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


Beamish Visit

On Wednesday 20th March, we visited Beamish to take part in two science activities. The first activity focussed on pressure and how steam power has evolved. We heated water and placed a balloon on top of the bottle to see what happened. The water turned to steam, which is a gas, and inflated the balloon. Once the gas cooled and turned back to liquid, the balloon deflated.

We also used a Magdeburg hemisphere to demonstrate the power of the atmosphere around us by creating a vacuum inside it.

Next, we used pH indicator to test acids and alkalis to find a cure for indigestion. We tested flour, lemonade, vinegar and bicarbonate of soda. We found out that bicarbonate neutralised the acid and that was the cure.

Art - Silk

We have tested using silk out liners and silk paints before we make our final piece of artwork. They have turned out really well and we have lots of ideas on how to make our final pieces even better.

English - Egg Fried Rice

As part of their work on Ancient China, children made and tasted egg fried rice. They then wrote a recipe for it in literacy during their unit on instructional writing. The children thought their finished product was delicious but not many of us managed to eat it with chopsticks! 

Celebrating British Science Week

Children across the school have had fun exploring the theme of ‘Journey’s.’

In year 4, children explored how flight had evolved and found out about space travel, aeroplanes and helicopters. They made a range of aircraft including planes, gliders and helicopters and tested how long they could stay in the air for. They then used their findings to modify their aircraft to improve their flight times. 

World Book Day

Children in year 4 walked to Waterstones to take part in a storytelling workshop. They had a chance to explore the books in the shop, complete a treasure hunt and choose a world book day book to take home. Zaynah won the treasure hunt and was allowed to choose a book from the store – I hope you enjoy reading it Zaynah!

World Book Day

For world book day, we visited Waterstones. We took part in a quiz to find the answers to questions around the store. Dayyan won the quiz and chose a book from the front of the shop as a prize. Next, we listened to a story. Finally, we used our vouchers to buy a book.

National Story telling week

As part of National Story Telling Week, Azul made a story box to go with our class novel Gangsta Granny by David Walliams. The children showed their creativity and imagination as well as excellent teamwork to create our class box. We made puppets, a stage, a crown, play doh sheets, question prompts and a biscuit box filled with gems like in the story. Well done everyone.


Year 4 have been exploring electricity and have been making their own circuits using buzzers, bulbs and motors. They carried out an enquiry into which materials conduct electricity and which don’t and were surprised at some of the results. They have used their new skills to make a board game in design technology this term.


In art, we have been looking at paintings from the Shang Dynasty. We identified patterns and common colours used in them. We then created a colour wheel from the primary colours and discovered how to mix paints to create the colours that we would need.

The Shang used symbols to communicate so we have looked at these and then made our own stories from the symbols that we know. We have also explored different forms and techniques to paint and write with using objects that we found around school.


In literacy, we have been writing instructions. Once we knew the key features of the genre and identified who the audience was, we decided to write the instructions on how to make egg fried rice. We made an equipment and ingredients list and then made notes as the rice was cooked in class. Next, we edited and improved our notes before writing them up for an assessed piece of writing.

Design and Technology

In design and technology, we are going to design, make and evaluate a board game that uses circuits. Firstly, we explored various circuits and tried to debug problems within a circuit so that a bulb would light up. We then looked at insulators and conductors as we will need to understand this for our board games to work. We will begin to design the games over the following weeks.