Sixth Form Expression of Interest

Joseph Swan Academy’s Sixth Form Application process starts with an online expression of interest survey below. We are asking you to tell us your preferred choice of subjects to study to enable us to develop a curriculum that suits your needs. We also want you to tell us more about you and your aspirations for the future.

You need to complete an expression of interest form by Friday 24th April 2015. From this you will be invited to make a formal application to join us to start September 2015.

Expression of Interest Form

Easter Newsletter

Dear Parent/Carer

It has been a very busy Spring term here at Joseph Swan Academy. We held a very successful Heart to Heart Day in February raising funds for the British Heart Foundation and the Children’s Heart Unit at the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle. The focus of this day was looking after your heart. Students had lessons in CPR, keeping your heart healthy, and the work of the Blood Bikes and Children’s Heart Unit. At the beginning of March we held a very successful Dragons’ Den meets the Apprentice activity with many great ideas for inventions being produced. Watch out Mr Branson and Mr Dyson!

Our Year 7 students put on a great display for our Year 7 ‘Trashion Show’ which is part of the REAL project curriculum here at Joseph Swan Academy. The focus of this project was respecting the environment with the students having researched all aspects of recycling and reusing materials which culminated in a fashion show exhibition.

As always our students did their bit for charity this term with each Year Team hosting an activity for Comic Relief. This included our very own Year 8 with their Photo Booth initiative which raised over £150 by itself.

This was followed in the next week by an excellent Careers Fair when over 30 different companies and organisations came to the Academy providing advice on apprenticeships, careers in the forces and the NHS, College and Degree level courses and careers in the business sector. Again we were very pleased with the attendance of parents/carers and students to this event. Currently our Year 9 students are choosing their Key Stage 4 options and our Year 11, 12 and 13 students are preparing for their GCSE and GCE examinations so the Careers Fair was especially useful for these students.

Last week two ‘Classroom Medics’ sessions were organised by our Science department for specific student cohorts. These hands on workshops allowed students to use real medical equipment, used daily by medical professionals, to test their own individual physiology. Activities were also be linked to topics such as healthy lifestyles, impacts of smoking and drugs, and obesity. Activities included ECG testing, Peak flow readings, using a Spirometer, checking carbon monoxide and oxygen levels, taking temperature and blood pressure, reflex testing, using ultrasound technology, iPhone retina scans and trying on an ageing suit. These workshops were so successful we will be having the ‘Classroom Medic’ organisation back for additional sessions.

Keeping students safe remains one of our top priorities. By now I hope you will have received my letter on Operation Encompass regarding domestic abuse. If you would like any further advice on this initiative please do contact DC Gill Menzies on 0191 433 2450 or via email OperationEncompass@Gateshead.gcsx.Gov.Uk. You can also find out more information through accessing the following website: http://www.operationencompass.org/.

This term we also had an additional Be Kind week with the ‘if U Care Share Foundation’ working with our Year 10 students. Assemblies on E-Safety also took place throughout the week. For further information on E-Safety please do feel free to contact Mrs Whalen our Academy Equality Co-ordinator via vickiwhalen@josephswan.org.uk for further information. We have also recently held assemblies on Railway Safety and the dangers of drug taking. These were delivered to Year 9, 10 and 11 by a member of the Platform Team (Drug and Alcohol Awareness Team – Telephone 0191 4601354).

In addition I encourage students to ride their bicycles to the Academy. This needs to be done safely taking great care at road junctions and obeying the Highway Code. Students should also be wearing cycle helmets both to and from the Academy. It is also highly recommended that some form of high visibility clothing is also worn.

Smoking is not allowed on the Joseph Swan Academy campus – this includes E-Cigarettes. We have a Zero Tolerance policy regarding smoking here at Joseph Swan Academy and are working in partnership with the NHS and Northumbria Police to enforce this. Students have the opportunity to be involved in a registered smoking cessation course – further details regarding this can be obtained from Mrs Whalen our Equalities Co-ordinator via vickiwhalen@josephswan.org.uk.

As always our Sports Teams are doing incredibly well in all the Gateshead Schools football and netball leagues. We have also seen success in fusball, rowing, cross country, dance as well as county and national trials for many of our young people. Congratulations to all those who participate and represent our Academy.

Three of our staff have just returned from a visit to linked school in Uganda. Whilst at the Samuel Baker School the staff taught Geography, Sport and trained students to be anti-bullying champions. We donated much of our former Academy uniform to this school.

We continue to work closely with all our feeder primary schools. We are very pleased with the record breaking numbers of Parents/Carers who have chosen Joseph Swan Academy as their school for September 2015. Our Year 7 numbers are record breaking and we are oversubscribed.

We will finish this Spring Term on Wednesday 1st April 2015 at the usual time of 2.20pm. Our students will return on Monday 20th April at 8.30am. Please note some very important dates in the Summer Term:

Thursday 30th April Year 10 Progress Evening 4pm to 7pm
Monday 4th May Bank Holiday Academy Closed
Thursday 7th May Election Day Year 11 and Year 13 only in the Academy
Thursday 12th May Year 7 Progress Evening 4pm to 7pm
Monday 25th – Friday 29th May May Half Term Academy Closed

All of these events and activities have been ongoing alongside deep learning throughout the year. As always I would like to thank all the staff and the students for all their hard work. I would especially like to wish the Year 10, 11,12 and 13 students the best of luck for their summer examinations and to remind them to revise hard over the Easter Holidays in preparation for these examinations.

Can I take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy Easter and to all our students a happy and safe holiday. We look forward to seeing all of our students on Monday 20th April 2015 at 8.30am.

Yours faithfully

Miss H E Scott
Head Teacher

Please also note for those of you planning Summer Holidays that the Autumn Term will start on Wednesday 2nd September 2015. All students will return to this Academy on this date.

Dance Festival 2015

dance festival 2015On Wednesday 18th March the Joseph Swan Academy Dancers performed at the Sage Gateshead in the Dance Festival 2015.

There was 663 students, 77 staff and a sold out auditorium. Over the previous 2 days over 2,500 students from Gateshead had performed. The girls closed the show and ended it with a bang. They gave it everything! The theme was films and the girls performed a modern twist on the Circle of Life.

The girls were exceptional throughout the afternoon and really looked the part in their tops! They have qualified for a National Dance Competition in April at the Mill Volvo and are really excited about it.

Fancy face paints for the next one!

Year 9 Netball

The Year 9 netball team had their Gateshead Netball Tournament last night. There were 8 teams in the tournament with each team playing 7 matches. The matches were awarded 5 points for a win, 3 for a draw 1 for a loss.

Our first six match results were:

  • Joseph Swan 5 – Charles Thorp 0
  • Joseph Swan 5 – Lord Lawson 5
  • Joseph Swan 1 – Kingsmeadow 0
  • Joseph Swan 2 – Whickham 2
  • Joseph Swan 7 – Cardinal Hume 2
  • Joseph Swan 3 – Emmanuel 2

This resulted in final match against Thomas More ended up being for for 1st and 2nd. With the points so close we needed a win or draw to come 1st.

It was an end to end game, with Thomas More scoring within seconds. We brought it back and fought to 3 – 3. However, just as the whistle blew, Thomas More scored, resulting in the final score being 4 – 3 and leaving the tournament results as:

  • 1st Thomas More
  • 2nd Joseph Swan
  • 3rd Emmanuel

The girls played out of their skin and the only way to describe them is absolutely class.

Academy Careers Fair – 18th March 2015

Dear Parent / Carer

Just a reminder that our Academy Careers Fair, which we have entitled ‘Your Future’, will
be held on Wednesday 18th March 2015 between 6pm and 7.30pm.

This event has been organised as part of our Academy Career’s Programme and is
intended to help our students find out more about the options available to them as they
make decisions about their future. The evening should be of particular interest to students
in Years 9 (who also have a joint options and progress evening on 24th March 2015), Years
11 and 13 students as they consider their options in the future. All students/parents/carers
are welcome to come to this event, to investigate possible future pathways.

We have invited over twenty five organisations and businesses to be represented at this
event including companies such as Rolls Royce, Nissan, Sainsbury’s, Sage Academy of
Performing Arts and Baker Tilley. There will also be representatives from Gateshead
Health, the Armed Forces including the Royal Navy, the Royal Air force and the Army. In
addition our Academy Sixth Form will be available to discuss our Key Stage 5 pathways and
curriculum. There will also be representatives from universities and training providers.

As you can imagine this is a very worthwhile event to attend to ensure both you and your
son and daughter have as much information as possible about future pathways.
Refreshments will be served throughout the evening in our Street Café.

As a further incentive all ‘family groups’ who attend this evening will be entered into a prize
draw for £50 Sainsbury’s voucher.

We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday 18th March between 6pm – 7.30pm.

Yours faithfully

Miss H.E.Scott
Head Teacher

Year 7 Rugby

Our Year 7 Rugby team made a great start to the Gateshead Rugby Championships, finishing unbeaten after drawing both of their games.

The first game was against Lord Lawson and despite a great start which saw us jump in to a 2-1 lead. We then fell behind due to a combination of poor tackling and inexperience in defence against their club players leaving the score 2-5. All looked lost but then we had a chat and rallied during a break in play, after which the opposition didn’t know what had hit them and we pulled the game back to 5-5. The crowd really got behind both teams and at the final whistle it felt more like a victory than a draw.

Our great form and momentum continued as we took to the field against Whickham for our second fixture. We more than matched a team which contained a number of experienced club players. Mr Davidson was really pleased with the way our players took to the ruck and the maul which added a new dimension to their already excellent running play. The match was a bit of nip and tuck in which the lead changed 4 times and ended with Whickham grabbing a late equaliser.

The lads are starting to act like a real rugby team, something which will be a great strength in their future matches.

Year 7 Enterprise

EnterpriseA group of Year 7 boys have recently started an Enterprise program supported by the Premier Football League.  The Enterprise program teaches students the basic principles of Business and Enterprise using Newcastle United Football Club as a real life case study. The use of the football club as a real life model helps to improve students’ perception of business and enterprise in a way they can relate to and understand.

The programme helps pupils understand jobs, professions and career options through lessons that are innovative and fun. Ultimately it helps to prepare students for the world of work. The learning objectives of the course ensure students learn about every aspect of running a football club, from marketing, catering and customer services, HR and communications to reputation.

Throughout the course the students develop a huge range of leadership and enterprise skills they can bring back to the classroom of Joseph Swan Academy. Students are offered behind the scenes tours of the St James Park to provide an insight into how those departments work within the real organisation. The football club and the brand of Newcastle United is the perfect way to bring business to life for young people.

Students undertake such tasks as designing a new football shirt for the club, marketing it and selling it. They also become media journalists and get to prepare, interview the manager of the club then produce a finished newspaper article.

It is a fantastic tool for breaking down the barriers to learning for some of our hard to reach and most resistant learners. Students thrive on the whole experience and return to the classroom as more confident and motivated learners, who have tasted success and have been rewarded for it.

Leon was presented with a first team Gateshead Thunder Shirt by Mr Bowden the Achievement Assistant who is running the program as a reward for the excellent start to the enterprise program that he has made.

Tyne and Wear Basketball Finals

Year 9 NetballOn Thursday evening the Year 9 girls Basketball team traveled to City Space in Sunderland to compete in the U14 Tyne and Wear Basketball Finals. The teams that were competing were Joseph Swan Academy, Whitley Bay, Sacred Heart, St Wilfred’s and Academy 360.

We got off to a brilliant start in a match against Whitley Bay, which took over 5 minutes to score a basket as the competition was that high. The girls battled hard and scored some exceptional baskets eventually winning 10 – 2.

The second game was the toughest, against last years winners St Wilfred’s. The girls had a wobbly start and went down 4 – 0 in the first 2 minutes. After some encouragement from the sideline the team fought back to make it 8 – 4, but St Wilfred’s then powered through to beat us 12 – 4. The girls didn’t let their heads drop or give up – they had better possession and more shots at the basket but they just wouldn’t go in.

We then went on to beat Sacred Heart 12 – 0 and finally Academy 360 8 – 2, in a very heated match, in which the girls remained composed and once again showed flare in their basketball.

Every single girl played with their heart on their sleeve, encouraging one an other and were just brilliant. Even during their rest period they encouraged Cardinal Hume and were once again commented upon their excellent sportsmanship. They represented the Academy exceptionally well, with a smile on their face.

We finished as runners up in the Tyne and Wear Finals, which was a new achievement for Joseph Swan Academy. We didn’t win a match last year so it just shows how far these girls have come. Well done to all of them.

Student Leadership Team – Sports Leadership Training

LaStudent Leadershipst week, 19 members of the Student Leadership Team from Year 7 and Year 8 attended the Gateshead Leisure Centre to participate in a training session for Sports Leadership.

The Sports Leadership training was a Pilot Scheme and students participated in the following workshops:

  • Coaching – Basketball
  • Officiating – Athletics
  • Inclusion – Disability Sport
  • Events Management (Multi-Skills)

All the students participated fully and thoroughly enjoyed the day. The students found the training helped them to realise the benefits being a Sports Leader has; such as becoming better at coaching; how respectful sport is to disabled people; how hard it is to plan an event and that it was a great feeling as everyone was included. Students summarised the training with the following feedback:

This trip to the Gateshead Leisure Centre was a great experience to understand how to work together as a leader and a team member. We experienced how to help improve games to make them suitable for disabled people”. 

“Today, I participated in training for the Sports Leadership role at Gateshead Leisure Centre. We played games such as basketball and we also learnt how to prepare a sports event by doing an order of jobs and what to do with the times of the games”. 

“Today, I enjoyed the range of activities we got to take part in.  Our trip to Gateshead Leisure Centre was a benefit to me as I learned the different things you can do when participating in the management of Sports Leadership. My favourite activity was playing inclusion games. I learned how people with different disabilities can easily take part in sports. Also the final task was where we learned how to arrange an event and the issues this can bring. The whole day was very beneficial and interesting”.

New Communication System

Dear Parent/Carer

We have just introduced a new and better system for communications with our Parents and Carers. This means that, as of Monday 26th January 2015, there is a new contact number for SMS text messages which are sent into the Academy.

If your child is absent therefore, please contact the Student Absence line on 0191 4422000 Option 2 or text on 07860 027349.

Thank you in advance for your support with this.

Yours faithfully

Miss H. E. Scott
Head Teacher