Lakeside Challenge 2016

Lakeside Challenge 16This weekend 12 students participated in the 2016 Lakeside Challenge. It gives me great pleasure in Announcing that this year the students exceeded all expectations and ended up Winning the event which had other numerous schools participating in.

Both the girls and the boys took on lots of different activities such as team building, high ropes, canoeing, raft building and Orienteering to name a few. This culminated in the students taking part in a final race and counted towards their final placing. The Students were exceptionally behaved and a credit to our Academy. Mr Mann, Mr Davidson and Mrs Turnbull were proud of all of them.

And once again …………. We Won!

End of Autumn Term Letter

Dear Parent/Carer

Can I take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very Happy Christmas and a very happy, healthy and safe 2016.

As we come to the end of this the Autumn Term can I, as always, thank you for all your support. We have had record breaking attendances from parents/carers at Progress Day, our Year 11 and Year 7 Parent/Carer evenings, our Shine Awards Evenings and our Remembrance and Christmas Concerts.

During this term our Sports Teams have competed well and our Active Everyday initiative is going from strength to strength. Our Remembrance Respect Day was something we hope students, staff and local community will remember forever. We even sent our JSA flag into space through our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineer and Mathematics) initiative.

Our support for charities continues with Macmillan Cancer Support, Break Through Cancer, Children in Need, the Royal British Legion and currently the Gateshead Food Bank and the People’s Kitchen in Newcastle. On ‘Christmas Jumper Day’, on the 18th December 2015, we will be supporting Save the Children, ‘Make A Wish’ and Macmillan Cancer Support.

There is a busy term ahead with the following key dates for your diary:

Year 10 & Year 11 GCSE/BTEC Examinations (selected students) Friday 8th January to Thursday 14th January 2016 (see separate timetable)
Year 11 Mock Examinations Monday 11th January to Monday 18th January 2016
Year 12 & 13 Mock Examinations Monday 18th January to Monday 25th January 2016
Year 11 BTEC Finance for Business & BTEC Sport Examinations (selected students) Thursday 21st January 2016
Year 9 Progress Evening for Parents/Carers Monday 1st February 2016 from 4pm to 7pm
Year 11 Progress Evening for Parents/Carers Monday 8th February 2016 from 4pm to 7pm
Heart to Heart Respect Day Friday 12th February 2016 (for all students)
Half Term Holiday Monday 15th to Friday 19th February 2016
JSA Careers Fair (for all Year Groups) Wednesday 24th February 2016 from 6pm to 7.30pm
Year 12 & 13 Progress Evening Monday 29th February 2016 from 4pm to 7pm
Options for Sixth Form Evening Monday 14th March 2016 from 6pm to 7.45pm
Year 11 Shine Conference Staff Training Day for other Year Groups Tuesday 22nd March 2016
Staff Training Day Wednesday 23rd March 2016

During the Autumn Term we have continued to focus on improving still further the quality of teaching being delivered in the classroom and have further developed our marking and feedback policy which is having a real impact. Our focus in the Spring Term will be on Home Learning, Attainment and Progress. We will also continue to develop our students’ positive attitudes to learning and positive behaviour.

As you can see next term will be a busy time for all of us. Please do have a wonderful Christmas and I send very best wishes for 2016.

We would like our students, your children, fully rested and ready for ‘deep’ learning when they return. The Spring Term will begin at 8.35am on Monday 4th January 2016 when we look forward to welcoming our students back.

As always, please do check our website This contains many important updates about our Academy.

With very festive wishes

Yours faithfully

Miss H E Scott
Head Teacher

Gymnastics Festival

GymnasticsOn Tuesday 1st December a group of Year 7 & 8 girls attended the Gateshead Schools Gymnastics Festival. Twenty local schools gathered to perform their routines at Gateshead Leisure Centre in front of a packed audience. Joseph Swan Academy was the only Secondary School in attendance and the girls performed outstandingly well.

The gym club was only started in September and the girls have worked really hard every week leading up to the performance. With the help of Miss L McClelland and Mrs S Robinson the girls stood out with their fantastic hairstyles and face paint decoration and it really enhanced the overall performance. The girls thoroughly enjoyed performing in front of a crowd and are already looking ahead to next year and what new ideas they can bring to their performance.

They should be really proud of their achievement! Well done!

Miss S Hall

Progress Day

Christmas Concert

Dear Parent/Carer

I am very pleased to invite you to our Joseph Swan Academy Christmas Concert which will take place on Wednesday 9th December at 6.30pm.

The concert will be led by the Band and Bugles of the Durham ACF with our very own Joseph Swan Players.

The concert will be followed by a reception on our very own ‘festive street’. All proceeds from the evening will go to Macmillan Cancer Support.

To purchase your tickets please contact Mr Purvis on 0191 4422000 Ext 255 or via email We believe the tickets for this special event will go quickly so please do contact the Academy as soon as possible.

We look forward to welcoming you to our Academy to support a very worthwhile cause.

Yours faithfully

Miss H E Scott
Head Teacher

Famous children’s author and illustrator, Liz Million came to Joseph Swan Academy

Liz MillionsOn the 10th of November, my English class had an inspiring morning when Liz Million came into school as part of the Northern Children’s Book Festival. The purpose of the morning was for Liz to demonstrate how she illustrates and writes her own books in a  “cartoon-style” to suit her audience, and to encourage us to utilise our skills in the future.

Our session with Liz developed across three lessons. In the first, Liz told us of her background and how she used her skills in English to lead her into Illustration. It was really interesting to hear from the perspective of someone who has used their achievements in school to achieve their dreams.

In the second lesson, we started to learn tips and tricks of how to draw in Liz’s style. She was drawing animals and characters from shapes, and allowing us to join in as she was giving us direction. She advised us of how to create different effects and portray different emotions in our drawings. The results of our own work was fantastic and surprised us all! It really evidenced how successful Liz was at her job. I particularly enjoyed drawing a very convincing sad, old grandma from a potato shape and a hippo’s face from a bean!

The session culminated in third lesson, which was my favourite. We were given a specific brief which we had to meet by creating characters for Liz using the skills she’d given us. I believe that I enjoyed this lesson the most because we were almost in Liz’s role- getting a real taste of what being an Illustrator is like! I also liked it because we were given a lot of freedom to do our own thing and Liz gave us the opportunity to ask any questions.

Liz Million was a real inspiration to myself and my class. She was very energetic, funny and engaging. Everyone in the Reading room that day had a really enjoyable morning, and one which motivated us to consider how we could use our skills in English in the future.

By Faith,
Year 8

Progress Day

Dear Parent/Carer

Our Progress Day takes place on Thursday 3rd December 2015. Thank you to all those Parents/Carers who have made appointments already.

The structure of the day revolves around the appointments with the tutor.

In addition the Academy restaurant will be open serving complimentary breakfast, lunch and high tea. Connexions will be available for careers advice. The Green Team will have a Christmas Gift stand on the Street. Our Attendance Team will be available throughout the day to discuss attendance. Father Christmas will be on the Street with his reindeer for our younger visitors.

Please note this is not a traditional school day.

The key part of the day is the appointment to hear of your child’s progress. If you have any issues with childcare for the rest of the day please do contact your child’s respective Year Leader so we can support you with this.

Students must wear Academy uniform and must attend the meeting to receive their attendance mark for the day.

If you have any concerns please do contact your child’s Year Leader in advance to resolve these as soon as possible.

Yours faithfully

Miss H E Scott
Head Teacher

Hispanicists Visit

The 24th November saw the Year 12 Hispanicists go to the Tyneside Cinema to participate in a workshop day centred on Pedro Almodóvar’s highly acclaimed film ‘Volver’.
The students had the opportunity to watch the film that helped secure Penélope Cruz’s fame as a star of cinema. The students then had the opportunity to practise their reading skills in grammar exercises and get to grips with film study in a foreign language, as well as flexing their analytical skills in order to talk about the themes central to the film.
All in all, the students represented the Academy brilliantly, with cinema staff complimenting their spoken Spanish and willingness to contribute answers.

Latin Visit

Latin-VisitOn a very soggy Tuesday morning, a group of Year 7 Latin students climbed on board a bus, on a journey back in time to Roman Britain, alongside a very special guest, Mr Benson, who was visiting from Uganda, Africa.

Firstly, the students went to the Roman Army Museum. At the museum, the students were taught Latin by a hologram teacher, introducing them to the Roman numerals and reinforcing why Latin was so important during the Roman occupation of England. The students also watched a 3-D film about life on Hadrian’s wall during the times of Emperor Hadrian.

After a quick stop at the shop, the group then hopped back onto the bus along a very straight Roman road to the Vindolanda fort. Here, the group went to a little croft building, that was used during Roman times as a store, to eat their lunch. Fueled up and ready to go, the group went next to the museum, where they had the chance to see some of the oldest written artifacts in England – the Latin tablets. Having seen the tablets, the group then met with Lauren, an archaeologist, who then revealed exactly why Latin is so important to archaeologists and historians – as it allows us to piece together evidence of what settlements looked like during this time, the daily lives of the people of Roman Britain, and even what they ate! The students asked some brilliant questions, such as, “why do we still not know exactly how Latin was pronounced?” and, “why has the site ended up in the state it is today, rather than there still being buildings standing?”

Last but not least, the students were able to walk around the excavation site, piecing together in their minds what the arrangements of stones were for.

Finally, quite cold and wet, the students climbed back on board the bus back into modern day Great Britain.

The students very much enjoyed the day, especially being taught Latin by a Roman teacher, and also getting to see how people still use Latin today, in order to piece together information to find out about our past.