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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Corporation Road, Sunderland, Tyne And Wear SR2 8PL

0191 5002999

Valley Road Academy

Spring 2019 Gallery and Work


Visit from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution


This week, we had a visit from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, they came into school to chat with us about water safety. We learnt about staying safe around and water and what do, if we were in trouble at the beach. We enjoyed dressing up and taking part in fun activities.

World Book Day

To celebrate World Book Day, we visited Sunderland City Library and took part in a storybook workshop. First, we read a story called, ‘Tootles the Taxi’. We listened carefully and tried to identify all the vehicles from the story, using pictures on the wall. We then took part in a world record, ‘200 million minutes’. We chose our favourite story and together we read quietly for 10 minutes. We also enjoyed dressing up as book characters.

Our Visit to the Planetarium

Year One visited the planetarium, in the Hancock Museum, to discover some more space facts. As we entered ‘the planetarium spacecraft’ we buckled up tight and we were ready for a galactic adventure. As we travelled through space, we looked out of the windows and saw planets, stars and The Milky Way. We even touched some real space rock!

A Visit from the Police

Today we had a visit from the police. We learnt all about stranger danger and what to do if someone talks to us, that we do not know. We also got a chance to dress up as police officers and even use real handcuffs. 

Mental Health Week

This week is mental health week. In Year One, we have been talking about what your body and mind needs to be healthy. We decided we need food, water, friends, fun, love, sleep and exercise, to be healthy inside and out.

Safer Internet Day

For safer internet day, we learnt about staying safe online. Just like space, exploring the internet is really exciting. There are lots of fun things to do and interesting new things to learn! However, just like in space, there can be dangers too! We need to keep ourselves safe online from strangers just as we would in real life. We discussed what information we would share with people online and what information we should not share and why. We sorted information, if we would share it we put it in a space capsule. If not, it went straight into the space junk


This week British Judo, the National Governing Body for Judo, have been in school. They delivered some taster sessions with us. It was great fun practising some moves and learning about how judo can keep us fit and healthy. 

National Storytelling Week 

As part of National Story telling Week, we looked at the author Julia Donaldson. We read some of her books such as, The Gruffalo, Zog and Paper Dolls. We enjoyed creating our own story books, making puppet characters and story stones. 


On Thursday it snowed! We took full advantage of the morning of snow, and even though it was very cold and wet, we had so much fun.

Gymnastics Festival

We took part in a gymnastics festival, at The Raich Carter Centre. We practised skills such as jumping, travelling, balancing and rolling. It was lots of fun trying out all of the different equipment and we met friends from other schools too. We particularly enjoyed the trampoline.

Alien Invasion

Today when we came into school, we were shocked to discover that some aliens had paid us a visit. We asked Mr Taggart to check the CCTV footage and we could not believe our eyes. They got up to lots of mischief! Come and see what they were up to.


Ava: “They left us some underpants! I hope they don’t come back for them!”.


Mutalib  “I think the slime is alien poo!”



We have been learning about algorithms in computing. We followed instructions ‘How to create an alien’. We then made our own algorithms for the beebot and cars, to catch an alien.


In history, we have been learning about the events and people from the past. In order for us to understand about the past, we brought in our baby photographs and talked about our own past.

We then learnt about Neil Armstrong.


This term our topic is, ‘Space’. Today we found out that the solar system is made of the eight planets that orbit our sun. It is also made of asteroids, moons, comets and lots, lots more. We sang songs about the planets, put them in the correct order and then made planet headbands.

Imaginative Play

We have been playing in the space station, dressing up as different characters, writing what we would take to space and making our own alien passports.

We have also used the small world area to act out the story ‘Aliens Love Underpants’.