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

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


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.

Pupils at a Hartlepool primary school have embarked on a tree and hedgerow planting initiative to help protect the environment.

Brougham Primary School has been accepted onto The Tree Council’s national Young Tree Champions programme which will result in green and open spaces around the school being utilised to help save the planet.

To mark the start of the project, pupils have planted a range of trees including ash, birch and maple plus around 100 hedgerow whips within the school grounds.

Helen Moore, who is leading on the initiative at the school, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for the children at Brougham Primary School to take part in such an important initiative.

“The main aim of this project is to get the children involved with nature and take ownership of the outdoor space within the school grounds. Planting the trees and hedgerows is just the start of the project to use the outdoor space more effectively which in turn will help protect the environment and benefit wildlife.

“It is also about instilling values in our children that nature is important and to have a passion to go out into the community and develop their own green spaces for nature to flourish. We also hope that they will take those skills home and encourage parents and family members to develop their own green spaces as well.”

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

Sarah Greenan, Headteacher at Brougham Primary School, added: “One of the best ways we can enjoy and protect our environment is through the planting of trees. At Brougham Primary School, we are so excited about starting our very own Young Tree Champion project as it highlights our approach for fostering a love for nature and our commitment to a more sustainable future.

“I am very proud of Mrs Moore and her commitment to this project. Her determination to inspire pupils to look after and learn from the environment and natural world is fantastic and it is clear how all our pupils thrive when taking part these outdoor opportunities.”

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.


Staff and pupils from Brougham Primary School gather at the start of the Young Tree Champions Project

Brougham Primary School children plant one of the trees to mark the start of the project

Aveya Dickinson and Freddie Wilson plant a tree to mark the start of the Young Tree Champions Project

Video – Young Tree Champions – Helen Moore