IRIS Learning Trust was formed in June 2018 and is based in the North East of England. We are proud to serve our communities and aim to offer outstanding educational provision.
The Trust believes that to be successful and promote a culture of excellence and aspiration, we need to place improving the lives and outcomes of children at the heart of everything we do.


create a culture of high expectation and commitment to success


through our daily work secure excellent academies for our local communities

grow and learn together

work with children and families to create great places of learning for all

IRIS Learning Trust

Corporation Road




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Please contact Delivery Team on
0113 3200 750 if you have any queries.

Corporation Road, Sunderland, Tyne And Wear SR2 8PL

0191 5002999

Valley Road Academy

Spring 2018


Key information for Spring term.



Spellings will be handed out on a Friday and there will be a spelling test on the following Friday morning. Please practise these at home.



Reading books will be sent home on a Friday and they should be returned on Monday.

Homework will be set on educational websites for children to complete on computers or tablets. We will be providing logins for each site over the following weeks. We encourage any additional work at home to brought into school to create a class home learning book.



PE will be on a Wednesday.

Children must have a shorts, t-shirt and plimsolls.


Thank you for your support,

Mr Taylor and Mr Harvey





Beamish Visit

Year four visited Beamish on Tuesday 20th March to find out more about pressure and forces. First we designed rockets that could fit onto a pipe launcher. Then we launched them on the yard to test them. Next we used card to improve our designs. We then tested them again before using a larger launcher. Finally, we had some time to see a real steam engine working. Thank you to all of the Beamish learning staff for a brilliant day!



Paul Cookson Visit

On Monday 19th March we were joined by the poet Paul Cookson. He shared some of his poems and songs with us and then we started to create our own poem. First we shared our knowledge of the Shang Dynasty and made notes of key pieces of information. Next we linked information together and looked for any rhyming words. Then we were able to create a chorus and add some actions to match the words.


Susan, who works at Beamish, visited us on 27th February. First we talked about what jobs people did in Sunderland 450 years ago. The main jobs were coal mining, glass works in Southwick, pottery and the salt industry. All of these had one thing in common in that they used pressure.

Atmospheric pressure is all around us. About 20kg of air is pushing down on every inch of us.

We used a Magdeburg hemisphere to see how pressure works. The air was taken out of the hemisphere which meant that it could not be separated when we pulled on either side.

Next we heated up some water in a can to create steam. Then we put the lid on to see how it would react. The can began to implode as there was more pressure outside of the can than there was inside.

Finally, we looked at the Thomas Savery atmospheric steam engine. This used a boiler and valves to pump water out of a mine.

Arts Award

As part of Arts Award we shared a piece of art work that we are really proud of. We took it in turns to share why we had chosen that piece of art, what we liked about it and which techniques and skills we used to create it.


Oriental Museum

Year four visited the Oriental Museum as part of our Shang Dynasty topic. First we looked at Shang artefacts and then other objects from ancient China to discover how the Shang influenced craftsmen with their fluted and tripod designs. We then sketched our favourite artefacts paying close attention to the patterns that they used. Next we used these patterns to do some foil embossing to decorate a pot. Finally, we heard the story of how the last Shang emperor came to his gruesome end.

Norman Cornish

Simon, who works for Beamish Learning, visited school on Monday 15th January. He introduced us to a project called the discover arts award. First we looked at some pieces of art that he had brought in with him. This included pottery, glass work, embroidery and engravings. We sketched our favourite pieces and labelled our drawings. Next we found out about an artist. The artist we found out about was Norman Cornish. He was born in Spennymoor and many people consider his artwork a symbol of the North East. We then had the chance to use some art pencils and add shading to some of Norman’s art work. We will continue this project over the following weeks.