A welcome from the DDAT CEO, Mark Mallender

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.

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

Thank you for your interest in DDAT

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 a faith perspective, that is what all of us want for our pupils. This has been borne out by the number of community schools that have chosen to join DDAT, signing up to the vision and values that have children at their core.

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

Dwight Moody, 1837-1899

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, and driving school improvement.

DDAT work with other schools and organisations to share ideas and develop new models. We have partnerships in place and work closely with other MATs in the region as well as our Local Authorities of Derbyshire County Council and Derby City Council. We are an open organisation and operate within networks and working groups wherever we feel they can help us to improve the lives and life-chances of children and young people in Derbyshire.

Highest academic standards

Offering children and young people life in all its fullness, means all. All, including the academic. Our focus is on 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.

Curriculum principles

Our Christian emphasis on spiritual development, with the ensuing positive outcomes for personal and educational development, will lie at the heart of the curriculum in all our schools. Distinctly Christian values will be made explicit and be embedded in our teaching and learning, encouraging every child to realise their full potential in an environment that is supportive and caring, and dedicated to their individual growth and achievement. Each of our schools has its own curriculum that will deliver academic achievement, personal development and well-being for all learners, regardless of their ability or background.

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 schools’ provision 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)