Up for the cup - poetry competition is a success all round

It was time for rhyme when pupils from five primary schools within Nene Education Trust competed in the inaugural Chair’s Cup poetry competition.

Year 5 children from each school were invited to recite a poem – one of their favourites or one they’d written themselves – on their own or in groups, and winners were chosen from each of the schools, with Jenna Stone from Windmill Primary being named the overall winner.

The competition was launched by outgoing Nene Education Trust Chair Dudley Hughes, who is standing down from the position this summer.

Dudley said: “I love poetry and I wanted to make it something that the children would enjoy doing, and that would hopefully give them a love of poetry, too.

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“It was wonderful to hear the poems, even though some of the children were less confident and obviously found it difficult to stand up in front of the whole school, they all got up and did their very best.

“My wife, Sylvia Hughes, is Mayor of Raunds this year and we are both keen to see a greater connection between our schools and the wider community, and this is just a part of that, so she was with me on occasions to listen to the poems and help choose the winners.”

The winners were:

  • Windmill Primary School and Overall Winner: Jenna Stone
  • Newton Road School: Riley-James Melville and Bentley Venables
  • Stanwick Primary Academy: Heidi Edwards and Amelie Barnes
  • Woodford CE Primary: Nathan, Damian, Archie and Callum
  • St. Peter’s CE Junior: Amelia Clay and Emily-Grace Joyce

All children who took part were presented with a certificate to mark their achievement, while the Chair’s Cup trophy was presented to winner Jenna Stone, and a smaller trophy for each for the individual school winners.

Dudley Hughes added: “There are lots of very good things going on within Nene Education Trust and I wanted to create something that could carry on after I stand down from my position as Chair. Hopefully, the Chair’s Cup is now something that children will look forward to competing for every year.”

Education leader to help drive five-year plan

Reflecting its ongoing commitment to excellence, Nene Education Trust has brought one of the leading names in education in the UK on board to assess its policies, progress, and plans for the future.

From September, former National Schools Commissioner, Sir David Carter, will act as an adviser to Nene Education Trust. Sir David, who was knighted for services to education in 2013, will support the board of trustees as they move forward with a five-year strategic plan.

The multi-academy trust, which comprises eight schools in East Northamptonshire and Wellingborough, has ambitious plans to continue to grow, translating its combined expertise and efficiencies into the ability to improve its schools and its teaching provision.

CEO Chris Hill said: “Having someone like Sir David working with as a strategic consultant will be a fantastic opportunity. Within the trust we have an ethos of working with the best people and getting the best out of them, so why not go for one of the best education brains in the country. We’re ambitious for the future, and this is a statement of intent. We want the best advice we can get about how to turn our growth and financial efficiencies into improving our schools and the education we deliver.

“There’s more to education than simply delivering the curriculum and with both pupils and staff, if you get the ethos right, you get the best out of people. We spent a long time looking at other multi-academy trusts and seeing how they taken advantage of the opportunities to scale up and put vital money into improving their schools.

“All the indications are that we are doing things well, but education is about learning and we are learning all the time about what our priorities are and how we can scale up.”

Nene Education Trust became an eight-school multi-academy trust this summer when Redwell Primary School in Wellingborough joined Windmill Primary, Raunds; Stanwick Primary; Newton Road School, Rushden; Raunds Park Infants; St Peter’s CE Junior; Woodford CE Primary and Manor School.

In July, Chairman of the Trustees, Dudley Hughes, stepped down from his position, to be replaced by former Vice Chair, Tony Laughton. The trust’s five-year strategic plan focuses not just on school improvements and educational excellence but also on a broad range of expertise, such as mental health and wellbeing and pastoral care.

Sir David Carter said: “I am delighted to have had the opportunity to work with the leadership team and trustees at Nene Education Trust. This is a trust that is based on values that place the child at the heart of every decision.

“At a time when we have a national civic challenge to help children recover their learning after the pandemic, the strategy at Nene that looks at education and beyond to determine exactly what help children are going to need is visionary and to an extent unique.”

Find out more about Nene Education Trust on 01933 627081 or at www.neneeducationtrust.org.uk

Coronavirus: Public Information

Whilst the current risk in the UK is low, we feel that sharing information with you at this stage will be beneficial to everyone. Please therefore find below a link to Government information and guidance regarding the coronavirus. This page is updated daily at 2pm and is the definitive source of information. Government Advice Link

Today’s update clarifies advice given to travellers returning from different areas of the world. If pupils, parents or family members have travelled from the areas listed, or has had contact with an individual who is suspected of having the virus, we expect them to follow all measures described and inform the school by contacting your school at the earliest opportunity. Clearly, this is a fast-moving global situation and we will update families as any new advice is received. We have no reason to consider that Nene Trust Schools are at any additional risk and we are not aware of any travellers returning from Wuhan or Hubei provinces in China, or indeed any of the other areas listed on the guidance.

If parents or families have any particular circumstances that they need to make us aware of, please contact your school.

Please download the following information poster containing coronavirus advice.


Coronavirus: Public Information

The Government and NHS are well prepared to deal with this virus. You can help too. Germs can live on some surfaces for hours. To protect yourself and others:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze.
  • Bin the tissue, and to kill the germs, wash your hands with soap and water, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • If you have arrived back from China within 14 days follow the specific advice for returning travellers.

This is the best way to slow the spread of almost any germs, including Coronavirus.

Find out more at gov.uk/coronavirus