Maths Consortium – available for all schools


Subject leaders are empowered to raise standards in mathematics across the school.

Written and delivered by Alison Borthwick.  Alison is an international education consultant with over 18 years of experience in the field of primary mathematics.

Audience: All primary leaders of mathematics
Dates: 20.09.18; 20.11.18; 16.01.19; 12.03.19; 09.05.19; 10.07.19
Time: 13:30-16:30    Venue: Hethel Engineering Centre, Wymondham, Norwich, NR14 8FB
Cost: £75 per subject leader consortium or book all 6 in advance for £420
Booking Details: Contact Mrs Blanch on 01603 742203 or at


Audience: All primary leaders of mathematics
Dates: 17.09.18; 19.11.18; 17.01.19; 14.03.19; 02.05.19; 8.07.19
Time: 13:30-16:30   Venue: Halesworth Golf Club, Bramfield Road. Halesworth. Suffolk. IP19 9XA
Cost: £75 per subject leader consortium or book all 6 in advance for £420
Booking Details: Contact Mrs Blanch on 01603 742203 or at

‘Take Away’ CPD session
Stay and attend an additional 45 minute CPD session, which you can ‘take away’ and deliver back in school.
Sessions will be responsive to local and national priorities. Potential sessions could include:
 How to teach mathematics effectively
 The Power of Mistakes
 The Place of Proof in the Primary Classroom

Audience: All primary leaders of mathematics
Dates: 20.09.18; 20.11.18; 16.01.19; 12.03.19; 09.05.19; 10.07.19
Time: 16:45-17:30   Venue: Hethel Engineering Centre, Wymondham, Norwich, NR14 8FB
Cost: £45 per ‘take away’ session or book all 6 sessions in advance for £240
Booking Details: Contact Mrs Blanch on 01603 742203 or at


Audience: All primary leaders of mathematics
Dates: 17.09.18; 19.11.18; 17.01.19; 14.03.19; 02.05.19; 8.07.19
Time: 16:45-17:30    Venue: Halesworth Golf Club, Bramfield Road. Halesworth. Suffolk. IP19 9XA
Cost: £45 per ‘take away’ session or book all 6 sessions in advance for £240
Booking Details: Contact Mrs Blanch on 01603 742203 or at

‘Dynamic’ duo reunited as Norfolk academy trust Chief Executive prepares to step down and hand over reins

Article by  Lauren Cope Archant EDP

Tony Hull, left, current Chief Executive of the Evolution Academy Trust, with Sue Baldwin, Regional Schools Commissioner for the area, and Mark Adamson, Mr Hull’s replacement.

After decades in the classroom, Tony Hull is stepping away from education, and his role at the Evolution Academy Trust. Lauren Cope spoke to the outgoing chief executive – and met his replacement.

It has been the better part of two decades since Tony Hull and Mark Adamson last worked together.

In the early 2000s, the pair, as Head and Deputy Head, oversaw a transformation at St Michael’s Junior School in Bowthorpe that prompted watchdog Ofsted to label the pair one of the most dynamic leadership teams in the country.

Now, years later, they are once again working side by side, this time as Mr Adamson prepares to take over the mantle of Chief Executive at the Evolution Academy Trust (EAT).

One of Norfolk’s most established trusts, EAT is home to eight infant, junior and primary schools in Norfolk and Suffolk, including its founding school, Costessey Junior.

Mr Hull’s departure later this year will mark the end of an era – after two previous headships, he took over the school in 2002, guiding it through its conversion to academy status and overseeing EAT’s growth.

On the way, he has become a well-known face in education – winning a national Headteacher of the Year award in 2010, becoming the longest serving National Leader of Education in Norfolk and holding roles on government panels and groups.

But he said now was the right time to hand over – to give himself a break, and, potentially, a career change.

The advert for his replacement attracted international candidates, he said, with a two-day “rigorous” assessment and interview process that saw Mr Adamson excel.

With his departure now a reality, Mr Hull said he would miss the role, and was preparing to get his head around the change.

“I will miss the personal interactions with children and colleagues,” he said. “This job is all about people and I will miss that.

“I’m flattered that I have received numerous offers to work in all sorts of areas of education. At the moment I have said to everybody that I’m not saying never. The reason I’m stepping away is to give myself a break, and the potential for a career change. I don’t know how I will feel in six or 18 months time though.”

For Mr Adamson, whose previous role was an Executive Headship at Coltishall and Swanton Abbott primaries, he said applying for the Chief Executive role was an easy decision.

“I’ve worked with Tony before and I was impressed with the track record,” he said. “I’d been keeping an eye on the progress of Evolution, and I agree with its philosophy of putting children first.”

EAT has recently welcomed Poplars Primary, in Lowestoft, and will see Nelson Infant, in Norwich, join later this year. With three good Ofsteds for its schools this year and a visit from the area’s Regional Schools Commissioner, Sue Baldwin last week, Mr Adamson said it was a “celebratory” time at the Trust.

And while he said many schools were showing interest in joining EAT, rapid growth is not a priority.

“It needs to be rational and sustainable,” he said. “We need to get the best structure and high-quality experts in place. It’s not ego-based growth – it’s what we have capacity for and it is sustainable.”

In another sign of EAT’s – and particularly Costessey’s – new chapter, later this year work will begin on a scheme to combine Costessey Infant and Junior schools onto one site.

“Of course there are efficiencies, but for the children it is one less point of transition,” Mr Hull said. “Transition can mean a hiccup in progress or social difficulties, but if you remove that then the children get a much better deal.”

Education changing ‘out of all recognition’

Mr Hull said education had changed “out of all recognition”.

“The teaching role that I started in is nothing like what I see teachers doing today,” he said.

His start in education came before Ofsted, exams for primary pupils and the national curriculum.

“Teaching today is so much more focused on the child,” he said. “It used to be about the teacher, rather than the child.

He said it did make education an interesting field to work in, something Mr Adamson agreed with.

The new Chief Executive, who has been teaching for roughly 30 years, said: “The quality of teaching has gone through the roof. It is far more focused on the children.”

EAT welcomes Nelson Infant School

On 15th March 2018 an Academy Order was granted for Nelson Infant School to join the Evolution Academy Trust.

The Trust looks forward to welcoming Nelson Infant into its family of schools and ensuring full support of the pupils, employees and community.  Further details about the conversion process will be published in due course.

Ofsted Inspection at Eaton Primary School

Norfolk Primary celebrates first good watchdog report since becoming an academy.

Primary School praised across the board in its first inspection since becoming an academy.

Eaton Primary School celebrating their Ofsted report. Headteacher Allan Lowe. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Eaton Primary School was told it was good – Ofsted’s second highest rating – after a visit in January.

It comes two years after the school joined the Evolution Academy Trust in 2015 and three years after its previous Ofsted visit, in which it was also judged good – at the time a significant leap from inadequate.

Inspectors praised headteacher Allan Lowe’s “supportive leadership”, which they said had contributed significantly towards raising standards.

“He is ambitious for pupils and has successfully created a culture of raising pupils’ achievement that is shared by all staff,” they said.

There was praise for the “effective” care for children with complex needs, broad curriculum and quality of teaching.

Mr Lowe said since converting to an academy, the school had focused on “building an outstanding team of professionals”.

“The key for me as headteacher has been investment in people,” he said. “We are constantly looking at ways to develop staff to reach their potential.

“Training is a priority and teachers receive regular feedback from leaders on how to be their very best in the classroom. Everyone has bought into a culture of high standards.”

He said they also focused on inspiring children with an exciting curriculum, which includes trips every half-term and events related to learning subjects.

“We have come a long way since the school was in special measures,” he added. “Parents have seen the improvements, spread the word and we have now filled the 40 empty places that we had when I started at the school.”

He said, going forward, they would continue to improve writing across the school and support subject leaders.

Tony Hull, Chief Executive of the Evolution Academy Trust, said the school had moved from a borderline good to the upper end of the band.

“There has been a lot of hard work by everyone involved with the school over the last two years and it shows in this report,” he said.

Ofsted Inspection at Wensum Junior

Joy for Norwich Junior School which jumped from special measures to good in four years

Wensum Junior School headteacher Victoria McConnell, centre back, with pupils celebrating their good Ofsted report. Picture: Wensum Junior

A Norwich Junior School is celebrating a remarkable turnaround, having climbed out of special measures and secured a glowing watchdog report.

In February 2014, Wensum Junior School was told it was inadequate across the board, and put into special measures by Ofsted.

But, four years on, the school has been told it has shaken off the label – and is now good, the watchdog’s second highest rating.

Inspectors praised “inspirational” headteacher Victoria McConnell, who they said, with her team, had created an “inclusive, caring school” which sees “pupils and staff valued and thrive in their work”.

They noted the “rich, innovative curriculum that fires pupils’ imagination”, and how pupils work in an “industrious, good-humoured way”.

Ms McConnell, who started at the school in 2015, said the result was testament to team work.

“It has been a massive turnaround but it’s because everyone pulled together and worked together,” she said. “That’s families, staff and children – you can’t do something like this single-handedly.”

The school’s 2014 Ofsted report was followed by a turbulent few months, with a string of changes in senior leadership.

But it was taken over by the Evolution Academy Trust in 2015, which is based at Costessey Junior School.

Focusing on the latest report, Ms McConnell said the team took particular pride in the praise given to its curriculum.

Youngsters at the school take ownership of their learning, she said, with a focus on picking up skills that can be transferred into the classroom.

For example, they spend a term working as a scientist, or an artist, or geographer.

“It’s a unique curriculum – we want children to become well-rounded in other ways, rather than just reading and writing.”

Tony Hull, chief executive of the Evolution Academy Trust, said: “Wensum was, unfortunately, a school in distress in every possible way. But the Trust and school have managed to turn that around – and it’s fantastic.”

To improve further, inspectors said focus should be placed on upping maths outcomes, which the report acknowledged were already “rapidly improving”.

Costessey Schools amalgamation news

The aim of bringing together our two Costessey Schools, the Infant School and the Junior School as one primary school on one site is now a step closer.  Planning permission has been granted for the works on the Junior site which will include building a new classroom block. We will then have the accommodation for all the children from both schools and will become a primary school. The schools have held the ideal of primary education as one seamless journey for the pupils for many years and we hope to see works commence later this year.

EAT welcomes Mrs Holzer to Dell and Elm Tree Primary Schools

Mrs Holzer has taken up her post as Executive Principal at Dell and Elm Tree Primary Schools with effect 1st January 2018.

EAT extends a warm welcome to Mrs Holzer and wishes her great success in this role. Mrs Holzer moves to oversee our Lowestoft EAT schools and additionally retains an Executive Principal role at Poplars Primary School where she was Headteacher until the end of the Autumn term.

By planning our leadership in this way the 3 schools can work closely together sharing best practice with overview from Mrs Holzer and the schools being led on a daily basis by the respective Heads of School, Mrs Halliday, Mr Hearn and Mrs Stowers.

As Mrs Holzer commences her duties with EAT it is appropriate to thank Mr Williams for acting as Executive Principal at Dell and Elm Tree last term. Mr Williams skillfully guided our schools through the period awaiting Mrs Holzer’s appointment and continued the progress of the 2 schools; this progress was verified by EAT’s own internal monitoring and through a Department for education monitoring visit.

EAT welcomes Poplars Primary School

EAT is delighted that Poplars Primary School in Lowestoft is applying to convert to Academy status within our Multi Academy Trust.

We look forward to working with the school, its Leadership and Governors, in continued support of the pupils, parents and the community.

More information about this potential work to make further improvements at the school will be notified to parents and employees direct from the school in the short term.


Eaton youngsters kick off new school year with their first Daily Mile run

A handful of youngsters at one primary in Norwich are getting into the stride of a new school year in more ways than one.

Pupils at Eaton Primary School embarked on their first Daily Mile on Wednesday, the first day of the new school term, which saw all youngsters don their trainers and walk, jog or run their way around a course.

They will join several other schools around the region who already take part in the Daily Mile, a national initiative which encourages children to run for 10 or 15 minutes in the fresh air every day.

The scheme – which encourages pupils to run in their school uniforms to save time – is thought to result in children running an average of a mile each day.

Though some might have been feeling the strain after six weeks away from school, there were smiles and laughter from most of the Eaton children, who were divided into two groups for younger and older pupils.