The Grand Union Multi Academy Trust (GU MAT) was formally set up by Featherstone High School Governing Body on 1st September 2016. The founding members are Woodlands Academy, a Primary school in Hanwell, Ealing and Featherstone High School, an outstanding secondary school in Southall, Ealing. The Grand Union MAT is the first school led Multi Academy Trust to open in Ealing and is a formal partnership between local schools committed to supporting each other. Schools joining GU MAT will all show commitment to the Trust’s four strategic cornerstones – a relentless focus on teaching and learning, rigorous tracking and data analysis, a rich and varied curriculum and a strong code of behaviour. In addition they will also be committed to the Trusts motto “Together We Achieve.” All schools will share our ambition that all children within GU MAT schools will make outstanding progress and will be seen collectively as “our children” by all member schools.
Featherstone High School has been approved by the Government as Sponsoring Academy which means we can bid for government grants to support other schools in their School Improvement journey in addition to central funds raised from the individual schools contribution to GU MAT.
As a Trust, we are excited about the opportunities for closer collaboration that this new partnership offers both financial and educational which we are confident will benefit all members of the GU MAT.
If you are interested in finding out more about GU MAT, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Grand Union Multi Academy Trust
An Introduction to Woodlands Academy
These are exciting times for Woodlands Academy in Hathaway Gardens. The new school opened on the 1st September 2016 as part of the Grand Union Multi-Academy Trust, partnered by Featherstone High School, an Ofsted graded ‘Outstanding’ school. We had our official launch event on Friday 21st October – click here for an article from Ealing Today.
Mr Wadwa pictured with Ms Rana, Headteacher at Woodlands and two of her students.
Woodlands Academy offers an all-through school experience from Nursery to Year 6 as well as successful breakfast and afterschool clubs. The Academy is raising standards of achievement and significantly increasing the progress made by pupils. Ofsted have recognised this, saying, ‘parents speak highly of the school’s work. They value the changes made by leaders’ and that ‘pupils behave well and engage productively with each other and staff. Ofsted has also noted that ‘children get off to a good start in early years’.
Woodlands Academy wants to give pupils wide ranging opportunities to succeed in life at their local school. The headteacher, Ms Harinder Rana, and her team have set an atmosphere that fosters good academic achievement and also encourages high achievement in important areas like art, creativity and sports. Physical activity is important because a healthy body breeds a healthy mind, giving the children an improved ability to learn, remember and succeed.
Woodlands is sharing expertise and resources within the Grand Union MAT and in particular are benefiting from support with Literacy, Numeracy, P.E. and Art from Featherstone High School and the Featherstone School Sports Partnership. This is a fantastic opportunity for the pupils to work with specialist High School teachers. The pupils are clearly enjoying this new challenge and the staff at Woodlands have seen a huge improvement in pupils’ skills and engagement. Two year 5 students told us: “The Maths lessons with Mrs Mahmood have been really fun. She has been a nice teacher to us and I learned a lot when we were doing fractions. The work that I did was great fun but hard at the same time” and “I really enjoy Mr Shillito’s classes because he helped me with English grammar and he always helps me when I am stuck with something.”
Mr Shillito, English Teacher at Featherstone High, helping year 5 students with their English work.
Woodlands Academy is a nurturing school that brings out the talents of all children. The school puts this success down to working in close partnership with parents and making sure they have regular opportunities to meet with staff. To further help parents, Woodlands runs successful breakfast and afterschool clubs which are nurturing and caring, helping to accommodate the needs of hard working modern families and provide an added opportunity for parents to link with staff.
The school also builds strong relationships with the wider community. An exciting partnership with London Broncos Rugby Club has been forged and together they have just won the Kingstone Press Championship Project of the Year for the ‘Be at School on Time’ initiative. Members of the Rugby team and their mascot have been meeting children and parents on their way into school with free bottles of water, apples, encouragement and friendly smiles. The children can’t wait to get to school!
The London Broncos greet children as they come to school as part of the ‘Be at School on Time’ initiative
Ms Rana, headteacher says: “Our children aspire to high standards and are clearly achieving them. We were very pleased that Progress scores seen in last summer’s tests for Year 6 children have risen significantly.”
Ofsted Inspectors have also recognised this rapid improvement and reported that , “the headteacher’s determination has inspired and united the staff”, adding “pupil’s attitudes to work are positive. They are keen to learn.”
Woodlands has also seen some environmental improvements including enhancing the external areas with plants, play areas, improved pathways and new clear signage. The Reception has also had a facelift with improved office space, toilet facilities and an inspiring environment for parents and children to enjoy.
In short, it has been a period of exciting changes and Woodlands would love to show prospective parents first-hand how this is being put into practice, do contact the school if you are interested.