Two Wearside schools have joined forces for the start of the new term.
The former New Silksworth Infant School and New Silksworth Junior School, which are nextdoor to each other, have amalgamated to form New Silksworth Academy.
This is an incredibly exciting timeRichard Gartland
Pupils returned to school with new uniforms, a new name and management structure, aiming to improve standards, aspirations and achievements.
The converted academy now has more than 400 pupils and 50 staff, catering for ages two to 11.
It has become a member of the Extol Multi-Academy Trust, set up by Eldon Grove Academy in Hartlepool, a primary school which is rated outstanding by Ofsted and a National Support School.
New Silksworth Academy also gains a new headteacher Richard Gartland, the former deputy chief executive of The Education Village, Darlington, a unique and nationally regarded centre of learning for mainstream and special educational needs.
He said: “Silksworth is a richly diverse community with children of all backgrounds and abilities.
“Our aim is to provide the very best learning environment, to raise aspirations and achievements and offer them all the tools they need to maximise every opportunity in life.”
The academy has has a total rebranding and over the summer new IT equipment was installed and the school has embarked on a monthly class-by-class refurbishment programme.
Books now carry the new logo and all classrooms will share the same high quality furniture and carpets as the academy transforms into a school of choice for parents.
Julie Deville, Extol Trust chief executive, said: “New Silksworth Academy will become a school with ambition, with the highest possible academic standards. We want to be able to open doors for all our pupils, using a broad and balanced curriculum, allowing them to aspire and achieve their goals in life.”
She said the positive culture and expertise that existed within the trust would be used to support staff and ensure the raising of standards at the academy.
Mr Gartland added: “This is an incredibly exciting time for the academy and the community that surrounds it.
“Parents can be assured that their children are being educated in a nurturing, stimulating and encouraging learning environment that will help every single child flourish.”