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

Autumn 2 2018


On Monday 5th November, Year 4 visited Beamish as part of local history coal mining topic. We learned lots about the development of the miner’s lamp and how it evolved over time to prevent disasters such as mine explosions. First, we took part in a practical experiment to show what happens when coal dust reacts with a flame. Next, we looked at ways to prevent this by using a metal gauze. After this, we were led down the mine where we could see first-hand what the conditions would have been like for the men that worked there. All of the children were excellent role models for Valley Road due to their behaviour and interest in the activities, well done everyone!

Beamish Visit

On Tuesday 30th October, Hannah from Beamish Outreach came into school. She told us lots of interesting facts about the jobs people had in Sunderland many years ago. The main jobs were the glass works in Southwick and working as a coal miner. Wearmouth Colliery was the largest and deepest coal mine in Sunderland. Conditions were tough for the miners as there were lots of dangers and it would have been dirty and uncomfortable. The Stadium of Light now stands where the mine was.

We then looked at a map of Sunderland from 1895 to locate the coal mine and other places of interest. We noticed there were lots more train lines as they needed to transport coal.

The most interesting fact was that miners actually preferred wooden pit props to hold the roof up rather than metal ones. This is as the wooden ones would creak if they were breaking so the miners would have a chance to escape before the roof collapsed.

We are looking forward to find out more when we visit Beamish next week.



We have been working really hard on our handwriting in year four. Lots of children have been practising joined up writing at home as well as in school. Well done to everyone who now has their pen licence.