The Biddenham Campus Trust was created in 2010 and founded on a set of core principles and values. It’s mission as an organisation is captured in the phrase ‘Opening Minds - Transforming Lives’ and the Trust is driven by four core principles: friendship, inspiration, determination and success. These are further elaborated in a matrix of values:
|Friendship||Nurturing and inclusive relationships, and the values of equality and respect are at the heart of our Trust family. We create safe, secure and happy educational environments where we embrace diversity in all its richness, individuals feel a sense of belonging and we care for the welfare and wellbeing of others.|
|Inspiration||Through personal challenge, high expectations and the development of self-motivation, we encourage a passion for learning. We stimulate curiosity and engagement through inspirational teaching and leadership, and motivate individuals to continue learning confidently throughout their lives.|
|Determination||We encourage a positive, optimistic outlook, and build stamina and personal resilience. Through this we develop moral courage, integrity and leadership, and enable individuals to work both independently and as part of a team.|
|Success||We ensure that individuals experience success in a range of curricular and extracurricular activities. Through excellent teaching and the development of high quality support we encourage individuals to aim high and exceed their own and others’ expectations.|
The Governors, leadership and staff at Biddenham International School & Sports College were attracted to the idea of forming a Charitable School Trust as a vehicle for taking forward the school’s success and innovative momentum. Over time, people associated with a school come and go, and as their shifting beliefs, ideologies and alliances impact on the organisation, a school’s fortunes can fluctuate widely. Given that Trusts are built around a solid core of agreed principles, which are then fiercely guarded by an independent group of trustees, they can provide a solid foundation upon which to build a sustainable long-term future. Anyone who doubts the positive longer-term benefits of forming a Trust need look no further locally than The Harpur Trust, which has a distinguished 400 year history. The modern Trust movement provides an opportunity to create a consistently successful future for its schools. It does this in three important ways:
1. Embedding our Principles and Values
Our principles provide us with our primary guidelines and reference points for professional practice; and our values map out our enduring beliefs. These lie at the core of a Trust and help ensure that the ideas that inspire our vibrancy and achievements as a school are first clarified and then deeply embedded in our organisation. Though these might be amended and added to over time, we see our current matrix of principles and values as carrying us into the future with great confidence, moral purpose and excitement.
2. Developing an Independent Mindset
Given that we come to own our premises and employ our own staff, becoming a Trust also greatly reinforces what is already a powerfully independent ‘mindset’. It provides a clear message to those in the wider community that, while we have a strong commitment to collaboration and multi-agency working, this springs from a confident and fiercely independent spirit. Amongst other things, this independence of mind enables us to determine our own path towards achieving our aspirations. This means we are better able to achieve a well-judged balance between each of the five ‘Every Child Matters’ outcomes (ECM 2004 Children Act):
so that young people are physically, mentally, emotionally and sexually healthy, have healthy lifestyles and demonstrate that they actively pursue personal wellbeing;
from mistreatment, neglect, violence, sexual exploitation, bullying and discrimination, crime and anti-social behaviour, accidental injury, and expressing feelings of security, stability and being cared for both in and out of school;
Enjoying and Achieving
so that they are ready and motivated for learning, attend and enjoy school, achieve stretching educational levels of attainment, and express feelings of personal enjoyment, achievement and success at school;
- Making a Positive Contribution so that they engage in decision-making, support their communities, engage in positive, lawful behaviour, develop positive relationships, choose not to bully and discriminate, develop self-confidence, successfully deal with significant challenges and life changes and develop enterprising behaviour; above all they show a growing willingness to contribute on a local, regional, national and international level to environmental care and the wellbeing of others;
Achieving Economic Well-being
so that they engage in life-long learning, gain employment and training, live in decent homes and have access to sustainable community facilities.
3. Drawing in New Ideas and Energy
Finally, Trusts bring with them ‘trust partners’ and these bring fresh energy and ideas, and access to new networks of people who together bring a vibrant new dimension to the school’s mission. There is no issue of control here; the Trust Board meets three times a year and only two Trustees sit on a school’s governing body, which still retains full responsibility for the governance and oversight of the school. We are very pleased that Biddenham Campus Trust Partners include The University of Bedfordshire, The Grass Roots Group, Horizon Health and Bedfordshire Police. We greatly enjoy working with them as active partners in pursuing our principles and values, working to achieve the five ECM outcomes and ultimately to achieving our core mission as a Trust.
Currently there are two core members of the Trust: Biddenham International School and Sports College and Great Denham Primary School. There are also three Associate Members: Livingstone Primary School, Priory Lower School and Westfield School.
The Aims of the Biddenham Campus Trust
The core aim of the Trust is to pursue its mission, principles and values with energy, enthusiasm, stamina and creativity.
A fundamental strength of the Trust is collaboration with other schools and organisations. Currently we are the administrative home of the following organisations:
- The PLACE Programme (LA sponsored support service for EHE families)
- The Bedford Borough Learning Exchange
- The Bedford-Copenhagen Learning Exchange
- The Associate Educational Fellowship Programme (in partnership with the University of Bedfordshire)
- The Bedford BME ‘Step-into-Leadership’ Programme
- The Bedford Embracing Diversity Programme
We are all confident that the Trust will continue to provide a vehicle for forging strong and lasting alliances, locally, nationally and internationally.