Trust Newsletter

Christmas 2023

Thank You

Firstly, can I say a huge thank you to all staff across our family of schools. You have all worked incredibly hard over the term and your efforts are recognised and appreciated.

There is much to share…here are a few highlights:

River Mead School

We were pleased to welcome the Local Authority to River Mead recently, to review the Resource Base. We are (always!) on a journey with our provision, so were delighted that the team identified many strengths, including relationships, curriculum and staff CPD – such that another RB team has been recommended to visit. Well done everyone for the continued drive to provide a great education for some of our most vulnerable learners.

Castle Mead School

A number of visits have been hosted for colleagues from across the Trust and other schools, coming to see the quality learning walls, early years and resource base provisions. Wonderful to be so popular!

The Mead

The establishment of a nurtured learning provision from half term has taken considerable effort and commitment on behalf of some of our vulnerable children. Thank you to all involved.

I wish a  safe and restful holiday to you and your families, and for those celebrating, a very merry Christmas.

I hope you are all able to have a relaxing break.

CEO, The Mead Trust

‘Happy holidays’ from all on the Board of Trustees

All the Trustees and Academy Advisors join me in thanking you for your dedication and perseverance to meet the needs of all our children every day.

I know staff in our schools and across the trust have faced some new challenges this year, and some continuing from the effects of the pandemic. However, there has been much to celebrate too. Trustees have heard about the incredible quality of cross trust learning from curriculum reviews, learning walks through classrooms and resource base external reviews. Also, the successful relocation of our central staff to The Hub. Well done to all.

We are an inclusive, passionate and principled trust. The whole governance community see and hear this in practice through reading reports, engaging with you in discussions and visiting our schools. I was able to experience this is ‘bucketfuls’ when I watched the Y3 Christmas production at The Mead, in my grandma role.

Please take the break to recharge and we look forward to seeing you all in 2024. It should be an exciting year as we move towards being part of a new trust bringing together our different areas of expertise and excellence. As we said in November, ‘both trusts are proud of their culture and ethos and both boards are keen to ensure these are carefully nurtured to create an inclusive and collaborative organisation that recognises the distinctiveness of each school.’

Happy holidays!

Anne Millin

Chair of Trustees, The Mead Trust

Academy Advisor vacancies

Do you know someone who would like to make a difference to our children, but doesn’t have the time to commit to a full time role? We are looking for Academy Advisors to join our Governance Community and we would love to hear from you if there is someone you could recommend. If you have a name to put forward please get in touch with Lyssy ( or direct them to the recruitment page on the trust website.

EQUA Trust and The Mead Trust Update

As you know, in November we submitted all of the documentation that the Department for Education require to consider our merger with Equa Trust. We aim for the merger to progress alongside a group of primary schools joining. If this is agreed, there will be a new Trowbridge cluster as part of the EquaMead family – including The Grove Primary School, Southwick C of E Primary School, Studley Green Primary School, North Bradley C of E Primary School and Bellefield C of E Primary (and nursery) school, along with St Barnabas C of E Primary School joining the current Equa cluster of primaries. Exciting times!


School Improvement Update

Education Reviews, Partnership Visits and Collaborative Reviews have taken place in all our schools. It is always a privilege to experience the commitment and vision of our leaders and subject leaders when we engage in these activities. The opportunity for colleagues to work across our schools has a significant impact on expertise, collaboration and sustained improvement. The impact of these reviews is already evident. Thank you to our leaders, talented SLEs and highly skilled and experienced practitioners for the S2S (school to school) support you provide, for mentoring and helping with CPD for staff across the Trust.

Equality, Diversity, Inclusion

We have established an EDI network for CSL colleagues, the first session was really well attended and headteachers from Equa primaries are coming to Castle Mead in the new year.

DFE Consultations

You may have seen that the DfE has launched a consultation re strike action in recent weeks. If you are interesting in adding comments, please see the link below

Introducing minimum service levels in education – This consultation is open until 30 January.

New Starters

Castle Mead
Lyndsey Powell (TA)

Melissa Warden (RB Teacher)

Jena Fleet (TA)

River Mead
Jane Bailey (TA)

The Mead
Robyn Humphreys (PPA Cover Teacher)

Christine Turner (General Assistant)

Cindy Walker (TA)

Welcome Sarah

I am delighted to announce that Sarah Garbutt (previously Headteacher at Studley Green) was successful at interview last week, and will be starting with us (part time) in January as a School Improvement Lead, working closely with me.

Professional Development

Our NPQ flex model is now well and truly underway with a group of colleagues from across Equa and The Mead trusts attending the national Activate sessions, taking part in independent study and then attending the first coaching session last week. Feedback suggests that the coaching sessions were met with overwhelming positivity, and everyone came away with a real sense of value. Thank you to everyone who is engaging with these development opportunities. Two more NPQs launch in the new year (NPQSL and NPQLTD).

Staff wellbeing

A reminder that, as part of our commitment to staff wellbeing, we subscribe to Education Support’s Employee Assistance Programme. This is a free service for all staff, fully funded by the Trust , that offers a range of practical and emotional support through a range of services and online tools. The service is available 24/7 and is accessed on a self-referral basis so is therefore completely confidential. Some colleagues have let me know how much they have benefited from the support offered, including free (and pretty immediate) 1:1 counselling where that has been needed. Please do access this support confident in the knowledge that we only know what YOU tell us about it.

In Term 3 we will be sending our Annual Staff Opinion Survey which will give you the opportunity to share your thoughts and feelings about all areas of your school community.  Please do spend a few minutes completing this to ensure we hear from as many people as possible.


We are excited to begin term 3 on 4th January with an INSET Day focussed on curriculum in the morning and teaching and learning in the afternoon. Our schools continue to further embed the ‘5 a Day’ principles and this focus will continue into Term 3, as we build a shared understanding of the impact of excellent Quality First teaching and high quality curriculum design. The agenda for the day is, as always, on the staff hub.