I have come in order that you might have life – life in all its fullness. (John 10:10)

A Welcome from the DDAT CEO, Mark Mallender

The CEO, Mark Mallender, with the Chair of the Board, Michael Ford.

Pupils get one shot at their education and that is why in DDAT the pupils come first. Every decision made has the child or young person at the heart of it.

We want our children and young people to be able to ‘experience life in all its fullness’ and although this phrase is rooted in a Christian narrative (taken from John 10:10), irrespective of faith, surely that is what all of us want for our pupils. And this has been borne out by the fact that community schools have chosen to join DDAT, signing up to the vision and values that have children at their heart.

Outward Facing
Our schools are outward facing and as such experience and enjoy diverse relationships. We work collaboratively with others. We break down any defences, walls or perceptions around being competitors with each other or one school not being as good as another. We bring in help and support to our schools wherever it is needed, and we offer support out. This has grown and grown over the years and it is now the norm that staff from across the trust are in and out of each other’s schools, helping, supporting, driving school improvement and improving life chances for our pupils.

Highest Academic Standards
Offering children and young people life in all its fullness, means all. All, including the academic. Our focus is in developing the whole child so that they become well rounded individuals who are ready for the next stage in their education or life.

In order to do this, we must address the academic basics and address them well, so that our pupils can become well equipped with the necessary skills, knowledge, understanding and wisdom to enable them to think for themselves and act for others. If we don’t insist on this then we are not offering our pupils life in all its fullness. The impact of this mantra can be seen in our schools’ outcomes. Simply put, as a group of schools, the longer the group has been in the trust the better the pupil progress indicators. Click here to see this explained in graph format.

Safe places of welcome and belonging
Our schools are inclusive. They are there for all faiths and none and regardless of any faith perspective we invest in our pupils’ spiritual development. Our schools are there to serve their community. Our schools are places where children know that it is okay to make mistakes because we learn from our mistakes and through doing this, our children and young people will become resilient and ultimately will have more successes to celebrate. We strive to foster a great sense of belonging in our schools so that pupils, parents, staff and the wider community all feel proud to be part of the family.

Experiences rooted in faith, hope and love
Our schools are havens to many children. Places where they are valued, where they will be championed, where they can be given different experiences to those that they have had previously, experiences that are rooted in faith, hope and love. Our schools live out our vision. Ethos, vision, values and words are not worth the paper they are written on if they are not lived out and are highly visible every day, permeating through everything that we do. Our vision is modelled to our pupils and this is so important, for it was once said: “Out of 100 men, one will read the Bible, the other 99 will read the Christian.” (Dwight Moody, 1837-1899)

Pupils need to see it, feel it and experience it if there is any chance of them wanting to be part of it.

Out of 100 men, one will read the Bible, the other 99 will read the Christian.