Adventure Learning Academies Trust

Category: News

Understanding SATs

If you’ve got a child in year 2 or year 6, you could well be hearing mutterings about SATs (Statutory Assessment Tests) at the school gate. Here’s our guide.

What are SATs?

All state primary pupils in England are tested at the end of Key Stage 1 (year 2) and Key Stage 2 (year 6). Many schools run ‘unofficial’ optional SATs in years 3 to 5 as well.
Year 6 children take their tests on set dates in mid-May. Results are then submitted to the school’s local authority and to parents by the end of the summer term.
Things work a little differently for year 2 children now – it used to be that their results were solely based on the tests but there’s been a move towards teachers making a general judgement (‘teacher assessment’). They will use the test scores to inform this, alongside other evidence, such as the understanding shown by pupils in their classwork. The tests can be given to children at any time during the year and they shouldn’t be particularly aware of what they’re used for or their significance – most schools will keep things very low key.

Which subjects are covered?

Year 6 children are tested in spelling, punctuation and grammar (known as the SPAG test), reading and maths (with both written and mental maths tests). Their writing is now assessed by the teacher rather than formally tested and as of 2013 there was also no science test. Year 2 children will be assessed for maths, reading, writing, speaking and listening and science but they are only tested for the first three of these areas.

Will I be told the results?

Yes, by law parents must be given their children’s results, broken down by subject, at the end of the summer term in years 2 and 6.
For year 2 children, schools have to provide the teacher’s assessment but do not have to give you the results of any written tests unless requested.

What sort of results will we be given?

You should get a report with SATs levels for each subject. At the end of year 2, the minimum expected level is a 2b – note this is not the national average as it is sometimes touted to be but a target standard. A 2c or 1a/b/c is below expectations, 2a is above expectations and a level 3 means your child is doing even better.

At the end of year 6, a level 4 is the minimum expected level, with a level 5 above expectations and a level 3 below expectations. This year, schools have the option of giving very able pupils level 6 papers.

Remember that for some children, a level 1 in year 2 or a level 3 in year 6 might still be a fantastic achievement.

For more information, also see the Parentdish guide to National Curriculum levels.


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ALAT Extraordinary Award winner

On Thursday the 18th of June, Fowey River Academy had their annual Celebration Evening. It was a night where the lower school’s achievements were recognised and celebrated in front of family members and other invited guests.

Making it’s debut, ALAT sponsored an award ‘The ALAT Extraordinary People Award’ for which there could be only one overall winner. The award recognises ‘a student who demonstrates one or more exceptional qualities such as: resilience and succeeding against the odds; helping others; outstanding progress; leadership’.

The award presented by the Fowey’s Principal, John Perry, went to Chloe Dobbs – congratulations! Chloe is an inspiration to fellow students and the perfect role model. Chloe has already taken her GCSE maths early and is currently spending her free time helping fellow peers to revise ahead of their up and coming GCSE exams.

As winner Chloe received a certificate, trophy and a £20 Amazon voucher.


Chloe Dobbs final



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The Height of Inspiration unveiled at Fowey River Academy

A new sculpture designed by students of Fowey River Academy has been unveiled at the Cornish school.

The brightly coloured installation which was created by nine students and local sculptor Richard Austin was unveiled in front of parents, governors, academy staff and the Mayor of Fowey this week.

Year 10 students’ on the alternative curriculum programme at the academy were given the opportunity to complete an 8 week programme of creative arts supported by local charity Reach Out: Project 180. Throughout the programme the students have worked towards creating a sculpture for the entrance of the school, which was finally unveiled this week in front of parents, governors, academy staff and representatives from the local community.

Based on designs created by students The Height of Inspiration stands an impressive 8 feet tall and represents all aspects of Fowey River Academy life.

  • The beams of light are different colours to represent each of the Academy’s Houses.
  • The flame represents a guiding light in the academy
  • The book represents learning
  • Learn, Grow, Prosper is the Adventure Learning Academy Trust (ALAT) moto.
  • The ladder represents learning and climbing for the top
  • The hands represent friendship, community and partnership
  • The flying fish represents anyone can do and achieve anything
  • Finally, the boat represents adventure and Fowey’s nautical history.

Debi Annear, HLTA at the Academy, has said of the students and the project ‘‘I am extremely proud of all of the students and just like the name of the sculpture I find every one of them an inspiration. The finished sculpture has managed to encapsulate each student’s impression of the academy in an abstract and artistic way’.


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Gulval School spring into action to raise funds for Nepal

Gulval School pupils held a sponsored walk on Tuesday to collect money for Shelter Box, an organisation providing emergency aid to disaster zones.

The children walked the equivalent of 200 miles collectively and raised over £1,180.

Paul Baker, Principal at Gulval School, said: “Our school community was so moved by the tragic stories coming out of Nepal, involving families no different to us, that we decided to act. The children planned the sponsored event and we came together very quickly to raise in excess of £1,180. I was incredibly proud of the children involved with this event, they showed compassion and a real desire to work hard for others less fortunate than themselves, together they have made a difference to the lives of those caught up in this disaster.

Each Shelter Box is £590, the school have raised a grand total of £1,180 which is enough to send two boxes to Nepal.

In January of this year Gulval signed the International Charter to become Cornwall’s first Compassionate School, they were the first in Cornwall to do so. The school have certainly been living up to its status.

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Adventure Learning is celebrated at Cornish Academy

Pupils at Tywardreath School have enjoyed a day of adventurous activities as they celebrate being a part of Adventure Learning Academy Trust (ALAT).

The school converted to academy status on 1st January 2015 and has tried to hold this event numerous times but has unfortunately been thwarted by bad weather conditions on previous occasions.

But at last the event was able to happen and what a day it was. The day was supported by Cornwall Outdoors who brought with them a 7 meter high climbing wall and archery equipment.

Of the event Heidi Hoskin the Principal at Tywardreath said “A fantastic day was had by all children experiencing and gaining confidence in new outdoor skills.  The children enjoyed the climbing tower and wall, archery, camp fire building and team building activities. Key Stage 1 children especially enjoyed team games involving water and getting very wet! The day was worth the third attempt with perfect weather conditions!”

This exciting programme of events represents the distinctive ethos of ALAT which places adventure, excitement and real-life experiences at the heart of the curriculum where all children can aim for excellence in achievement.

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Altarnun Primary School enjoying the Cornerstones Curriculum

The Cornerstones Curriculum is widely used throughout all our primary academies and with “USA Road Trip” and “Dinosaur Planet” as topics who wouldn’t enjoy learning!

Pupils in Class One at Altarnun Primary School have just finished learning about dinosaurs, and as a part of their topic the children went on a prehistoric learning adventure around the school grounds. So…..what happened on this hunt? Read two eyewitnesss reports from Jessica and Liam (class 1).

Dull stones turned into Dinosaur eggs!

On Tuesday the 14th of April Miss Cox told us about a fighting noise that she heard in the shed.  It was really odd. I thought it was a dinosaur…

So I was a dinosaur detective! On our adventure I found a stone, after that I took it inside. I wrote a sheet about what it might be.

Last of all we cracked our eggs and it was a plastic dinosaur inside. Mine was a psittacosaurus. It lived 100 and 90 million years ago.

 Written by Jessica

The Loud Noise at Altarnun School!

On Tuesday 14th April Miss Cox was in the shed when she heard something loud. It sounded like a dinosaur! So I investigated everywhere looking for clues. Then I found an egg hidden in the willow. It was brown, spotty and grey. Then I broke it open and found out it was a coelophysis and they eat meat.

Written by Liam

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The ALAT family all get behind World Book Day

Pupils and teachers a like all got behind World Book Day this year – can you work out who the characters are?

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Students at Fowey River Academy take part in Cornwall’s largest interactive health care exhibition

On Friday 6th March, 14 students from Fowey River Academy attended the Knowledge Spa Treliske Truro to take part in Cornwall’s largest interactive health care exhibition. It was a chance for students to discover the wide range of exciting career opportunities within the health care world. There were many exhibitors with interactive stands from Cornwall mobility centre to RCH NHS Trust-Speech and Language. There were also a number of exciting workshops running throughout the session – Royal Society of Chemistry, Human movement and function laboratory, Operating Department Practice and the Simulated Ward. The students found the workshops particularly interesting.

‘Visiting the Knowledge Spa has really helped us get a more detailed view of what careers are offered within the health care sector. We were able to gather a lot of up-to-date information and the workshops were a great chance to interact with a group and get involved in activities’ – yr10 students.


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Inspirational Instructional Round at Gulval School

Representatives from across all of ALAT’s Cornish academies ascended on Gulval School yesterday for an Instructional Round led by internationally renowned author, scholar and ALAT’s Director of Education Professor David Hopkins.

Instructional rounds; a practice adapted to education from the field of medicine, embodies a specific set of ideas about how practitioners can work together to solve common problems and improve their practice. In the education context, it is designed to help schools support high-quality teaching and learning for all students. Instructional Rounds strategically connect schools within the Trust and builds collaborative network of educators who learn from one another about improving teaching and learning.

Yesterday’s event included a combination of classroom walkthroughs, observations with discussion and feedback led by Prof Hopkins.

The event was hosted by Gulval School and of the event Chair of Governors Leslie Church said “the school hosted a very successful Instructional Day with all the Cornwall ALAT Schools represented and Prof David Hopkins leading the discussion afterwards. From my perspective the school “feels” very different. There is a feeling of positivity coming through as well as some very common threads in learning styles. The staff have obviously worked very hard to achieve so much uniformity in the level of depth and height of demand they are placing on the children in terms of their thinking and learning skills.

The next Instructional Round is next month at Tywardreath School.

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Compassionate Gulval comes 1st in Cornwall


In November last year, Cornwall became the first county in the world to sign the international Charter for Compassion, leading the way for other communities in the UK.

Gulval School has now become the first school in the county to register as a Compassionate School and only the second in the country.

Charter for Compassion International is a global movement whose aim is to restore the Golden Rule – Always treat others as you would wish to be treated – to the heart of communities, locally and globally. It has many member communities, organisations and educational establishments worldwide, and the UK is just beginning to catch up, with the Compassionate Cornwall Initiative at the forefront.

As a compassionate school, Gulval will be able to draw upon a wealth of resources, and network with other schools around the world that are also striving for a culture of compassionate action.

Year six students are currently forging links with contemporaries in Botswana, the world’s first registered compassionate country and a partner of Compassionate Cornwall. The Compassionate Cornwall Initiative’s founder, Tam Martin Fowles, will be in Botswana working with schools and community groups during the first part of February, and will take pieces of art and written work on the subjects of hope and compassion from Gulval pupils to students in Gaborone, Botswana’s capital. It is hoped that this gesture will be reciprocated, and a lasting link may be forged between the two compassionate communities.

Anyone can sign the Charter for Compassion as an individual, and organisations, groups, businesses and institutions can register as partners, at no cost, and reap the benefits of being part of a dynamic international network.

Please visit–compassionate-cornwall-initiative.html to sign or learn more.

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