Welcome to Thedwastre Education Trust

Thedwastre Education Trust is a local multi-academy trust in the heart of Suffolk. Our four village primary schools work very closely together to use the talents within all our schools for the benefit of our pupils.   We have recently updated our strategy to reflect the progress we have made over recent years and our focus to ensure all schools in the Trust continue to strive for excellence for all pupils.

Our Trust includes church and community schools that collaborate to achieve excellence for our pupils, staff and communities, providing a broad and balanced education which enables everyone to reach their full potential.

We value every child, parent, volunteer and employee; we aim to ensure all are respected and children show respect to one another, learning to work collaboratively with their peers for mutual benefit.  We have high aspirations for all pupils, staff and the communities we serve.

Our core principles are:

Excellence – We strive for excellence in education and have high aspirations for all children

Inclusive Our schools are inclusive.  We welcome diversity and support pupils of all abilities

Aspiration – Our schools have high expectations for all pupils and aspire that all children achieve their potential

Collaborative – Our schools collaborate and actively seek out partnership with like-minded schools for the benefit of all - we know we are stronger together

To see more about how our values influence our work, see the "join us" section of this website.

Great Barton - Ofsted Inspection

Congratulations to the whole team at Great Barton for an excellent Ofsted Inspection report (November 2023).  Inspectors judged the school to be good overall and outstanding in Early Years, Personal Development and Behaviour and Attitudes to Learning.  This is a testament to the whole team at Great Barton under the leadership of Claire Ratley.  We are delighted with the outcome of this inspection and believe that this is fully deserved.

The full inspection report is available below.

10255025 - Great Barton Church - 142547 final pdf.pdf

Woolpit Good Ofsted Report

We are delighted to report that Woolpit Primary Academy was judged Good in all areas and OUTSTANDING in Leadership and Management at it's recent Ofsted Inspection.

Inspectors were impressed with the rapid change that has taken place at the school and the way in which the Trust, governors and school leaders had worked together to ensure that the changes are sustainable.  The report is testament to the hard work and dedication of the whole team at Woolpit.  Well done to everyone involved.

The Trust has ensured that the school has been supported throughout the transformation process, including making resources available if needed.  The Board have maintained a very close eye on the school and monitored the implementation plan throughout.   We are confident that the school has a very strong future ahead and will continue to provide the very best education for all pupils at Woolpit.

The full report is available through the link below.

10238307 - Woolpit Primary Academy - 142566 Final PDF (1).pdf
Strategy 2023_26 Infographic Dec 2023.pdf

Trust music day - Little voices, together in music

Pupils from across Thedwastre Education Trust came together on Monday 25th March for our first event Trust music event.  The children were led by students and staff from Thurston Community College in a number of workshops, learning new pieces of music and playing instruments together.  The pupils played, sung and danced throughout the day which culminated in a concert in front of a packed audience of parents, carers, friends and school staff.  Each school prepared some songs which they enjoyed sharing with their new friends from the other schools in the Trust.  There were also some solo performances from a few children who were able to show off their talents on their instruments.  It will be a day to remember for a long time which was covered by BBC Look East and other press.

Trust CPD

We were delighted to welcome back teachers from all schools in the Trust for a shared PD day in September.  Our staff were working on further developing the approach to teaching and learning as well as opportunities to collaborate with subject leaders across all schools.  Staff found the sessions extremely useful and it was great to see everybody on one place once again.

Over the course of this year we will further develop this work through shared CPD once per half term.  This year we are focussing on metacognition to support the quality of teaching and learning in all Trust schools.  We also run joint sessions throughout the year on specific areas such as safeguarding, on-line safety and writing moderation.

New School at Thurston opens to pupils

Thurston Primary Academy moves into new school premises

Over the last few weeks we have finally moved into our brand-new school in Thurston.  The new school is set to accommodate up to 420 pupils, with the option to expand further if needed and is looking fabulous, we look forward to welcoming as many of you to visit later in the year.  The site has extensive playing fields, modern teaching facilities, including a new technology lab, dance studio and library.

250 excited pupils and staff moved in last week.

Once the school is established it is hoped that the large hall with changing rooms and sports pitches will be available for community use out of school hours.  In addition, we hope to be able to provide training and conference facilities for teachers from across Suffolk in the future.

John Bayes, Headteacher at Thurston, said “we are all so excited about the move and we are busy planning to extend our curriculum and after school activities to take full advantage of superb facilities on offer”.

The site also includes a purpose-built Pre-school, which will also provide the breakfast and after school clubs for pupils at the School. 

To find out more, please visit https://www.thurstonprimary.net/new-school

New Library at Thurston

New Library building installed at Rattlesden

A fabulous new library building has been installed at Rattlesden CE Primary Academy with support from the local community.  The new library is a super addition to the school, providing a wonderful environment for children to develop their love of reading.

Rattlesden leads the way in Science

Rattlesden Primary Academy has established a Primary Science Hub for Thedwastre Education Trust and 4 other local schools.  The project is being supported by the Primary Science Teaching Trust and aims to see excellent science teaching in every classroom and may help additional schools be awarded the Primary Science Quality Mark in future.  Congratulations to those schools who have already achieved the PSQM following their participation in the project.

The project is fully funded over a five-year period and provides excellent CPD opportunities and access to science resources for all schools that participate.  The long-term goals include the development of a high-quality science curriculum, effective assessment to inform future learning and the extension of pupil’s science vocabulary and understanding.  A rigorous process of assessing and evaluating the impact is in place from the start which may impact on other areas of the curriculum in future.

Hub leader, Helen Ballam, Headteacher at Rattlesden Primary Academy said “I love teaching science and the children really enjoy learning science.  I look forward to seeing how this project impacts across the Trust and on the other schools involved.  Working with Claire Seeley from PSTT has been brilliant so far”.

Trust secures funding for improvement in school buildings

The Trust has now successfully bid for almost a million pounds worth of investment over the last 4 years.  Five major projects were completed over the last 2 years.

Woolpit and Great Barton Window and door replacement projects

The projects to replace the windows and doors at Woolpit and Great Barton have both been completed.  The projects will make a lasting impact on the learning environment and keep out the cold (and rain) in winter as well as make savings on heating bills!  The whole school at Great Barton has also been redecorated as a result of the project.

Great Barton heating and hot water replacement

The replacement of heating and hot water services at Great Barton has also been completed.  The project also converted the school from oil fired to gas powered boilers which is both more efficient and more environmentally friendly.

Woolpit and Rattlesden Fencing replacement

The new fencing created a ball court area at Rattlesden as well as ensure children remain safe.

IT Investment

Over the last three years we have seen a major investment in our school’s ICT Infrastructure.  All schools were provided with a class set of Chromebooks and many of the teacher’s laptops have been replaced.  We have completely replaced all classroom screens with new Smartscreens and upgraded all school’s broadband and Wi-Fi connections.  We have also invested in the replacement of the servers that support all of our schools.

LED lighting

As a Trust we are conscious of our carbon footprint and rising energy costs.  We have recently replaced all the lighting at Rattlesden, Great Barton and Woolpit with LED light fittings.

Future projects

The next funded project is the replacement of windows and doors at Rattlesden.  This much needed investment will further enhance the learning environment for children and staff at the school.  This project will be completed by the end of the school year.

We are also now looking at extending the use of solar energy across our schools to further reduce carbon footprint and long term energy costs in our schools.

Trustee Vacancy

The Trust Board is looking to appoint additional trustees ideally with educational monitoring experience or financial expertise, but more importantly with a passion for ensuring the best outcomes for our children. Over the coming 12-24 months, key focus areas will be looking at strategic opportunities to grow the Trust, expand the Central Trust support and maintain the financial health of the Trust as a whole. 

Board governance in education is a strategic commitment which typically involves attending c. six board meetings per year/6-8 hours’ time per month, including membership of one of the Board Committees.

You will be responsible for:

If you are interested in becoming a Trustee, please get in touch with our Chair, Gary McDonald by emailing chair@thedwastreeducationtrust.org.uk 

Governor vacancies

We have vacancies for governors at Woolpit, Thurston and Great Barton.  We would be delighted to hear from anyone interested in finding our more.

Local governing bodies act as critical friends and work closely with the school leadership team to ensure the quality of education meets the Trust’s requirements.

If you are interested in either of the above roles, please contact our CEO to arrange an informal chat by email in the first instance -  ceo@thedwastreeducationtrust.org.uk  If you feel that you have the skills and experience needed to fulfil either role, we will ask you to send us a copy of your CV.