White Rose Academies Trust launch their first primary academy – Alder Tree Primary

On Wednesday 8th August 2021, a huge celebration was held in Leeds to officially
launch Alder Tree Primary, the first primary academy to be a part of the White Rose
Academies Trust (WRAT) – a group of schools who are all invested in the success of
each other’s schools.
The official unveiling party was led by Councillor Lewis – Leader of Leeds City
Council, along with Dr Shaid Mahmood – Chair of Luminate Education Group, Colin
Booth OBE – CEO of Luminate Education Group, and academy pupils Ruby,
Christiano, Lorraine, Crislynn and Marilou.
Speeches were given by Andrew Whitaker, CEO – WRAT, Christian Wilcocks,
Executive Principal – WRAT and also Kate Burton – Principal of Alder Tree Primary. The
official name plaque was unveiled in front of all invited guests with loud cheers from
everyone, especially the children, as an aeroplane carrying an ‘Alder Tree Primary’
banner flew over the school to also bring in the wider community to share in the
excitement of the day.
The Trust were delighted to welcome hundreds of people to the event, including
local neighbours, pupils and their families, staff and also local MP’s, councillors,
members of the Luminate Education Group Board of Directors, White Rose
Academies Trust Board of Directors, members of the Leeds Learning Alliance, Leeds
Trinity University, Hamara, other partners of the Trust and also the Principals from all
the White Rose academies.
Everyone enjoyed a free BBQ, hot and cold drinks, ice creams, bouncy
castles, a raffle and dancing. Pupils were presented with goody bags which
included free branded items of uniform, water bottles, pump bags, book bags and
One highlight of the event was when Year One pupil Alfie won the main raffle prize
of the day; a new bike! Staff were delighted when Alfie told them that it is his
birthday on Sunday and he has been wishing for a bike as his present, he said “I
cannot believe I now have a bike for my birthday from my school”.

Colleagues from the Leeds United Foundation attended the event, teaching
football skills to the pupils, their mascot Kop Cat also attended to welcome the
children into school and they also generously brought along numerous items for the
raffle, which included two free tickets to a match game!
The event was described as “excellent … really well organised and very energising”
by Colin Booth OBE.
The Trust has already worked to develop an exciting new curriculum for the school,
to open young minds to the wonder of learning, also introducing ‘High Performance
Learning (HPL)’. HPL is a new philosophy for learning across the Trust. Christian
Wilcocks said “Whilst all WRAT schools have transformed beyond recognition over
the last five years, this year really marks the start of something special. It marks the
start of HPL – until now this has been a preserve of international schools, private
schools and it has been a pillar of success amongst those schools, it has been
proven to work without exception. Here at the White Rose Academies Trust,
we don’t believe it should be reserved for just private sector schools, we want to
bring it to our communities. HPL is built on the genuine belief that all students can
perform highly, it advocates that if we deliberately teach students the skills and
characteristics that really underpin the highest performers in our society, that it will
radically improve their performance as well, without exception. So, in addition to
teaching maths, English, literacy etc., we also teach our students how to think and
approach learning”.
Throughout summer the school has been undergoing many improvements, both
interior and exterior, and it has also undergone an exciting full rebrand. Christian
Wilcocks added “this is only the beginning, we have so many plans, lots of building
work has taken place over the summer but there is lots more planned to make this
school the best it can possibly be, and we won’t rest until this building and the
school that is represents is a hub of hope and harmony for the local community. We
want to make this a place of magic and wonder for every child who walks through
those gates”.
Commenting on the event, Kate Burton, Principal of Alder Tree Primary said:
“What a memorable way to launch our school – alongside children, families and our
community. Alder Tree Primary and everyone on its journey has a very bright future
When asked about his thoughts following the event, Andrew Whitaker said:
“It was wonderful to see our community come together for this momentous
occasion. We are dedicated to giving all our children a phenomenal education
and for Alder Tree Primary to become a ‘world class’ high performing primary
“We hope everyone is looking forward to what will be a brilliant academic year at
Alder Tree.
“Our overarching mission is to ensure that all our children are happy, that they enjoy
their time at the academy and that they leave as confident young people who are
proud of their school and are ready to excel in secondary school and beyond”.