Bright Tribe

Category: News

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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Permanent Principal appointed for Alde Valley Acadmey

We are pleased to announce that Mr Michael Wilson has been appointed as Principal at Alde Valley Academy. Michael has been Acting Principal at the school since January and the school and Bright Tribe are delighted that he has now joined the trust on a permanent basis to lead Alde Valley Academy on its continuing improvement journey.

Prior to joining Alde Valley Academy as Acting Principal, Michael was Deputy Headteacher at Sir John Leman High School in Beccles, a school which is in the top 3% most-improved schools in the country, and in 2015 achieved the highest-possible rating from the Local Authority following its GCSE results.

Michael played a critical role in this improvement and success and is looking forward to playing a long-term role in the on-going improvement journey at Alde Valley Academy.

Commenting on his appointment, Michael said: “It is an absolute privilege to be leading Alde Valley Academy and I have no doubt that the academy will continue to thrive and improve. The students, staff and parents have been extremely supportive of me since my arrival in January and I know that together we will go from strength to strength.”

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Colchester Academy receives positive report following Ofsted visit

Colchester Academy received a very positive monitoring visit from Ofsted last month where it was stated that the academy is taking effective action to improve. The visit reviewed how the academy is progressing since its official inspection in July 2014 when it was deemed as ‘requiring improvement’.

Since that inspection, and since joining Bright Tribe in April this year, the academy has made a number of changes to the leadership and teaching structure to significantly improve the school. Ofsted noted the improvements to the quality of leadership and management saying “The new Principal has acted swiftly to set out a clear improvement plan that prioritises the right things.”

The report goes on to say that “teaching and raising achievement in all areas are the heart of the academy’s plans and there are signs of early impact. For example, a fresh approach to promoting reading is in place, starting with an intense programme of reading support for all new Year 7 students.

“The academy has also made progress in the way that it checks on students’ progress. Each student in Year 11 is being very closely monitored as they get nearer to their exams next year and the academy plans to roll out this approach to other year groups.”

Ofsted also noted the following strengths in the academy’s approaches to securing improvements:

  • Student outcomes for Year 11 were significantly better in several subjects than in previous years, demonstrating the academy’s capacity to raise the quality of teaching and students’ achievement.
  • Teaching in some subjects which were previously underperforming, especially modern foreign languages, is improving.
  • The academy is making better use of Key Stage 2 data when students move from primary school.
  • Bright Tribe is providing valuable support to the leadership and teaching teams as well as administrative support and guidance around human resources and finance.

Ms Fiona Pierson, Principal at Colchester Academy, said: “The outcome of this visit is extremely positive for Colchester Academy.  It is a reflection of the focused efforts we have implemented to improve not only the academy but more importantly the outcomes for our young people. I have a dedicated and determined staff body who have adjusted rapidly to the new high expectations and I commend them all for this.  As we progress this year, we will continue to work together in the same direction, to get the result this academy deserves and that is to be rated a good school.

“The academy has experienced monumental change in a short space of time; this result proves that our focus has indeed remained centred on what is our core purpose, and that is to educate the next generation.”

Gary Kelly, Director of Schools at Bright Tribe added: “We are very pleased with the level of progress Colchester Academy is making across all areas and this recent visit from Ofsted is a testament to the commitment from the entire staff body.

“There is still a lot of progress to be made but we are on the right path to improving and there are a lot of exciting times ahead.”

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Bright Tribe primary schools are celebrating improved SATs results

We’re delighted to celebrate with our primary schools this month after Werneth Primary School in Greater Manchester and Cliff Lane Primary School in Suffolk have announced improved SATs results.

Werneth Primary School’s latest results show an increase of 16% in writing and 14% in reading and maths for Key Stage 1 as well as continuous improvements across Key Stage 2. Maths has significantly improved following the successful implementation of our new Assertive Mentoring learning system which provides a consistent and integrated approach to target setting, tracking, mentoring and checking systems for all pupils.

For Cliff Lane Primary School, the recent results saw the school making leaps and bounds in Key Stage 1 where the results are 20% higher than last year’s in writing and reading

Gary Kelly, Director of Schools at Bright Tribe said: “Both schools have seen a lot of changes since converting to academies, as well as the implementation of a new curriculum and new learning systems such as Assertive Mentoring. Everyone has worked really hard and these results are a testament to our pupils and staff. We’re looking forward to continuing to work with our schools to embed these new systems and processes and improve these results even further next year.”

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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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Our Extraordinary Students!

Bright Tribe is proud to sponsor the ‘Extraordinary People Award’ across our secondary schools. The award recognises ‘a student who demonstrates one or more exceptional qualities such as resilience and succeeding against the odds; helping others; outstanding progress; or leadership’ and is awarded to one student in each school.

On 1st July Colchester Academy held their annual Presentation Evening and Tiffany Adepoju was presented with her Extraordinary People Award for her outstanding commitment to academy and community life.

This was followed by The Whitehaven Academy’s annual Oscars Evening on 9th July. Emily Grey received the Extraordinary People Award in recognition of her resilience and commitment to the academy.

Alde Valley Academy hold their Awards Evening later in the year and we look forward to recognising another hard-working and deserving student.

Next year we hope to extend the Extraordinary People Award to all of our primary schools.

A big well done and congratulations to these students as well as all the others who received prizes and awards at the events.

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Colchester Academy joins the Bright Tribe family

We are delighted to announce that Colchester Academy will start the new term as a Bright Tribe academy on 13th April.

Colchester Academy was previously sponsored by Colchester Institute since 2010 when it took up the sponsorship role at the request of the local authority. However, Colchester Institute felt that it had reached a point where it must focus its efforts on the development of its own multi-site operation and it started talks last summer with the Department for Education about the possibility of a new sponsor being sought for Colchester Academy.

It was agreed that Bright Tribe Trust should be appointed as the new sponsor and the conversion process completed on 1st April.

By joining Bright Tribe the academy will benefit from becoming part of a family of like-minded schools, with the help and support of a large team of education and business professionals to help it continue its improvement journey and deliver the best possible education to pupils.

Bright Tribe Senior Regional Director, Gary Kelly, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Colchester Academy into the Bright Tribe family and we’re excited to start working with the staff, students, parents and the local community to ensure that the school provides an outstanding and broad education for all students.”

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Castle Hill Infant School recognised by UNICEF

Castle Hill Infant School has achieved a new award. They are the first school in Suffolk to be awarded the UNICEF UK Rights Respecting School Award Level One. Will Jackson, UNICEF’s assessor spent a day meeting children, parents and staff to discuss the impact the award has had on the school.

He said ” It was clear that everyone places importance on developing an ethos where children are able to know, understand and realise their rights.” He was particularly impressed by the parental understanding of the work taking place within the school in relation to this award.

The Principal, Eileen Allpress, described the school’s vision,” We have many children from disadvantaged backgrounds. We wanted to build up children’s self-esteem and develop how they interact with society. The Rights Respecting School Award is an ideal vehicle to help us hone this through the curriculum.”

The school have a charter of Rights and Responsibilities which the children help devise. The school holds regular themed days to which parents and carers are able to come into school to work with their children to support their understanding.

Parents commented that their children talked about rights at home and noted the positive impact in school. One parent said, “It’s better for them because it’s their rights rather than our rules.”

During the assessment children were able to talk to the assessor about the link between rights and global citizenship. They have learnt that in some countries education is not free, and that there are inequalities in the wider world that needed to be addressed. One child explained,” Some children can’t go to school”.

The children, parents and staff are extremely proud to have achieved this award.

If you would like any further information please visit www.unicef.org.uk

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EDF Energy inspires girls to choose engineering – as new research shows change needs to happen

Pupils from Alde Valley Academy and Sir John Leman High Schools in Suffolk have taken part in a pilot workshop at Sizewell B power station designed to encourage more females into science and engineering roles.

The Year 10 and 11 pupils took part in the workshop to gain a better understanding of the range of jobs on offer for students with good qualifications in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects.

The pilot was launched as new research into women in engineering is released.  The report, ‘Igniting change: building the pipeline of female leaders in energy’ found that 61% of the top 100 UK headquartered energy companies have no women on their boards, only 5% of executive board seats are held by women and only 7% of companies have at least 25% female board representation.

Sizewell B is highlighted in the national report as an example of setting good practise by launching primary school visits to the power station and showing girls the range of roles science and engineering can lead to.

During the workshop the pupils were set a task to challenge their maths and engineering skills.  The pupils worked together in teams to design and build a structure that could hold a weight.  They were able to ‘buy’ simple products such as paper, tape and scissors to assist with the project.  Female apprentices and technicians from Sizewell B were also on hand to support the pupils.

Teresa Featherstone, a former apprentice and now a qualified Technician at Sizewell B, helped with the delivery of the workshop and took part in a Q&A with the students.  Teresa said: “I hope I was able to give the pupils an insight into how exciting a career in science and engineering can be.  EDF Energy is looking for more females to join the industry and we want to show students that STEM subjects can lead to a really rewarding career.”

Kerri Barker from Alde Valley Academy said: ”The students involved have found this a very interesting and thought provoking experience. This workshop has given the girls involved a real understanding into the roles and opportunities that this industry can offer.”

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Lord Baker visits The Whitehaven Academy

We were delighted to welcome Rt. Hon. Lord Baker of Dorking C.H. to The Whitehaven Academy yesterday. He took a tour, met with staff and students, and learned about the changes and improvements that have taken place since the school converted to an academy in January last year.

During his visit Lord Baker engaged in a lively discussion about politics with a group of A level students, as well as talking about his own achievements and, importantly, the future plans for the academy. He also visited the English department and took part in a question and answer session with some of the Year 7 students.

Lord Baker is a member of Bright Tribe’s Education Advisory Board, providing advice and strategic direction to Bright Tribe schools and the central education team. He is co-founder of the Baker Dearing Educational Trust which was set up to develop and promote the concept of university technical colleges (UTCs).

Lord Baker’s visit was arranged as part of the launch of the academy’s new curriculum which will be fully rolled out in September this year. The curriculum, which is UTC and Career Colleges complementary, will deliver improved pathways for our students from age 14 to 18, offering academic and vocational subjects and qualifications or a mix of both, with extra-curricular activities to improve employability and life skills – a complete package to provide students with the skills that employers say they need.

Partners include local and national employers, outstanding apprenticeship providers, further and higher education institutions – giving students unrivalled opportunities for work experience, further education and careers advice and guidance.

One of these partners is GEN2 and The Whitehaven Academy is working in collaboration with GEN2 to develop and deliver a range of high quality education and training programmes in engineering and manufacturing on site at the academy. This collaboration brings together two partners with a shared ambition of delivering high quality education and training and meeting the skills needs of employers.

Gary Kelly, Bright Tribe Regional Director, commented: “We were immensely proud to show Lord Baker around the academy today and share with him the achievements of our students. We are excited to be launching this innovative and bold new curriculum and confident that it will provide our students with relevant pathways to further and higher education, apprenticeships and jobs, giving them choices about their future.”

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