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Backwell schools to join Lighthouse Schools Partnership

The Regional Schools Commissioner and Headteacher Board have given their approval for Backwell School, West Leigh Infant School, Backwell CE Junior School, Yatton Infant School, Yatton CE Junior School, Hannah Moor Infant School, Grove Junior School, Northleaze CE Primary school and Flax Bourton CE Primary School to join Lighthouse Schools Partnership.  These schools will form their own hub within the Multi-Academy Trust.   Their planned joining date is 1st December.

Lighthouse Chief Executive, Gary Lewis, welcomed the schools commenting: “We are absolutely thrilled to be working with this group of schools.  We already have a very close and positive relationship with Backwell School through our membership of their Teaching School Alliance but this formal collaboration within a Multi-Academy trust opens up many more doors to share expertise and practice and to serve our community as an excellent family of successful schools.”

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Teaching School Status awarded to St Peter’s Primary School

St Peter’s Primary School is proud to announce their new status as a Teaching School.

Head Teacher, Sharon Roberts, commented,

“Our new Teaching School status is a celebration and recognition of everything that we do as a school community. St Peter’s has demonstrated high quality standards of practice against every area within the school, and we are excited to start sharing this best practice within the wider teaching community.”

In order to become a Teaching School, certain criteria must be met, and over the past few years St Peter’s School has been consistent in demonstrating an environment of excellence for both staff and children. The commitment of staff towards continuous improvement has always been part of St Peter’s ethos.

St Peter’s School, a member of the Lighthouse Schools Partnership, is committed to sharing best practice within a broader sphere and is looking forward to opening its doors to other schools, training new teachers and providing support for other schools over the coming years.

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Student Leadership Conference

St John Greene, better known as ‘Singe’ and author of ‘Mum’s List’ delivered an inspirational talk to students from seven local Sixth Forms at Gordano School on March 22nd.

Mum’s List is a heart-warming true life story of Singe and Kate Greene, whose lives were turned upside down when Kate was diagnosed with an incurable breast cancer. Over her last few months she created her list: writing her thoughts and memories down to help the man she loved create the best life possible for their two sons after she is gone.

Speaking to Year 12 and 13 students representing their school’s student leadership teams, Singe advised them to seize every opportunity and to make the most of life.  The students later collaborated to discuss leadership strategies and to share ideas about study and event management.

Jeanne Fairs, Head of Sixth Form, said: “Singe is very much a local leader; he lives in Clevedon, his wife was a student at Gordano school and he once worked as a life guard at Churchill School sports centre.  The students were very engaged with his advice and he provided a springboard for a very productive afternoon of collaboration.”

Student Leadership Conference


Olympic Silver Medallist visits Gordano School!

Japanese Olympian, Mizuki Fujii, made a special visit to Gordano School this week to do a demonstration and offer tips and advice to some of our Year 7 girls. Mizuki is famous for winning a silver medal at the London 2012 Olympics!

Many thanks to Bristol Jets Badminton, Badminton England and Bristol Sport who helped make this visit possible.

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Mend the Gap Cheque

Gordano Sixth Form Students Raise Money for Mend the Gap

Gordano Sixth Form Students presented Mend the Gap with a cheque for an impressive £2100.00 raised from dressing up for RAG Week in October! The total figure raised was a whopping £4289.52 with the rest of the proceeds going towards Teenage Cancer Trust.

Jeanne Fairs, Head of Sixth Form, commented:

“This money will pay for half the salaries of the staff at the Bochoroke Village project which means that over 40 young people will have access to education.

Gordano school will continue to fundraise to keep supporting the Village project, and our partner schools at Girango.  Hannah Clay (pictured in the photo) will be visiting the village on the Sixth Form trip this summer to see first hand how we can continue to support.”




Portishead Primary School News Update

On Wednesday the 5th of October, 30 children and staff from Portishead Primary School ran the last mile of Ben Smith’s 401st and final consecutive marathon to promote anti-bullying.

To celebrate this incredible achievement, and as part of the school’s anti-bullying strategy, they have named their inclusion room ‘Room 401’ in his honour.

Headteacher, Richard Riordan, said: “Ben visited the school and left a lasting legacy with us which we are building on to promote respect and equality and to ensure that in our school we celebrate what makes us different and special”.

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Lighthouse Schools Partnership Launches

Welcome to the Lighthouse Schools Partnership.  Our conversion as a Multi-Academy Trust went through on schedule on 1st September.  It has been a huge amount of work and I am incredibly grateful to the Headteachers and Governors across the Trust for their leadership and vision and to Clare Sanders, our Chief Operating Officer, Tara Phillis, our HR Manager, and all the Business Managers and finance staff across the schools for their amazing attention to detail.  Very few conversions go through by the planned date and it already says a lot about our new organisation that we hit our first mark so very well.

All this work has been done behind the scenes and I expect that pattern to continue.  The Heads have been meeting almost weekly in our Executive Team for many months and we have been developing the vision and ethos for what our Trust will be.  A lot of that will be about collaborating as a partnership of equal but differing school cultures.  Over the next year you should see new opportunities and developments that would not have happened if the LSP didn’t exist but there will be far more continuity than change.

In coming together as a group of schools I am certain that we have done the right thing at the right time.  I looking forward enormously to all that we will achieve together for our community and young people.

Gary Lewis

Executive Principal



Lighthouse School Partnership Introduction

The Lighthouse School Partnership has grown from a group of like-minded and neighbouring schools.  We had worked together for years but in 2015 we decided that the moment had come to forge more formal structures. We wanted to collaborate more closely and realised that could only happen if we were willing to trust each other and share decisions about our futures.

But we also knew that we wanted to form a partnership in more than just name.  This has been really important and our structures have been built around the team ethic of the headteachers’ group.  Although ultimate decision making sits with our Trustees and we have an Executive Principal who takes the lead on accountability and raising standards across the Trust, the spirit of the Lighthouse Schools Partnership is in the equal collaboration between schools.  We have a secondary school of almost 2,000 students and a village primary of just over 100 children but every young person’s education is of equal worth and so too is the culture and voice of each of our schools.

Our Trust values excellence and collaboration but the real identity of each school remains its own and LSP does not seek to standardise the culture of its schools.  It is significant that each of our founding schools was judged to be good or outstanding in Ofsted terms.  This has meant that we have been able to launch our model of earned autonomy from a position of strength.  Our Scheme of Delegation retains powers for the Trust and the Executive Principal to intervene where there are concerns about standards, but in most cases decisions are taken in schools by Headteachers and Governors.  We have also developed a warm and strong relationship with the Diocese of Bath and Wells so that our Church of England schools can be confident that their ‘Christian distinctiveness’ is valued and protected.

From our first thoughts we wanted to be an ‘all through’ Trust.  From nursery to Sixth Form we make an offer to our community and we want to learn from each other, across schools and up and down our phases.

We believe that by working together we can provide more fully the aims to which we were committed as individual schools.  Central to this is a desire to invest in the training and excellence of our staff.  Gordano School’s track record as a Training School and now a National Teaching School is a great foundation on which to build for excellence across all phases for teachers and support staff.  We know that this will deliver exciting and effective learning to our children and young people.

And about our name… Portishead has not one, but two lighthouses and we think that the lighthouse has great symbolism in representing our desire to reach out beyond our locality as a beacon.  Enquiries about working or collaborating with LSP can be made to any of our Headteachers.

Gary Lewis

Executive Principal