Ascend Learning Trust’s inset day this year saw all staff coming together in one venue to celebrate belonging in the multi academy trust with visitors Gemma Powell and Lee Spencer.

CEO Jane Coley who joined in September 2023 opened the day reflecting on the work that has been underway on reshaping the visions and values. She shared the initial thinking focused around the new draft motto of
‘Together we Belong, Believe, Become’.

Gemma Powell, Assistant Headteacher, and trained therapist and Director of BRIYM – Building Resilience in Young Minds, spoke about mental health resilience, about how to prioritise good mental health, understand stress and overwhelm, along with gaining agency.

Lee Spencer had the staff in awe of his bravery and courage. He told his story of races across the Atlantic Ocean and into the Guinness World Records. breaking the able body record by 36 days and the longest solo and unsupported row by a physically disabled person. Furthermore he was the first physically disabled person to row from mainland Europe to mainland South America solo and unsupported. Lee had joined the Royal Marine Commandos in 1992, he then went on to serve as a troop sergeant before qualifying for special duties, working in an undercover and covert role within the Human Intelligence Sphere.

Jane Coley, CEO went on to say “I am absolutely privileged to be in the position tobe able to lead Ascend Learning Trust into its next exciting development stages. Our whole Trust inset day is a wonderful opportunity for us all to come together and to begin to try and understand the idea of belonging, across a Trust. It is also
a chance for us to reflect together on our collective vision and values for the communities we serve. The sessions left staff feeling upbeat, positive, and excited for our future at Ascend Learning Trust.”


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