Adventure Learning Academies Trust

Category: News

Satswana appointed as the Trust Data Protection Officer (DPO)

The Trust have appointed Satswana as the Trust Data Protection Officer (DPO).

Satswana does not only offer organisations a “Data Protection Officer” to meet their legal liability, they back that up with support from deep level skills across the full range of computing, data handling and cyber security. Satswana will be contacting each school to do an ‘Impact Assessment’ which looks at the systems and processes within the school for handling personal data, along with any actions needed and also be providing an hour long training session in each school. You can visit their website for more details-

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Trust Merger

Consultation – Trust Merger

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Gulval School for Cornwall School of the Year!

Gulval primary school, an Adventure Learning Academy Trust school, has been nominated and shortlisted for ‘Cornwall School of the Year’ at the prestigious Cornwall Teaching Awards. The awards include finalists from across the whole county and, as the organisers state, “To be shortlisted is a substantial achievement”.

On May 4th the winners will be announced at Truro Cathedral and staff at the school are extremely excited to hear the result. Proud Principal Mr Baker commented, ‘This is a big deal for us and we are absolutely delighted to have received this recognition, a credit to the hard work and dedication of the whole staff team, our community and of course our amazing children over recent years. What a journey!’

Gulval have commissioned a very special short film which will be shown on the evening for each nominee and we will share the video on their website following the awards evening.

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The Young Americans visit FRA to bring students to the stage!

Fowey River Academy have returned to school fully energised after ending the Spring term with a bang- or rather a snap, crackle and a bit of pop! Before FRA students headed off for their Easter holidays this year, they welcomed The Young Americans to the school to inspire them with performance magic. For those of you who haven’t already heard of this brilliant volunteer- based organisation; The Young Americans consist of separate tour groups, where teenagers and young adults use their gifts as performers to inspire and promote confidence among school students from all walks of life- across all different parts of the world. Over the course of three (energy filled) days, students across all year groups were taught a range of routines including dancing, acting and singing, and then pulled the routines together for a fantastic show that was performed in front of friends and family on the final day of term. Well done to all the students for believing in themselves and for putting on a show that won’t be forgotten.



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Diploma in Trauma and Mental Health – Informed Schools

Diploma in Trauma and Mental Health – Informed Schools

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Colchester Academy rated ‘good’… for the first time in 26 years!

DELIGHTED staff and students are celebrating today after their school was rated “good” for the first time after 26 years.

Colchester Academy was given the rating following an Ofsted visit last month.

Government statistics show it is the fourth best in Colchester in terms of the progress children make while at the school.

Since education body Ofsted was formed in 1992, the academy, which was formerly called Sir Charles Lucas School, has never been awarded a “good” rating – the second best score.

Fiona Pierson, who became the headteacher almost three years ago, put the improvement down to the work of everyone at the school.

She said: “So much work has been put in by everyone here from the staff, to the children, to the parents.

“Having such a great school is something the whole community can look at and be proud of.

“But I think the important thing to say is the job isn’t done and it never will be done because we have to keep up the high standards we’ve set.”

Miss Pierson has also been nominated for Headteacher of the Year 2018 at the Essex Teaching Awards.

She said: “That’s a bit embarrassing really. It’s not just myself who has helped to turn things around so I think it’s recognition for the whole school rather than just myself.

“Of course, I’m grateful to be nominated and shortlisted but I think embarrassing is definitely the word.”

The school was put into special measures in July 2015 when pupils were found to be underachieving.

During the last inspection at the school in December 2015 three of the fours areas on which schools are judged were assessed as “requires improvement”.

But now all four have been ranked good by inspectors who noted teaching, achievement, behaviour and attendance had all improved.

The rating means every secondary school and academy in Colchester now has an Ofsted rating of at least good.

St Helena School in Sheepen Road, Colchester, has also maintained its “good” rating following an inspectors’ visit last month.

Proud – St Helena headteacher Zoe King with head girl Chloe Gregor and head boy Joel Barnett

Headteacher Zoë King said: “I am delighted that Ofsted again judged the school to be good.

“This is a fantastic report which highlights the real strengths which exist at St Helena School.

“It is the combined efforts of our staff, students and parents which have ensured St Helena School remains a good school delivering a high quality of education for the community.”

The report stated following a period of concern, the school has taken steps to ensure maths is improving.

However, it pointed out teaching in languages is not as strong as other subjects.

St Helena’s School’s full report can be viewed at

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Pilot project tackling tooth decay in Ipswich primary school children

A new dental health project aiming to cut tooth decay in children of primary school age has been launched in Ipswich.

Mayor of Ipswich and nurse Sarah Barber joined leaders from Suffolk County Council at Cliff Lane Primary School to kick-off the fresh scheme this week.

Cliff Lane and Highfield Nursery Primary School are taking part in the pilot, which will support pupils and parents with key tips and advice on keeping teeth healthy.

The trial is part of the ‘Keep Suffolk Smiling’ initiative, which has seen parents given free toothbrushes and toothpaste at their child’s 12-month check-up.

Teachers at the two schools will get help from Suffolk’s community dental health team to deliver important messages about dental health, alongside information to take home for parents.

Although oral health is improving in England, almost a quarter of five-year-olds have tooth decay, and oral health accounts for around £3.4billion per year to the NHS. Tooth decay was the most common reason for hospital admissions in children aged five-nine in 2014/15 with more than 24,000 youngsters admissions for an almost entirely preventable disease.

In Suffolk, 79.1% of five-year-olds are free from dental decay, compared to the national average of 75.2%.

Tony Goldson, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for health and chairman of the Suffolk Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “It’s good that in Suffolk we have better standards of dental health than across England as a whole, we know more work is needed to better oral health standards for all children in Suffolk.

“This pilot scheme is another way that Suffolk County Council is working hard to give every child in Suffolk the best start in life.”

Mrs Barber, a nurse at Ipswich Hospital, said: “Good dental health from a young age is incredibly important, which is why I wholeheartedly support this project to support teachers and parents to raise awareness of the issue among children.

“By working with Cliff Lane Primary School, among others, we’re hoping to make a real difference to children’s oral health and I am really pleased to be part of this project from the outset.”

Suffolk County Council’s director of public health and protection, Abdul Razaq, was also at the launch event.

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Success for Alde Valley Academy as school is formally recognised to be a ‘Good school’ with ‘Outstanding’ attributes by Ofsted

Alde Valley Academy, Leiston, Suffolk, a Bright Tribe Trust school is celebrating being awarded a ‘Good’ Ofsted rating with ‘Outstanding’ attributes just four years after being judged ‘Inadequate’ and placed in Special Measures by the Department for Education. Ofsted inspectors commented that since the school converted to academy status in 2014, “the level of support given by the Multi Academy Trust has been instrumental in enabling the school to move forward”, and that the Bright Tribe Trust has played an essential role in “quickly identifying the problems and then seeking out and appointing a principal who has so successfully driven change.”

Inspectors also praised the outstanding leadership of the principal Michael Wilson commenting that since his appointment, “the principal has galvanised staff, pupils, parents and the local community to support the school’s rapid improvement under his leadership” and that “leaders of the Multi Academy Trust and the head teacher have a vision for the school which staff share.”

This judgement marks the latest in a series of successes for the school which this summer included 62% of GCSE students gaining a grade 4 and above in mathematics and English combined. Just last week the school also celebrated a positive progress 8 score of +0.46 placing the school significantly above the national average for the progress of its students.

Inspectors commented on the words of one parent who stated that, “this school is now the school that everyone is talking about and considering moving their children here.”

Other improvements noted by inspectors included vastly improved behaviour which they declared to be ‘outstanding’. The report states that the conduct of pupils ‘is exemplary’ and that students, “are polite and welcoming to visitors and engage courteously in conversation, often instigating it.”

Michael Wilson, Principal at Alde Valley Academy said, “This is truly a reflection of the incredible hard work of all our staff, students and parents. Since my arrival three years ago I have witnessed Alde Valley Academy improve dramatically, a reflection of our commitment to high expectations and high standards in every aspect of the school. This is a great boost for the town of Leiston”.

Mary McKeeman, Chief Operations Officer, Bright Tribe Trust commented, “This report represents yet another success for Alde Valley Academy, following on from its hugely improved academic results. With the continued support of staff, pupils and the school community we know Alde Valley Academy can become the outstanding school of choice in the local area. Congratulations to everyone at the school!”


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Bright Tribe’s Alde Valley and Colchester Academies celebrate improvement in Progress 8

Placing both schools significantly above the national average for the progress of its students


Bright Tribe, a non-profit making, multi-academy trust, is reporting record results for Alde Valley and Colchester Academies in Progress 8 results – a measurement which benchmarks a student’s progress between the end of Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 4 across eight key subjects.



Alde Valley Academy celebrates outstanding Progress 8 results

 Now significantly above the national average for the progress of its students

Alde Valley Academy, Bright Tribe’s secondary school and sixth form, in Leiston, Suffolk celebrated a positive Progress 8 score of +0.46 placing it significantly above the national average for the progress of its students.  Zero is the baseline average score for schools

The school, which is on a firm upward trajectory, was also recognised in its recent Ofsted report as a Good school with Outstanding attributes just four years after being judged ‘Inadequate’ and placed in Special Measures by the Department for Education.

Commenting on the students’ progress, Principal Michael Wilson said, “We are thrilled with our result of +0.46 which shows that we are achieving very significantly above national benchmarks and clearly demonstrates the outstanding quality of teaching and learning that takes place within our school. Students at Alde Valley achieve significantly better than their prior attainment would suggest for all groups of learners.

“This goes hand-in-hand with the excellent results the school achieved at GCSE level this summer and represents a truly phenomenal outcome for us.”

This judgement marks the latest in a series of successes for the school which this summer included 62% of GCSE students gaining a grade 4 and above in mathematics and English combined.

Colchester Academy celebrates Progress 8 results – placing the school above the national average for the progress of its students

Colchester Academy, a vibrant Bright Tribe academy in Colchester, Essex, providing outstanding learning for 11–16 year-olds, celebrated marked improvements in its Progress 8 results of +0.23 – placing the school above the national average for the progress of its students. Zero is the baseline average score for schools.

Earlier this year students at Colchester Academy also celebrated marked improvements in its GCSE results which showed improved academic measures from the previous year’s results as well as gaps between key inclusion groups narrowing significantly. Individually a number of students performed particularly well, celebrating A* results as well as grade 8s or above in the new maths and English GCSEs.

Fiona Pierson, Principal at Colchester Academy commented, “We are absolutely thrilled with our Progress 8 results and delighted to see so many students achieve so well, with many outperforming their predicted targets. Staff and students alike have worked incredibly hard throughout the year and I am delighted with the success the school has achieved.  I wish all students the very best of luck in the next stage of their education.”

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Whoopi the therapy dog recruited to help pupils at Gulval School in Penzance with a diverse curriculum

Children returning to Gulval School, Adventure Learning Academy Trust, in Penzance, Cornwall, this term found a welcome new addition when they walked through the gates – Whoopi the therapy dog. She joins a big family of animals including twelve chickens, two rabbits and two pygmy goats.

Research studies in both Britain and America1 have concluded that having a dog in a school classroom can have many positive benefits. The presence of animals teaches responsibility, raises self-esteem, improves attendance, decreases anxiety and stress, supports children’s emotional and social development and brings the school community closer together.

Animals have played a key role in Gulval School’s transformation from Inadequate to Good in just three years. The school was in Special Measures but the appointment of new Principal, Paul Baker turned its fortunes around.

It is now a Good school and was rated Outstanding by Ofsted for the behaviour, safety and the welfare of its pupils, Ofsted inspectors commented that, “The varied and diverse curriculum offers pupils many exciting opportunities to learn. The use of the outdoors is a particular strength” and that “The Principal leads with a relentless ambition for excellence. He leads by example to create a haven where pupils make good progress.”

Since joining Adventure Learning Academy Trust and the appointment of the Principal, SATs results at Gulval have risen dramatically. Its Key Stage 2 results are significantly above national averages in Reading, Writing, Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar and Maths and the school is now an increasingly popular choice with parents.

Whoopi’s exact duties are yet to be decided but she is already impacting on the social and emotional development of pupils and acting as a Listening Dog, supporting children to improve their skills by reading to her. Research in the USA shows that reading to a dog can lead to an increase in reading levels, word recognition and more enthusiasm for reading and writing.

When she’s not at school, Whoopi is at home with Blue Class teacher Mr Goddard. He introduced Whoopi to his wife during his speech on their wedding day which upstaged the best man completely!

Paul Baker, the Principal at Gulval, said: “Whoopi started school at just 14 weeks which makes her the youngest member of our school community. She is very cute, full of fun and the children love having her around.  She has fitted in very well and I am sure she will be a real asset to our school.”

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