School in focus: Stour Academy Trust

‘Stour Academy prides itself on being a Multi Academy Trust at the forefront of providing a 21st century education to children, through radical innovations and a pedagogical model.

The Stour Academy Trust was established in Sept 2012 following the federation of our two founding schools, Sturry C E Primary School and Water Meadows Primary School. It is now a Multi Academy Trust consisting of eight primary schools across three geographical areas – Canterbury, Ashford and Swale.

They are shifting away from passive learning styles that emphasise memorization and direct instruction and towards flexible, interactive techniques that foster the critical and independent thinking required in today’s innovation-driven economy. The Trust upholds the ideals of cooperation, inclusivity, aspiration, ingenuity, and nurture.

Wellbeing among students

The Stour Academy Trust has made a concerted effort to foster a supportive and inclusive culture during school hours. Due to their focus on student wellbeing, they have introduced various strategies to support students’ mental, emotional, and physical health.

An example of their inclusive culture is their provision of free meals for a significant portion of their students, reflecting their commitment to supporting students from diverse socio-economic backgrounds. The Trust has also received recognition for its commitment to promoting diversity and equality, a further testament to its dedication to creating an inclusive learning environment. This inclusive and supportive approach is also evident in their greater-depth approach to learning, which emphasises effort and does not privilege any student over another. Everyone is seen as having the potential to succeed, reinforcing the message of inclusivity and equality.

Moreover, Stour Academy Trust participates in a number of educational alliances designed to improve students’ academic abilities. They have, for instance, chosen a method of teaching that fosters resilience: “We start each class in an approachable way, and because kids can see their improvement, they’re driven to keep going.”

In addition, the Trust also encourages students to engage in character-building activities that extend beyond the classroom. For instance, students have opportunities to support local food banks, raise funds for various causes, and participate in other community-focused initiatives. These activities are seen as an important part of students’ development, fostering a spirit of generosity and community engagement.

Wellbeing among staff

A deep commitment to staff wellbeing is at the heart of The Stour Academy Trust’s ethos. The Trust understands that teachers and administrative staff play a vital role in creating a nurturing learning environment, as evidenced in their artwork honouring these everyday heroes.

The Trust’s focus on professional development is clear in the myriad of training programs they offer. The trust might offer chances for collaboration, professional growth, and training, allowing staff to improve their abilities and stay abreast of cutting-edge instructional techniques.

The Trust also acknowledges the importance of a balanced life, promoting strategies that harmonise professional and personal wellbeing. They offer flexible working arrangements, workload management support, and self-care opportunities, demonstrating a commitment to holistic wellness.

Cultivating a supportive and collaborative culture, The Stour Academy Trust values open communication and feedback. With encouragement and assistance readily available, those seeking to further their professional journey find a supportive partner in the Trust. The positive outcomes of this focus on staff wellbeing are reflected in the Trust’s schools, driving student success and personal growth.

Academic success

The Stour Academy Trust is dedicated to ensuring academic success for all students. They implement effective teaching and learning strategies, provide a curriculum that is engaging and tailored to individual needs, and regularly assess student progress to identify areas for improvement. The Trust fosters a positive learning environment that promotes high expectations, sets challenging goals, and provides targeted support to help students achieve their full potential academically.

Use of edtech

The Stour Academy Trust is aware of how crucial it is to use educational technology (edtech) to improve teaching and learning. For students, they use edtech platforms, tools, and resources to design dynamic and interesting learning experiences. To assist teaching, encourage student involvement, and foster the development of digital literacy skills, this includes the use of digital learning platforms, interactive whiteboards, educational applications, and online resources. The Trust makes investments in staff members’ ongoing professional development to help them successfully incorporate edtech into their teaching methods and ensure that it has a positive impact in the classroom.


At The Stour Academy Trust, its vision for education gives children the necessary skills to thrive in our modern, 21st century world.

Its pedagogical model, combined with the intentional deployment of technology, will help the Trust deliver personalised learning in an enabling environment. The school’s vision is to nurture a community of learners that challenge thinking, where its staff are empowered to take risks and develop their practice to meet the needs of an evolving school system, which is not held back by traditional restrictions and ideologies.

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