Children from ten primary schools across Teesside and County Durham came together recently (7 June) to demonstrate their sporting talents.

Pupils from Ad Astra Academy Trust schools met up for the day-long sports event at Middlesbrough Sports Village where they competed in a range of events including running, long jump, hurdles and distance throwing.

Pete Wiley and Helen Durnion, School Improvement Leads with Ad Astra, helped co-ordinate the event.

Pete Wiley said: “We organise regular collaborative events for our schools and the sports event was a huge success.

“All of the pupils showed their determination to succeed. They gave their all and competed in a very respectful manner.

“One of our primary schools (Ayresome) hold their annual sports day at Middlesbrough Sports Village so we modelled their programme and it worked really well.

“Performing at such a notable regional sporting venue like Middlesbrough Sports Village can only help inspire our pupils to achieve high in their chosen sports.”

Around 150 youngsters aged between 7 and 11 took part in the event and they all received a medal.

A rosette was also awarded to a child from each school who was judged to best reflect the Ad Astra Academy Trust STARS (Support, Togetherness, Achieve, Respect, Success) values.

The ten schools under the umbrella of Ad Astra Academy Trust are Sunnyside and Ayresome in Middlesbrough, Crooksbarn and Rosebrook in Stockton-on-Tees, Barnard Grove, Brougham, West Park and West View in Hartlepool and Deaf Hill and Kelloe in County Durham.

Andy Brown OBE, Chief Executive Officer of Ad Astra Academy Trust, said: “This was a wonderful event, and I would like to thank everyone who contributed to its success.

“As a Trust we encourage our pupils to participate in sport and physical activity as part of our overall approach to promote healthy lifestyles.

“Events like this are also important because they provide an opportunity for our children to meet their counterparts from other schools.”

 

Ad Astra Academy Trust was formed in 2015 and over the last nine years has grown across the Tees Valley, providing education for over 3,500 pupils and 525 employees in Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees and Hartlepool.

Youngsters from primary schools across Teesside and County Durham came together this week (22 April) to demonstrate their science knowledge.

Pupils from Ad Astra Academy Trust schools met up at AV Dawson offices in the Port of Middlesbrough for the day-long event where they showcased their talents.

Prior to the event, pupils were tasked with devising a specific project on a science theme which they then shared with fellow pupils at the event.

Topics were wide ranging and included inventions, density, biodegradables, evolution, and the human body.

At the event, pupils received a tour of AV Dawson’s 360 degree viewing platform where they learned about the vast range of local industries and businesses.

There are ten schools under the umbrella of Ad Astra Academy Trust. They are Sunnyside and Ayresome in Middlesbrough, Crooksbarn and Rosebrook in Stockton-on-Tees, Barnard Grove, Brougham, West Park and West View in Hartlepool and Deaf Hill and Kelloe in County Durham.

Pete Wiley and Helen Durnion, School Improvement Leads with Ad Astra, helped co-ordinate the event.

Pete Wiley said: “We aim to organise a collaborative event for our schools each term and this time the topic was science.

“All of the children worked really hard to prepare for the event and it was a great way for them to demonstrate their talents and learn from each other.

“The event also provided an excellent opportunity for children to learn about the fantastic range of industries and careers that exist on their doorstep, and this can only inspire them to achieve high and reach their goals in life.”

Mr Wiley added that the event was a huge success and thanked AV Dawson for providing the venue.

Andy Brown OBE, Chief Executive Officer of Ad Astra Academy Trust, added: “Science is an important part of the school curriculum and all of the children excelled at the event.

“Science is a massive sector in the jobs market, and it is important that we highlight to children at a young age that there are fantastic opportunities in their local area.”

The event was supported by Andrew Stogdale of Sparks Tees Valley who delivered a science show to children, highlighting the many opportunities in the local area.

Ad Astra Academy Trust was formed in 2015 and over the last nine years has grown to provide education for over 3,500 pupils and 600 employees.

22 April 2024

Children from eight primary school across Teesside came together this week (24 January) to demonstrate their creative art talents.

Pupils from Ad Astra Academy Trust schools met up at Sunnyside Academy in Coulby Newham for the day-long event where they made ceramic tiles from clay.

Prior to the event, pupils were tasked with designing their tiles to reflect the principles and values of individual Ad Astra schools.

Helen Craggs, Art Leader at Sunnyside Academy, who helped co-ordinate the event, said: “This is the first time that Ad Astra schools have collaborated on an event like this.

“Sunnyside Academy is the only school within Ad Astra to have its own kiln, so it is an ideal location.

“The event has given children the opportunity to demonstrate their creative talent and all of the ceramic tiles will be displayed at Ad Astra’s Festival of Education later this year.”

The eight schools under the umbrella of Ad Astra are Sunnyside and Ayresome in Middlesbrough, Crooksbarn and Rosebrook in Stockton-on-Tees and Barnard Grove, Brougham, West Park and West View in Hartlepool.

Andy Brown OBE, Chief Executive Officer of Ad Astra Academy Trust, added: “Creative arts features strongly in all of our schools and is an important part of the curriculum.

“All of the children have fully embraced the event. The artwork is of an exceptional standard, and I am very proud of all the pupils who participated.”

Ad Astra Academy Trust was formed in 2015 and over the last nine years has grown across the Tees Valley, providing education for over 3,500 pupils and 525 employees in Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees and Hartlepool.

Issued by Alastair Rae, on behalf of Ad Astra Academy Trust. For further information, call 07581239557.

25 January 2024

A two-year pilot project involving several Teesside primary schools has improved the speech, language and communication skills of nursery pupils (3 and 4-year-olds).

Ad Astra Academy Trust, which oversees eight primary schools in Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and Stockton-on-Tees, joined forces with SHINE – an education charity that works with schools and other organisations, to help children reach their true potential – to launch the £52,000 initiative in 2021.

Such has been the success of the scheme; Ad Astra Academy Trust bosses are set to continue the programme across its eight primary schools.

Pete Wiley, Ad Astra Academy Trust’s School Improvement Lead, said: “Among our schools, we observed that two-thirds of pupils enter reception with below-typical language and communication skills.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has undoubtedly exacerbated this problem, leading to a surge in referrals to speech and language services, which are already overwhelmed.”

 

The Trust developed a wide-ranging project, encompassing various strategies designed to enhance children’s communication and language abilities.

 

These included improving the quality of nursery environments, equipping staff with the necessary skills to foster high-quality interactions with children, and involving parents in the process.

 

Since the project began, schools across the Trust have witnessed significant improvements in how well children communicate.

 

For example, at West View Primary School in Hartlepool, 51.1% of children are classed as “ready for reception” this year when it comes to listening and attention – an improvement of 10 percentage points (40.8%) on the previous year.

 

Regarding speaking, 46.6% are deemed “ready for reception” – an improvement of 8 percentage points (38.6%) compared to last year.

 

Laura Wears, SHINE Champion at West View Primary School in Hartlepool, commented, “There’s certainly a case to run this project indefinitely. Language-rich environments, with highly skilled staff, are the key to developing young people’s speech, language, and communication skills.

 

“These skills are fundamental building blocks within a child’s development, and it is imperative to embed this early in a child’s education.”

 

Meanwhile, at Brougham Primary School there have been several initiatives including:

 

Fiona Nicholson, Deputy Headteacher at Rosebrook Primary School in Stockton-on-Tees, said: “It is so important that our youngest children get off to the best possible start at school and the SHINE project has helped us to focus on the children who need additional support to bring their speech and language skills to the required level.

 

“It has enabled us to invest in a variety of resources to promote creativity and imagination. Staff have also taken part in training around developing questioning and vocabulary to ensure our school is a ‘word rich’ environment.

 

“It has been a really positive project with a marked improvement of communication skills amongst 3 and 4-year-olds which is vital to their future learning.”

 

Pete Wiley added: “The project has been a real success story. Staff knowledge and understanding of how to support communication and language has grown, pupils are generally making better progress and parental involvement has improved.”

 

Ad Astra Academy Trust was formed in 2015 and over the last seven years has grown across the Tees Valley, providing education for over 3,000 pupils and 500 employees in Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees.

 

The eight primary schools within Ad Astra Academy Trust are Barnard Grove, Brougham, West Park and West View in Hartlepool, Crooksbarn and Rosebrook in Stockton-on-Tees and Ayresome and Sunnyside in Middlesbrough.

Pupils and staff from West View and Brougham primary schools in Hartlepool

Issued by Alastair Rae on behalf of Ad Astra Academy Trust. For further information, contact Alastair on 0758 1239557.

The headteacher of Brougham Primary School has paid tribute to everyone following the fire to the school nursery during the summer holidays.

The nursery and pre-school area suffered significant damage following the fire on 13 August

Sarah Greenan, Headteacher of Brougham Primary School, said: It has certainly been a challenging time for everyone associated with the school, but our jobs have been made much easier thanks to the amazing support we’ve received.

“We are making good progress and our contractors are working closely with the insurers to ensure that the nursery and preschool classrooms are cleared ready for the refurbishment to begin.

“In the meantime, nursery and preschool children will be taught in temporary classrooms which arrived on site recently and are currently in the process of being fitted out ready for our youngest children to return on Monday 18 September.

“Once fitted out, we will be able to start to add furniture and resources to create a stimulating and exciting environment.”

Pupils from Reception to Year 6 return to Brougham on Tuesday 5 September.

Sarah Greenan continued: “We are determined to ensure that this devastating event does not affect our school vision to provide the best education for our pupils to help them to ‘be the best they can be’.

“To do this we will continue to provide a wonderful school curriculum by ensuring that all items and resources lost are replaced. This has been helped by donations from other schools, particularly those in our Trust. The support from the community has also been fantastic and has really helped to raise the spirits of the staff in school.

“We will continue to keep all parents updated on the progress of the refurbishment and we are looking forward to welcoming our youngest pupils back to school.”

Brougham is one of eight primary schools across Teesside under the umbrella of Ad Astra Academy Trust.

The other primary schools within Ad Astra Academy Trust are Barnard Grove, West Park and West View in Hartlepool, Crooksbarn and Rosebrook in Stockton-on-Tees and Ayresome and Sunnyside in Middlesbrough.

 

A Hartlepool primary school is celebrating after receiving national recognition for its commitment to nature and protecting the environment.

Brougham Primary School has achieved ‘Young Tree Champion National Beacon School Status’ from The Tree Council for its Forest School project.

The Tree Council is a national body that brings everyone together with a shared mission to care for trees and the planet’s future.

The school started the project last year by transforming a grass field area into a wealth of flowers, trees, and shrubs to encourage wildlife.

Helen Moore, who has led on the initiative at Brougham, said: “The children have worked together to create various areas within the space whilst thinking about the different wildlife we wanted to encourage to visit.

“We’ve created a whole school vegetable patch where the children planted seasonal vegetables. They have been watering them and checking on them regularly. Already we’ve had delicious radishes and the carrots are coming on nicely. We’ve also planted potatoes, beans, and strawberries.

“We have planted trees, hedgerows and wildflowers that we have watered and looked after and now we are seeing the fruits of our labour. The Forest School is alive with beautiful wildflowers, lush meadow grass, new trees and hedgerows and we are seeing an increasing number of ladybirds, butterflies, and bees. Children have also created a bird-feeding station.

“It has been a great experience for our children. They have taken ownership of the space and I have seen first-hand the pleasure it has brought to them, spending time outdoors working on the development of the site with their friends.

“It has been a fantastic team effort and we’ve even had parents donating wooden planters for the wildflowers.

“I am incredibly proud of all the children for the passion and dedication they have shown, and everyone is looking forward to developing the site further in the months and years ahead.”

Brougham is one of eight primary schools across Teesside under the umbrella of Ad Astra Academy Trust.

Sarah Greenan, Headteacher at Brougham Primary School, commented: “One of the best ways we can enjoy and protect our environment is through the planting of trees.

“At Brougham, we are so excited about being named as a Young Tree Champion National Beacon School as it highlights our approach for fostering a love for nature and our commitment to a more sustainable future.

“To achieve Beacon Status the pupils undertook a series of activities to highlight the importance of trees in tackling climate change and the benefits of being in nature for our health and wellbeing.

“As a Beacon School, we will now benefit from additional trees and hedgerow packs, tailored to our forest school’s plans, additional free technology, such as wildlife cameras and opportunities to trial and develop new resources.

“This is a great achievement, and I would like to thank all the pupils and staff, particularly Mrs Moore for all of their hard work and dedication to developing our outdoor learning environment on our school grounds.”

The others Ad Astra Academy Trust primary schools are Barnard Grove, West Park and West View in Hartlepool, Crooksbarn and Rosebrook in Stockton-on-Tees and Ayresome and Sunnyside in Middlesbrough.

Ad Astra Academy Trust was formed in 2015 and over the last eight years has grown across the Tees Valley, providing education for over 3,500 pupils and 525 employees in Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees and Hartlepool.

Helen Moore of Brougham Primary School is pictured with pupils celebrating Beacon Status for their Forest School.

Tyler Railton and Fallon Moore at the bird feeding station.

Aubrey Moore and Aiden Moore survey the strawberry plants.

Daniel Markitans and Ava Marper check on the wildflowers.

Ad Astra’s 2023 Trust Dividend video which was launched at the Festival of Education on the 3rd July 2023.

 

Five-times Olympic gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave CBE sailed into Teesside this week to help inspire teachers and education bosses.

The most successful British rower in Olympic history was Guest Speaker at Ad Astra Academy Trust’s Festival of Education 2023 Conference.

The eight primary schools under the umbrella of Ad Astra are Ayresome and Sunnyside in Middlesbrough, Crooksbarn and Rosebrook in Stockton-on-Tees and Barnard Grove, Brougham, West Park and West View in Hartlepool.

Over 250 teachers and school leaders attended the day-long event, held at Teesside University, Middlesbrough.

Andy Brown OBE, Chief Executive Officer of Ad Astra Academy Trust, said: “Sir Steve Redgrave has a proven track record of sustained success at the highest level and that can only be achieved through hard work, resilience, and determination.

“These are just some of the attributes which we want to instil in our teachers and staff and Sir Steve Redgrave is a fantastic role model to demonstrate how success can be achieved against a backdrop of the daily challenges we all face.”

The event was chaired by leading educationalist Maggie Farrar CBE and included a series of workshops and discussions throughout the day on key current issues and challenges for schools.

Sir Steve Redgrave spoke about how one of his teachers at school had given him the opportunity to have a go at rowing.

He said: “Teachers are so important to guiding young people and one of my teachers gave me the opportunity to be a rower. If you ask any Olympian who their inspiration was, most will say one of their schoolteachers.”

He added: “Work ethic is the key to success. Even if you have talent you have to work hard; the harder you work, the better you become.”

Former newspaper editor and children’s author Peter Barron MBE hosted the question-and-answer session with Sir Steve Redgrave and also spoke at the event along with Anthony Daulphin of the Standing Ovation Project – a multi award-winning national education body.

Pupils welcomed guests at the start of the event which included an address from 10-year-old Janna Oyedeji from Rosebrook Primary School and a music and dance display by Crooksbarn Primary School.

Pupils also produced a range of artwork depicting Sir Steve Redgrave’s hugely successful rowing career which he was really impressed with.

Chris Simmons, chair of the Ad Astra trustees gave a vote of thanks at the end. He said: “What a day it has been with excellent speakers and workshops. We have outstanding staff across all of our schools who provide inspiration and raise the hopes and aspirations of young children.”

Ad Astra Academy Trust was formed in 2015 and over the last eight years has grown across the Tees Valley, providing education for over 3,500 pupils and 525 employees in Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees.

 

Sir Steve Redgrave CBE with Ad Astra Academy Trust CEO Andy Brown OBE

 

Delegates at Festival of Education 2023

 

Click below to view videos of Festival of Education 2023

Video – Andy Brown- Festival of Education 2023

Video – Sir Steve Redgrave – Festival of Education 2023

Video – Sir Steve Redgrave praises artwork

A group of Teesside primary schools will come together this Friday (24 March) to play their part in tackling climate change.
The schools – which are all part of the Ad Astra Academy Trust – will meet up at the ARC in Stockton-on-Tees for Pupil Action Conference 2023.
The initiative is part of Let’s Go Zero – a national campaign uniting pupils, teachers and parents to enable schools to become zero carbon by 2030.
At the event, which is being supported by Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, individual schools will set out ideas to reduce their carbon footprint as well as pledging a commitment to one sustainable initiative moving forward.
Helen Durnion, School Improvement Lead for Ad Astra Academy Trust, said: “It is fantastic that our children are at the heart of the efforts for schools to become carbon zero by 2030.
“After all, it is the children of today and future generations that could be adversely affected the most if immediate action isn’t taken to protect the planet.”
There will also be speakers at the event representing Greenpeace and Hartlepool firm J & B Recycling.
Andy Brown OBE, Chief Executive Officer of Ad Astra Academy Trust, added: “This is an opportunity for all schools within our Trust to take positive action to reduce their carbon impact.
“The actions that our schools will be taking will reach far beyond the school gates, inspiring families and the wider community to tackle the climate crisis which is hugely important.”
The event gets underway at 9.30am and will conclude around lunchtime.
Ad Astra Academy Trust was formed in 2015 and over the last seven years has grown across the Tees Valley, providing education for over 3,000 pupils and 500 employees in Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees and Hartlepool.
There are eight primary schools within Ad Astra Academy Trust. They are Barnard Grove, Brougham, West Park and West View in Hartlepool, Crooksbarn and Rosebrook in Stockton-on-Tees and Ayresome and Sunnyside in Middlesbrough.
Issued on behalf of Ad Astra Academy Trust by Alastair Rae. For further information, please call 07581239557.

20 March 2023.