Year 9 Girls Basketball

On Tuesday 18th November the Gateshead Basketball CVL Tournament was hosted at Joseph Swan Academy.

Last year the Year 9 Girls Basketball team excelled across all tournaments, resulting in several title wins.

With only Joseph Swan and Cardinal Hume in attendance, due to 3 other teams dropping out, it was a must win for Joseph Swan Academy to go straight into the Tyne and Wear Finals.

The girls were triumphant with the final score being:

Joseph Swan 40 – Cardinal Hume 4

The girls played exceptionally well, using the skills they have developed whilst playing at Regional level. As always the girls did us proud, representing the Academy in the new team jerseys that they earned last year.

The Tyne and Wear final will be held on Thursday 29th January at City Space in Sunderland, where they will compete with teams from different areas!

Be Kind Week

The week beginning the 17th November is National Anti-Bullying Week.  In the Academy we aim to raise awareness of this through our Bi-annual ‘Be Kind Week’.

This year’s theme is around ‘celebrating difference’.  We will raise awareness around discrimination issues relating to gender, homophobia, religion, and race.  As part of the activities we are delighted to welcome guest speakers who will share their experiences of discrimination, both professionally and personally with our young people as follows:

  • Tuesday 18th November – Beat Bullying; a charity that works in conjunction with Dove, will offer workshops to years 7, 8 and 9, addressing appearance ideals and subsequent self-esteem issues.
  • Wednesday 19th November – Steve Jewitt–Fleet; a speaker from Stonewall, which is a charity that addresses homophobia and the use of homophobic language. Mr Jewitt Fleet will draw on his own personal experiences of being a gay man and the discrimination he has been subjected to.  This talk will be with years 9, 10 and 11.
  • Wednesday 19th November – Professor Simi Ali; Prof Ali was voted one of the top most influential females in the North East.  She will be discussing her career as a female Bio Medical Engineer at Newcastle University and how she has overcome gender discrimination, being one of few females in the country to have accomplished this accolade.  This will be for our female science students in years 10-13.

We want equality in everything we do at Joseph Swan Academy.

I do understand, however, that some parents may wish to withdraw their child from these events for a number of different reasons.  If you wish to do this, please email the Academy via and we will organise alternative arrangements.

Mrs V. Whalen
Academy Equality Co-ordinator

Author Visit

Jane HardstaffOn Friday the 14th of November 60 Year 8 students met the author Jane Hardstaff who read extracts from her novel ‘The Executioner’s Daughter’.  The novel mixes fiction with some Tudor history and tells the story of the daughter of the man employed by Henry VIII to behead his enemies.  The students enjoyed the reading and asked some brilliant questions, some of which stumped the author.  M. Ogg received a replica Tudor coin for winning the quiz that was part of the presentation.

Netball Success

Joseph Swan Academy is getting into its stride and back to their winning ways!

The Year 8 and 9 Netball teams played Thomas Hepburn at home tonight. Both teams played excellent netball and at a fast pace which resulted in 2 brilliant wins.

The scores were:-
Year 9: Joseph Swan 24 – Thomas Hepburn 1
Year 8: Joseph Swan 8 – Thomas Hepburn 2

In the Year 9 match Hannah scored every shot she took, from all different parts of the D and her team mates produced some high quality netball throughout the match. Joseph Swan dominated the game, but played with excellent sportsmanship and passion.

After a hectic start the Year 8′s settled into their stride to play some good netball, Hannah scored every shot that was taken and was fully supported by Megan who followed them up. The team defended well, with players making important interceptions to break down the play.

Excellent night all round with a lovely atmosphere!

Remembrance Respect Day

As you drove along Saltwell Road on Monday you may have been surprised to see a full sized Spitfire in our car park! This was not an innovative way to avoid the road works on the A1 but was one of the many exhibitions that we had to help us to remember those who have fallen in conflicts over the past 100 years.

On Monday at Joseph Swan, all of our year groups were invited to a special service of remembrance which was led by our Head Teacher. Within this service we reflected on the sacrifice that has been made across the past century, as well as the work that the armed forces still do today in troubled parts of the world. We looked at images of members of the armed forces and members of their families who they had to leave behind. We listened to poems by soldier poets of the First World War whose words still have such power and poignancy today, before we planted our own crosses of remembrance in our Garden of Remembrance.

A range of activities happened across the Academy to help us to remember and to understand the work that the armed forces still do today. These ranged from Boot Camp, a physically exhausting physical training session to The Defence Medical Services who discussed the vital work that they do with veterans who need prosthetic limbs and intensive physiotherapy to help veterans adapt to life after armed service. We were particularly interested the presentation by the Queens’ Own Yeomanry who talked about the recognisance work they perform in conflict to support battle strategy.

After viewing the Spitfire, a remarkable example of British engineering, we gained an insight into the life of a pilot during WWII.

Other activities across the day demonstrated the roles of both soldiers and civilians who have been affected by conflict during World War I and beyond.

On Tuesday we took part in the national act of remembrance by observing the 2 minutes silence, as a whole Academy in the main ‘street’ of our school.

We will remember.


Year 10 Football

Our Year 10 Football Team played St. Thomas More this week and from start to finish the boys played some excellent football at a high tempo.

The midfield engine room of Jack and Callum ran their socks off and didn’t give the opposition a second to relax into their flow. Joseph Swan played some excellent passing football and were able to score two tremendous goals through Jack and Lewis, the captain, resulting in a 2-0 lead at half time.

The lads were determined not to lose their lead, but instead of sitting back and inviting pressure on Kevin, our in form goalkeeper, we attacked and overran the opposition scoring 4 more goals. Lewis completed his hat-trick and Jack scored another, with the excellent Jason scoring too.

Mr Davidson was really proud of the squad, the defence were so solid that our attacking players were able to show their skills with pace and flair. The final score of 6-1 was a credit to the team and bodes well for the season ahead.

#Who Changed My World?

Year 7 REAL projects launch day at Cragside, Northumberland

Real Projects 1

Year 7 were given guided tours of Lord Armstrong’s house and made the most of the opportunity to ask questions about the life and inventions of both Lord Armstrong and his friend Joseph Swan.

The students marveled at the incandescent light bulbs on display in the Joseph Swan exhibition. They were also fascinated to see Joseph Swan’s actual purple dressing gown, made from the synthetic fibres he invented!

Real Projects 2The inventions didn’t stop there. In preparation for their REAL projects A-Z book of inventors entitled ‘#who changed my world?’, a walk along the Armstrong trail enabled the students to take in the impressive gardens and they each got to see his hydraulic inventions in action.

Exceptional A Level Results at Joseph Swan Academy

Our ‘A’ Level results this year are quite simply fantastic. We have increased on every measure for our students, including a greater percentage of students getting the top grades than in the Academy’s history.

We have students going to many universities including Edinburgh, Newcastle, Durham, Glasgow, Hull, Teesside, Northumbria and Manchester to study a wide variety of courses including –

  • Astrophysics
  • Criminology
  • Business Studies
  • Fine Art
  • Nursing
  • Physics
  • Geography
  • History
  • English Literature
  • Sport
  • ICT Games Development
  • Law
  • Mechanical Engineering

Very well done to all our students. We are very proud of you all !

Vex Robot Competition Champions

VEX RobotsOur STEM club competed in the VEX Robot Schools Competition at the Discovery Museum on 14 July.

The competition required a huge team effort to design, test and modify a robot capable of competing with 4 other schools in the ‘Swept Away’ contest.

There were some hard fought matches with a few unexpected challenges and design changes to contend with on the day. The determination and ingenuity of our pupils shone through as they were crowned Champions. Well done!