An afternoon of talks, training and more inspires staff to strive to Be Their Best Selves

Staff from across the Thinking Schools Academy Trust came together earlier this week for an afternoon of informative talks, training sessions and inspirational conversations.  

The ‘MAT Meet’, which takes place twice a year, with one in March and another in June, as well as a whole day Trust conference in October, is focused on bringing staff together to learn and share ideas. 

Sophie Venables, who is the Head of Thinking Horizons which is a specialist professional development division of the Thinking Schools Academy Trust (TSAT), said all schools had the opportunity to engage with a keynote speaker. 

She said: "I’m feeling really encouraged following our event earlier in the week; it was good to see all schools attending the keynote speech which was broadcast live across the Trust with a Q&A session too. 

"Secondary school colleagues also had a chance to join their subject specialist groups, which gave them an opportunity to discuss best practice, work together on challenges and share inspiration too. By prioritising time to work together across the Trust, we can unite all staff as well as sharing the amazing expertise our staff have." 

A core value of TSAT is 'Aspire', focused on encompassing aspirations to 'Be Your Best Self'. Professional development is an important aspect of this, and Thinking Horizons is the support framework which enables staff to achieve their goals. 

"We always have a guest speaker to introduce other perspectives and views - this time it was Tom Sherrington, an internationally renowned leading voice in education, to sharing his deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the education sector" Sophie said.  

She added: "Last October our guest speaker was Jaz Ampaw-Farr, whose moving speech inspired so many of us the be 'Everyday Heroes'. I’m really pleased at how the team behind these events have come together to make these opportunities possible for our staff. They are going from strength to strength and the response has been positive."  

The Trust is planning their annual full-day conference which will take place in October, more details to be shared soon. Meanwhile, Thinking Horizons will continue to develop its offering to all teaching and non-teaching staff in order to present more opportunities to encourage everyone to Be Their Best Selves. 

For more information about Thinking Horizons, go to