.
We also have Deputy and Assistant Headteachers group in the MAT and network groups for other leaders, including safeguarding, SEND and RE.
The Orchard Community Trust is fully committed to improving the life chances of all children, wherever they may be. This moral obligation, our mission, does not end at the school gates, within our own Local Authorities, or even within our own country. Where we have the capacity to make a difference, we are morally bound to do so.
Staff at our academies have the opportunity to participate in our full range of training programmes and to work with each other via networks and groups across the MAT. These are effectively led by Headteachers, Deputy Headteachers and Assistant Headteachers from our schools. Opportunities will be given to all staff to engage in a range of high quality continuous professional development and career development programmes. We also fully recognise the talents and skills of staff and volunteers in our schools and are fully committed to the development of all staff in the MAT. Our range of staff expertise will be shared across our schools via collaborative working to ensure best practice is celebrated and made available to all. The philosophy of school to school support, challenge and collaboration is at the heart of the way the Orchard Community Trust operates and succeeds.
How to join us
Working in partnership with Orchard Community Trust has a number of key benefits for children, staff, Governors and school communities. We would be happy to discuss the benefits with you should you be interested in joining us.
The Orchard Community Trust MAT believes that education is a preparation for life. In the spirit of inclusion, respect and safeguarding we seek to prepare each child to face life beyond the school with confidence, skills and abilities to be resilient and to succeed:
Our Aims and Aspirations
Within the OCT Primary and Special Schools:
We aim to set high standards for personal behaviour and self-regulation, and to promote courtesy, cooperation, consideration and respect for other people of all ages, gender, races, cultures, abilities and backgrounds.
We aspire to deliver exciting and quality learning experiences in safe, secure and happy environments.
We endeavour to achieve the very highest standards in every aspect of school life, by making the most efficient use of all the resources available.
Our moral purpose and our focus and determination are centered on the following:
Our vision and mission is to have fully inclusive schools working in our Trust, that fully embrace all stakeholders and which celebrate individuality and success by offering a high-quality education and range of opportunities, where everyone makes excellent progress.
We will work in partnership as schools to ensure that all of the learning needs of the diverse range of children and young people we serve are effectively met via high quality provision, great leadership and outward facing developments.
At the centre of our vision for children and young people in the MAT is the word ‘crafts’. This was developed by the MAT headteachers and is a reference to and reminder of the history of the City of Stoke on Trent and the wide range of crafts and skills that have been seen in the City throughout history. It also relates to the craft of teaching, which is integral to all we do to improve outcomes for children and young people.
In order for us to achieve our vision, the following will be integral to our success with children, young people, staff, Governors, parents and our members and Trustees:
C Curiosity, creativity, courage, character, confidence, challenge
R Resilience, rigor, reflection, respect, rehearsal, relationships
A Adventurous, aspirational, achieving, ambitious, articulate, accountable
F Families, freedom, being fearless, fairness, being famous, future proofing
T Togetherness, tirelessness, teamwork, trust, the next thing (research)
S Success, sharing, sensational learning, support, shining examples, being safe
We expect all members of the Orchard Community Trust to respect and model all of the above vision and values at all times.
These values form the basis of initial discussions with all prospective Orchard Trust Schools and with potential employees of the Orchard Community Trust.
All staff, Members, Trustees, Governors, volunteers, parents and carers have a duty and responsibility to be encouraging and supportive of each other. All of our schools have a “can do” culture and fully collaborative ethos.
Everyone associated with the Trust and its schools is expected to aim for excellence in their individual professional roles.
In the best traditions of the profession all staff are prepared to go the extra mile to provide the best possible education for their pupils. The interests, opinions and voices of the children are paramount and guide all that we seek to do and achieve.
We have a responsibility to ensure that every moment a child is in an Orchard Community Trust school that they enjoy learning and strive hard to achieve well and fulfil their maximum potential.
Photos courtesy of Oakhill Primary