Monday 12th July saw our third annual ‘Delivering a CORE education’ conference go online.

This year in collaboration with Film Division, staff and students from across our Trust were brought together after months of research, planning, and pre-recording to deliver a conference with a difference.

Arena Academy hosted three guest speakers, Headteachers, and Heads of School who delivered their keynotes in a pop-up studio, broadcasting live across the entire Trust.


Diana Osagie spoke to the leaders in us, setting us ‘on fire’ at the beginning of the day. We listened to Diana’s journey to Headteacher. The talk included personal reflections and encouraged us to thrive during periods of adversity, be courageous and strive for the best.

Staff feedback: “I found Diana engaging and I could identify with a lot of her ideas and advice.  I will try to be more courageous”



John Thomsett shared his experience as the headteacher of a research school, with a focus on putting staff first. He discussed the importance of teaching and learning, developing skills, setting goals and building resilience.

Staff feedback: “I found John Thomsett’s talk very inspiring and interesting.”



Professor Colin Diamond CBE championed working together ‘as one’ to increase the chances of the young people we serve.

We heard from our students about what they bring to a team, and from there, Colin spoke of oneness, celebrating our achievements and moving forward together.

Staff feedback: “Colin Diamond’s conversation encouraged me to think of the good work and collaborative spirit and profile of the arts and wider school and how much we have done and can still do in the future”



As well as our special guests, staff took part in breakout sessions delivered by our Headteachers, Heads of School, Head of Governance, and the HR team. We saw an introduction to the CORE & me programme, where staff heard about opportunities within the Trust. Staff were also encouraged to look for ways in which they can enrich their local communities through volunteer initiatives.



General Feedback:

“The day was good and as always put together great, as I understand the key priority for us as a Trust is the achievements of our young students and I enjoy seeing the areas students thrive in such as COREus.”

“DACE conference has been really informative yet exciting. I also think “Me & My shadow” would be an amazing opportunity to explore different methodologies among CORE schools.”

“It reminded me why I teach and the importance of our role!”


COREus contribution, One Love.

DACE21 was a day for us to draw together and focus on the future… with that in mind we closed the conference with a message from our students, directed and conceived by COREus Choir.


CORE Leaders of Tomorrow (CORELoT)

20 CORELoT students from across the trust completed their Leaders of Tomorrow coaching programme with professional actor Fela Lufadeju.

The leadership programme has provided students with a range of opportunities, including mentoring and leadership skills. Alongside Fela’s mentoring, CORE LoT has developed the students’ confidence and cemented their own core beliefs.

Throughout this last year, students have developed into confident young adults with a powerful message they want to share with the world.

At the DACE pop-up studio, we were able to invite our CORE Leaders of Tomorrow to Arena Academy to record their speeches, which included a culmination of current affairs, reflections on the past year and looking to the future.