ARETÉ LEARNING TRUST
Northallerton School & Sixth Form College joined Areté Learning trust in September 2019 and work closely with trust colleagues at Richmond School & Sixth Form College and Stokesley School & Sixth Form College. As a trust, we are one organisation, united in a common purpose but respectful of the unique nature of each of the schools and the communities we serve. We collaborate in a number of ways focused always on school improvement, the most effective use of resources and providing the best possible experience of learning for our students.
We were appointed as the preferred sponsor of Northallerton School shortly after the school’s Ofsted inspection in the spring of 2018. We had applied to be the sponsor of the school when it went into Special Measures, not least because our core principles include accepting the responsibility to support schools that are facing difficulties. The school has been through challenging times but we welcomed the school community into the trust in September 2019, with the news that we had secured significant funding to enable us to develop and refurbish a school on a larger and more suitable site in the town. Work is underway on this project.
The staff have shown a real sense of purpose and our rapid improvement plan is securing the necessary improvement that the students and their families deserve. Our trust’s name, Areté, was chosen because of the values represented by the Greek word ἀρετή which encapsulates striving for excellence, fulfilling our purpose and becoming the best we can be: it is associated in mythology with bravery, with generosity of spirit and with moral courage, as well as with achievement - aspirations we hold dear for all students in our Areté Learning Trust schools. As our three schools are geographically close, including Northallerton in developing our collaborative work across the trust schools was already underway before the school joined us. Realising the benefits of partnership working has been inspiring.
The concept of Areté implies that as individuals and as a community, our actions matter: in a complex world, human value and meaning can be judged by our contribution, our efforts, behaviours and self-improvement. The word is analogous to deep learning – the pursuit of knowledge, in terms of self-awareness as well as academic study: the belief that studying is the highest form of happiness is particularly appropriate for our schools.
Our shared vision is that every child, whatever his or her circumstances and starting point, has unique skills and qualities and given the support, encouragement, opportunity and challenge to achieve, can do so. It is our task to create a context for them to thrive, academically, personally and socially, to experience the real joy of learning, as well as preparing them for the adult world.
I am delighted to have Northallerton School & Sixth Form College in our trust and have been privileged to meet many supportive parents, work with the staff and students and to share in so many wonderful experiences, which showcase the qualities and talents of the young people and their teachers.
CEO, Areté Learning Trust