Primary school in Leeds reveals its new name to pupils and staff using an aeroplane flying over the playground

Parents and pupils found out what their Leeds school's new identity was going to be - by an aeroplane flying over the playground bearing the announcement.

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 4:45 am

As from September this year, Mill Field Primary at Potternewton will be known as Alder Tree Primary.

The former local authority school joined the White Rose Academies Trust in December 2020 following an Ofsted report in June 2019 that deemed the school 'inadequate' and came just four years after its last full inspection, which rated Mill Field as a good school.

A special event was held on Monday for the school community, which had gathered on the school grounds to find out what the school would be called, as it starts a new chapter and "improvement journey".

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An aeroplane flies over Mill Field Primary at Potternewton to reveal its new identity.

This unique unveiling ceremony was witnessed by all the pupils and staff as the plane flew over carrying a banner with the new name.

The celebration event also involved dancing, treats, entertainment, painting and a small gift for each child, all provided by the White Rose Academies Trust. The Trust has already started working with the school to develop a new curriculum and improve the facilities, but, it will officially become Alder Tree Primary on Wednesday September 8 where it plans to invite pupils, parents and members of the local community to a larger welcome and celebration event.

At this event, all pupils will be provided with free branded uniform items and an Alder Tree will be planted to mark the occasion.

Kate Rhodes, principal of Mill Field Primary Academy (soon to be Alder Tree Primary) said: “We are so thankful to the White Rose Academies Trust for organising this fabulous event to introduce the new name of the school to our students, staff and also the wider community. The screams of excitement from the children when they saw the new name in the sky were amazing.

An ice-cream van turned up to treat pupils as part of Monday's celebrations.

“We are now excited to be able to welcome members of our wider community safely to our school site on September 8, where we will be hosting an even bigger event to launch our new school - Alder Tree Primary."

The new brand for the school was developed by the Trust’s own marketing team and the name was chosen following an extensive research and consultation process, with ‘Alder Tree Primary’ by far the most popular with all stakeholders and is possibly due to several references and meanings behind it.

‘Alder’ has origins in the local area as Potternewton once included Allerton Gledhow. The name Allerton comes from the Old English alor, an alder tree, in its genitive plural form alra, and the word tūn, meaning 'farmstead of the alder trees'.

The Alder Tree will become a strong symbol for the school, said a spokesperson for the White Rose Trust, as it has a wide variety of inspiring and positive connotations relating to imagination, confidence and strength.

Monday's renaming event at Mill Field also had activities and fun for pupils.

They added that another popular reason for the school community choosing the name ‘Alder Tree’ is that it is known to be the tree that fairies love, creating a magical background for the name of a ‘learning through play’ primary school.

Christian Wilcocks, Executive Principal for the White Rose Academies Trust, added: "It’s been an exciting journey for the school since December 2020. Our Central Trust Team have been working hard on a full rebrand for the school with many months spent consulting widely with key stakeholders including parents, staff, governors and, of course, most importantly, the pupils.

“The unveiling of the new name is just one milestone on the school’s journey of transformation with many more to come. The school has been on a dramatic journey ever since it joined our family of schools, and we are deeply excited about the future.”