Bright Tribe

Category: News

Haydon Bridge High School to receive makeover – the future is bright!

Haydon Bridge High School is to benefit from a fresh new look this summer when work begins on ‘the big makeover’ thanks to grant funding from the Department for Education secured by Bright Tribe Trust, who are planning to take over the school later this year. “Our objective is to create a great school environment for students, maximising the ‘biggest bang for your bucks’ and we can begin this transformation with this grant,” said Simon Evans, Bright Tribe Operations Director.

Like many schools built in the 1960s, Haydon Bridge is showing signs of historic under investment. The fund will be used primarily for cosmetic improvement to the premises. Heavily trafficked areas including the school hall, reception and corridors will all receive a fresh lick of paint, new ceiling tiles and replacement flooring.

“This funding is hugely significant,” said Simon Evans. “All too often school premises are an area of historic under investment and a grant of this nature will allow work to be done which will have an immediate impact on the school environment, which in turn will promote greater aspiration in the school. This initial face lift will be the catalyst for a rolling capital improvement programme funded by the annual capital allocated to Bright Tribe Trust by the Education Funding Agency. Our plan is to create a fresh inviting environment that is highly conducive to learning – one that signals a bright new future with Bright Tribe.”

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New Principal Darren Glover to join Haydon Bridge High School in April 2017 and drive up attainment

The Department for Education’s (DfE) Interim Executive Board (IEB) and the Bright Tribe Trust are delighted to announce the appointment of Mr Darren Glover as Principal of Haydon Bridge High School in Northumberland, commencing April 2017.

Darren will be responsible for heading up a strong leadership team, establishing clear lines of communication and accountability, raising student attainment and taking the school from ‘special measures’ to a ‘good’ Ofsted rating. Long term support for his senior leadership team will also be provided by Dr Judith Greene, Regional Executive Principal, Bright Tribe Trust, Helen McCormick, Deputy Principal and much valued acting head over the past two years, and Helen Jackson, Assistant Principal.

Darren, who as a consultant head teacher for Bright Tribe has been working with the Haydon Bridge senior team since September, has 21 years’ experience and a strong track record working in schools across the North East, including Sunderland, North Tyneside and Newcastle. He has significant experience of improving student outcomes and Ofsted inspection gradings.

Darren very much values the input parents make to the school and operates an ‘open door policy’ to encourage open communication, feedback and discussion. Any parent expressing concern about their child’s education is warmly welcomed to his office to discuss and resolve any issues.

Commenting on his appointment Darren said, “My last 8 months at the school have shown the huge potential Haydon Bridge has to offer its students. I am now looking forward to taking up official headship and working with my team to drive up educational attainment and help every student realise their potential.”

Concluding, Ruth Dolan, Chair of the school’s Interim Executive Board, said, “The IEB is delighted that Bright Tribe Trust has agreed to our request to appoint Darren as the new permanent Principal of Haydon Bridge High School. It is a key part of our strategic leadership plan to define the responsibilities of each individual within the senior leadership team and their accountability for delivering positive outcomes for students.

“This permanent appointment will enable Darren to direct staffing and other resources to ensure significantly increased pace in delivery of school improvement targets, to drive up student progress and attainment.”

Colleague Helen McCormick, Deputy Principal and former acting head added, “Darren has my full support and I am delighted to be working with him going forward.” Dr Judith Greene, Regional Executive Principal, Bright Tribe Trust, said, “We now have a strong, stable and cohesive team here at Haydon Bridge, who enjoy working together. We are looking forward to being able to continue our rapid improvement journey together and seeing Haydon Bridge High School flourish.”

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Colchester Academy opens doors to primary school children for ‘Super Saturdays’

Colchester Academy held its first Super Saturday event in October 2016 for primary school children between the ages of 8 and 11 to give them a taster for secondary school life whilst also letting them take part in fun learning activities.

Each event is becoming increasingly popular in the area and their latest event, themed around science to tie in with British Science Week, saw over 112 children take part in earth shattering science experiments and fun games and activities – all with a science theme running throughout.

A parent, whose child attended the of the events said: “We just wanted to say thank you for putting on the event this morning.  My son absolutely loved it and especially enjoyed making the volcano. Thank you for taking the time out of your weekend, and what a lovely idea for the children to have a little bit of knowledge of what the school is like and giving them the opportunity to meet new friends. I’m sure it will help them in their big step up next year. Riley is really looking forward to the next one.”

We’re hoping to replicate some of these events across our other schools very soon.

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Trust leaders meet pupils at Werneth Primary School

Our Chief Operating Officer, Mary McKeeman and our Operations Director, Simon Evans visited Werneth Primary School recently to meet with pupils and speak to them about what they enjoy about being in school.

Mary met with the pupils from the School Council who showed her around the school and spoke to her about their lessons and what they’re currently learning in class.

Simon received a tour of the new Early Years learning environment where pupils showed him the newly refurbished classroom which includes new flooring and a more open learning space.

On visiting the school Mary said: “I loved meeting some of our pupils and hearing how proud they are of their school. Getting into our schools and meeting school staff and children is what its all about. The pupils are at the heart of everything we do and its great to see the great work everyone is doing and seeing how its making a difference.

“All the children were extremely smart, polite and well-behaved and are a true asset to Werneth Primary School. The teachers and Principal should be very proud of each and every one of them.”

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Castle Hill teachers attend National Early Years Excellence Conference

One of the key benefits to our schools being part of a multi-academy trust is the ability to share best practice and knowledge with other schools – sharing resources and expertise to enable our schools to develop and improve.

We invest in staff training and development and provide opportunities to learn more and share ideas and experiences.

With this in mind, last month staff at Castle Hill Infant and Junior schools attended the National Early Years Excellence Conference which ran the theme of Enabling Successful Futures. Staff listened to Professor Robert Winston talk about his research on child developing and enabling children to learn and thrive in the classroom. Professor Winston is one of the leading thinkers of our time and our staff felt incredibly privileged to listen to such a thought-provoking educationalist.


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Permanent Principal for Werneth Primary School announced

We are delighted to announce that Mr Conrad North has been appointed as permanent Principal at Werneth Primary School, in Oldham following a successful recruitment process.

The appointment marks an important milestone for the school as it continues its journey towards excellence.

On his appointment, Mary McKeeman, Director of School Improvement at Bright Tribe Trust, said: “During Mr North’s time as Interim Principal he has shown that he is passionate about the school and is committed to providing the best education possible for the children at Werneth, helping them to develop and become the best they can be.

“I have been impressed with Mr North’s abilities to quickly identify the school’s priorities and then take swift action to secure improvements. Mr North is committed to the school, pupils and the wider community. He has already successfully grown a team within a very short period time who are all enthusiastic and keen to collectively secure sustainable improvements.”

Mr North added: “After being at Werneth Primary School for the past few months, meeting the staff and listening to them talk so enthusiastically about the school and community; I am convinced that the dedicated staff and pupils have a renewed pride and ownership in their school.

“It is inspiring to see the strong support from the parent community.  The needs of children should always come first and I will work tirelessly to ensure all children in my care, my colleagues and the school community get the very best education, care and support that I can provide.”

I am sure you will join us in congratulating him on his appointment and in supporting him as he continues to leads the school towards excellence.

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Bright Tribe Trust welcomes new ‘outstanding’ Executive Principal

Mrs Cassandra Williams has been appointed Executive Principal for  Bright Tribe Trust’s Suffolk primary schools, comprising of Cliff Lane Primary School, Castle Hill Infant School and Castle Hill Junior School. She took up the post of Executive Principal within Suffolk in September 2016.

Previously, she held the post of Headteacher of Thurton Church of England Primary School in Norfolk, which moved from an Ofsted rating of Satisfactory to Outstanding under her guidance. In 2015, the Chief Ofsted Inspector chose this school as the case study of excellence for primary schools for his Annual Report.

Mrs Williams has spoken at many national and regional conferences about how children learn and also works as a Lead Ofsted Inspector. This wealth of knowledge and experience will further support the Bright Tribe’s aim for excellence. The role of the Executive Principal is to challenge and support the leaders of the schools and to ensure a strong leadership team across all the schools. Joint working, innovative approaches and high standards are at the core of each of Bright Tribe’s schools.

On her first two weeks in the role, Mrs Williams said: “I have enjoyed meeting the parents and children at the school gates at the beginning and end of the school day. The children look very smart in their new uniforms and the parents have fed back on how happy they are with the changes which are being put in place.

“I am delighted to be part of Bright Tribe Trust as we enter a phase of further improvements. As Bright Tribe grows both in size and reputation, I plan to work closely with our exceptionally talented staff across our three Suffolk primary schools, to ensure that every child and member of staff achieves more than they ever thought possible.”

Mary McKeeman, Director of School Improvement for Bright Tribe, said: “The Suffolk primary schools have seen steady improvement over the past couple of years and Mrs Williams is absolutely the right person to lead them from strength to strength”.

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Bright Tribe Trust and ALAT announce improved results across all schools

Sister multi-academy trusts Bright Tribe Trust and Adventure Learning Academy Trust (ALAT) are celebrating record GCSE results this year across their four secondary schools.

The Trusts as a whole have improved their two key measures of percentage of students achieving five or more A* – C grades including English and Maths which has increased by five percent (5%) and the percentage of students achieving A* – C grades in English and Maths combined, which has increased by eight per cent (8%).

Kathy Kirkham, Chief Operating Officer at Bright Tribe said: “We are delighted with these results, particularly given how long these schools have been part of Bright Tribe Trust and ALAT. Alde Valley Academy for example, has been with the Bright Tribe for just 18 months, and already we are seeing staggering improvements (a 30% increase of students receiving A* – C grades in English and Maths). The Trust as a whole has only been operating for 2 ½ years and so to have increased results by 8% is fantastic – that’s 8% more students who will leave with life changing qualifications and better opportunities for their futures.”

Alde Valley Academy, a Bright Tribe Trust secondary school in Leiston in Suffolk, is hoping to be the most improved school in the county with a “staggering” thirty per cent (30%) improvement from its 2015 results with sixty-eight per cent (68%) achieving A* – C grades in combined English and Maths.

In addition to these “transformational” results, sixty per cent (60%) of students gained five or more A* – C grades (including English and Maths) which is a twenty-three per cent (23%) increase from 2015.

Earlier this year the Trust appointed Mr Jeremy Rowe as Executive Principal for the south east region. Mr Rowe was previously Headteacher at Sir John Leman High School in Beccles, Suffolk where he led the school for eight years to become one of the most prestigious and sought- after secondary schools in East Anglia.

In June 2016, Mr Rowe pledged that he would work with the school and Bright Tribe Trust to deliver these same results to Alde Valley Academy, saying “we will make it the most improved school in the county by August 2016”. Today, after making his pledge in June, Mr Rowe said “Today’s GCSE results have exceeded all expectations and we are confident that this could potentially make Alde Valley Academy the most improved school in the county, if not across the whole region of East Anglia. I am delighted to be able to say we have fulfilled our promise to the local community and I am confident that Alde Valley Academy will now be seen as the academic school of choice in the area.”

Both Trusts are also celebrating great results at Fowey River Academy, an ALAT secondary school in Cornwall, where the academy has achieved some “drastically” improved GCSE exam results this year with sixty per cent (60%) of students gaining five or more A*-C grades including English and Maths, which is a thirteen per cent (13%) increase from the 2015 results.

In 2015 the Trust appointed Sara Davey as Executive Principal for Fowey River Academy and ALAT. Sara is also Principal at ‘Outstanding’ academy, Mounts Bay Academy and on Fowey River Academy’s GCSE results said: “At the start of the year, I made a promise to students, staff, parents and the local community that, together with the Trust and the academy’s exceptional staff, that we will make Fowey River Academy outstanding. These results are a testament to the hard work and commitment of our students and staff and I firmly believe we are now the school of choice for the local area. Well done to all.”

Colchester Academy, a Bright Tribe Trust secondary school in Essex, saw fifty per cent (50%) of students achieving A* – C grades in English and Maths combined – ten per cent (10%) over the national government target and forty-seven per cent (47%) achieving A* – C grades including English and Maths.

The Whitehaven Academy, also a Bright Tribe Trust secondary school in Cumbria, has seen improvements with forty-four per cent (44%) achieving A* – C grades in English and Maths – an eight per cent (8%) improvement from the school’s 2015 results.

Mary McKeeman, Director of School Improvement at Bright Tribe Trust and ALAT said: “We are thrilled with these improvements in GCSE results and are very proud of all our students.  These outcomes have been the result of the Trust making rapid, significant and sustained improvements in our schools and setting a culture of high expectations amongst students and staff. All of our secondary schools converted to the Trust in challenging circumstances and were either graded by Ofsted in ‘Special Measures’ or ‘Requires Improvement’.   The results we have seen today evidence that our school improvement strategy works.   We have an excellent team across the country supporting our schools and strong leadership and staffing structures in place within each academy. We are seeing huge progress in these schools, with many now seen as the school of choice in their areas. These are certainly exciting times for all of our schools and we will continue to be relentless in our pursuit of driving up standards and improving the life chances of our students”.

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Colchester Academy on track to becoming a ‘Good’ school

Colchester Academy has been judged to be making good progress to becoming a ‘Good’ school in its recent Ofsted monitoring visit.

Ofsted concluded that the school’s senior leaders and governors are taking effective action to tackle the areas requiring improvement identified at the last section 5 inspection.

The school’s improvement plan was deemed to be suitably ambitious and addressed the areas of improvement identified by Ofsted at their last inspection. The report stated. “It is clear who is responsible for leading the improvement initiatives and what you aim to have achieved by the end of this academic year. You have evaluated the progress already made against the proposed actions, and a large proportion of these have already been achieved.”

Bright Tribe Director of School Improvement, Mary McKeeman commented, “Colchester Academy has and continues to improve at a tremendous pace, as a result of the entire academy community having the highest expectations of its learners and a relentless pursuit for becoming a truly outstanding. I am completely confident that the academy will be graded as at least good at the next Ofsted inspection.”

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New Executive Principal appointed for the South East region

Bright Tribe has appointed a new Executive Principal Mr Jeremy Rowe to further strengthen the Trust’s regional team and to support our academies on their journey to improvement.

Mr Rowe is currently Headteacher at Sir John Leman High School in Beccles, Suffolk where he has led the school for eight years to becoming one of the most prestigious and sought- after secondary schools in East Anglia. The school is in the top 3% in the country for the huge, and sustained, improvements in its GCSE results, as well as having earned a national reputation for the excellent behaviour expected of students. The school has also been shortlisted for the Times Educational Supplement’s School of the Year Award 2016 and will find out whether it has won on 24 June 2016.

The new Executive Principal has a number of other educational accolades under his belt, including spending two terms working as Executive Headteacher of Sewell Park Academy in Norwich, which became the third-most improved school in Norfolk.

On his most recent appointment, Mr Rowe comments: “I am delighted to be working with the Trust. I have a proven track record of improving schools and making them ‘outstanding’ and I look forward to delivering similar improvements within our Bright Tribe schools.”

Mr Rowe’s appointment has been welcomed by Mary McKeeman, Director of School Improvement at Bright Tribe, who stated: “This is an incredibly positive development for the Trust and I am excited for our schools in anticipation of the journey ahead.”


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