Letter from Shelter

Dear Staff and Students

Thank you so much for the fantastic number of 110 donation boxes, which were made up by Year 7 and Year 8 students to give out to people who access our services. Your generosity and hard work in making up these boxes will certainly make a real difference to the people we are giving them to.

We offer a variety of services to people across the North East who are generally experiencing a period of instability and are often vulnerable individuals.Our advisers’ efforts in providing free legal advice and support for those in the North East who are affected by the devastating effects of homelessness and bad housing, have made a difference to over 1,700 people in 2017/18.

In 2017/2018 more than 4.7 million people approached Shelter nationally for advice either online, in person or over the phone.

  • 118,626 enquiries were answered through our helpline and online services which are open every single day of the year.
  • 4,666,280 people accessed the “Get Advice” pages of our website.
  • 36,323 people received help through our face to face advice and support services.

Your support will assist our staff in the North East to continue to provide a dedicated advice, information and advocacy service directly to those in most need, as well as promote best practice and share their expertise. We will work with our national policy and campaigning teams to challenge the unfair policies and practices, which underlie many clients’ circumstances, both locally and nationally.

Very many thanks to everyone involved.

Your sincerely

Tracy Guy
Hub Manager

Update on Key Dates, Time and Events

Dear Parent/Carer

Can I take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very Happy Christmas and a very healthy and Happy 2019.

Just a reminder that on Friday 21st December we hope the entire Academy will join us in our now traditional ‘Christmas Top (Jumper or T shirt) Day’. Students and staff are all encouraged to join in with this event. Students and staff will be able to wear ‘normal clothes’ for this day. A donation (suggested 50p) will be made for our charitable collection for Save the Children and Joseph Swan Academy charities.

As you will know we end our term this year on Friday 21st December at 12 noon. If the finishing time is a concern please do contact the Academy’s Administration Manager, Mrs A Atkinson via andreaatkinson@josephswan.org.uk or 0191 4422004. The scholars’ buses will not be running in the afternoon on this day but public buses will run with a variety of opportunities for the students from 12 noon.

As we come to the end of this the term can I, as always, thank you for all your support. This term has been a very busy one and included a positive Ofsted Inspection on the 30th November, please see ‘Positive news from Ofsted letter’ for additional information. We also had the news regarding our potential linkage with Emmanuel Schools Foundation (ESF) which looks very exciting. More information to follow on this. We have had record breaking attendances from Parents/Carers to our Academy Progress evenings and our Remembrance Concert. We have also had great support for our charitable collections for the Royal British Legion, the Gateshead Foodbank, the Food Co-operative and ‘Shelter’. During this Autumn Term we have also continued to focus on improving attainment and achievement for all our students.

As you can see from the following table next half term will be a busy time for all of us.

Spring Term Key Dates:

Monday 7th January 2019 to Friday 11th January 2019 Year 11 Trial Examinations
Tuesday 8th January to Thursday 10th January 2019
and Monday 14th January to Wednesday 16th January 2019
Year 12 & 13 Controlled Assessments (selected students)
Wednesday 9th January and Friday 1st February 2019 Year 11 BTEC Examinations (selected students)
Friday 11th January to Friday 25th January 2019 Year 12 & 13 BTEC Examinations (selected students)
Monday 14th January to Friday 18th January 2019 Year 12 & 13 Trial Examinations
Monday 21st January to Friday 25th January 2019 Year 10 Trial Examinations
Thursday 31st January 2019 from 4pm to 7pm
(separate invitation letter to follow)
Year 11 Progress Evening for Parents/Carers
Friday 25th January 2019 Holocaust Memorial SMSC Day
Thursday 7th February 2019 from 4pm to 7pm Year 9 Progress Evening for Parents/Carers
Monday 11th February 2019 Year 10 Tutor Evening
Friday 15th February 2019 Heart to Heart SMSC Day
Monday 18th February to Friday 22nd February 2019 Half Term Holiday

We look forward to working closely with you in 2019. Please do have a wonderful Christmas and very best wishes for 2019.

We would like our students, your children, fully rested and ready for ‘energetic’ learning when they return. The Spring Term will begin at 8.30am on Monday 7th January 2019 when we look forward to welcoming our students back.

With very festive wishes

Yours faithfully

Miss H E Scott
Head Teacher

Provisional term dates for the Academic Year 2019-2020:

Autumn Term Starts Monday 2nd September 2019
Autumn Half Term Monday 21st October 2019 – Friday 25th October 2019
Autumn Term Finishes Friday 20th December 2019
Spring Term Starts Monday 6th January 2020
Spring Half Term Monday 17th February 2020 – Friday 21st February 2020
Spring Term Finishes Friday 3rd April 2020
Summer Term Starts Monday 20th April 2020
Summer Half Term Monday 25th May 2020 – Friday 29th May 2020
Summer Term Finishes Friday 17th July 2020
Academy Training Days To be confirmed

Positive news from Ofsted for Joseph Swan Academy

Dear Parent/Carer

Positive news from Ofsted for Joseph Swan Academy

Joseph Swan Academy had an Ofsted Section 8 monitoring visit on Friday 30th November 2018. As with all Section 8 Inspections key judgements are made. These judgements focus on the following questions;

a) Are Leaders and Managers taking effective action?
b) Is the Academy’s action plan fit for purpose?
c) Is the Joseph Swan Academy Trust’s Statement of Action fit for purpose?

I am very pleased to report to all our Parents/Carers and students that in this Inspection the results to the three key judgements were all positive with the answer to each question, I am proud to say, being ‘Yes’.

I believe that this absolutely shows the determination, drive and vigour the Academy Staff and Governors have had since the April Inspection (which was published in July 2018). We approached the actions we needed to take with honesty, transparency and focus with absolutely no room for complacency.

During this Inspection, meetings were held with myself, members of the senior team, the Governing Body, staff and students. The Academy’s website was reviewed as well as a wide range of documentation including students’ work. Some lessons were also visited. The Academy’s Post Ofsted Action Plan was also reviewed and evaluated rigorously.

Within the Inspection the Quality of Leadership and Management was deemed to be improving. This focused on the changes to the Governing Body since the last Inspection. This included the personnel and the knowledge, skills and understanding of the Governors. The Inspection recognised that astute appointments had been made to the Governing Body and external expertise and advice was sought to ensure Governors had a stronger understanding of their role. There is still work to do but a full and far reaching training programme is in place to ensure this area of Academy life fully meets all expectations.

The Post Ofsted Action Plan was deemed as being ‘thorough’. The Inspection findings state that ‘improvement plans and proposed actions are relevant, clear and specific’. ‘Timings are appropriate and it is clear by whom, when and how progress will be monitored’. The Inspection Report Letter states that ‘staff say that Leaders hold them to account more stringently than they did previously. This is because the Head Teacher has amended, clarified job descriptions and responsibilities of senior leaders’. The Inspection also recognised that new appointments made by the Head Teacher enabled her to restructure the senior leadership team.

In regard to Teaching, Learning and Assessment ‘strategies to improve this area are beginning to pay dividends. ‘Leaders’ actions were viewed positively regarding schemes of work, review and evaluation and checks to improve the accuracy of teachers’ assessment. Work in Mathematics is ongoing and will remain a priority for the Academy. This includes an appointment of a Lead Practitioner and an additional member of the Mathematics Team. These posts will start in January.

The Inspection Report Letter comments positively on how the Academy is using additional funding to support disadvantaged students. It states that ‘Leaders acted swiftly to improve this aspect of the Academy’s work’. Regular training of staff helps support the substantial number of disadvantaged students within the Academy. Disadvantaged students are now making more progress than before the previous Inspection.

The Academy places high importance on good attendance. When students are absent from the Academy they miss out on learning. The focus of this Inspection was to look at the attendance of disadvantaged students. This has been a priority since the last Inspection. Inspection findings show that attendance has improved for some disadvantaged students but we still have work to do in this area. We will therefore continue to focus on this.

Behaviour was highlighted as a strength in the last Inspection and this Inspection Report Letter states that ‘Leaders have acted to reinforce their expectations in this regard’. The Inspection findings state that Fixed Term and Permanent Exclusions are used appropriately at Joseph Swan Academy.

Overall this is a positive report from Ofsted with the following judgements being made;

a) Leaders and Managers are taking effective action
b) The Academy’s action plan is fit for purpose
c) The Joseph Swan Academy Trust’s statement of action is fit for purpose

Can I take this opportunity to thank Parents/Carers for your support especially over the last few months. There is no doubt that this Inspection recognised the ethos of Joseph Swan Academy and showed an understanding of the hard work, motivation and commitment made by the Governing Body, staff and students since the last inspection. The judgements show that Joseph Swan Academy is moving in the right direction. For me that is a very positive message to give to all of our Parents/ Carers, students, staff and Governors. There is no complacency, there is still work to do, but we know what we are doing and are moving in the right direction.

In addition our potential links with Emmanuel Schools Foundation will build on these firm foundations we have created over the past few months.

We will continue to approach all challenges with fortitude, honesty, energy and commitment now and in the future.

I finish as I started. ‘Positive news from Ofsted for Joseph Swan Academy’. Now that is a great Christmas present to us all.

Yours faithfully

Miss H E Scott
Head Teacher

Shelter Donation Box Appeal for the Homeless

On Monday 10th December we went to our local branch of Shelter, the homelessness charity, to deliver the donation boxes that our Year 7 and Year 8 students have been making in their Thrive lessons this year. There were over 100 boxes! Shelter simply could not believe the generosity of our students and were amazed at the size of our donation.

We were taken around their branch and shown how they would deliver our boxes and we met some of the people who Shelter would give our donation boxes to.

We really have achieved something amazing as an Academy and we are extremely proud of the work that our young people are doing to support the local community at this time of year.

Well done to everyone involved!

Exciting Times for Joseph Swan Academy

Dear Parent/Carer

I would very positively like to announce that after consideration by the Regional Schools Commission and in principle Joseph Swan Academy will become part of the Emmanuel Schools Foundation in 2019.

This is a wonderful opportunity for all our students, staff and local community.  Please find further information on this very positive development for Joseph Swan Academy below.

Exciting Times for Joseph Swan Academy

Yours faithfully

Miss H. E. Scott
Head Teacher 

Christmas Lunches

Dear Parent/Carer

It is nearly that time again when we all start to think about Christmas. Here at Joseph Swan Academy we have this firmly in our calendar with our traditional ‘Year Group family’ Christmas Lunches with all the Year Groups. This will follow our Year Group Academy Carol Service. Our Sixth Form will be having a special Christmas Brunch.

The cost for the lunches/brunch will be £3 this year for those students who do not receive free school meals. This will include a full Christmas lunch/brunch, drinks and rewards.

Payments of £3 for the Christmas Lunch/Brunch can be paid by your child to the Finance Team in the Academy Gym at break time on the following dates:

  • Monday 3rd December – Year 7
  • Tuesday 4th December – Year 10
  • Wednesday 5th December – Year 9
  • Thursday 6th December – Year 8
  • Friday 7th December – Year 11 and Sixth Form

Thank you for your support with this matter. If you have any queries/questions please do not hesitate to get in touch via Mrs A Atkinson, Academy Administration Manager at andreaatkinson@josephswan.org.uk or telephone 0191 4422004.

Yours faithfully

Miss H. E. Scott
Head Teacher

6th December Academy Progress Evening

Dear Parent/Carer

We invite you to our Joseph Swan Academy Progress Evening for Year 7, 8, 9, 11, 12 and 13, which will take place on Thursday 6th December 2018 from 4pm – 7pm.

During this evening we will give you the opportunity to discuss your son/daughter’s achievements with their tutor.  A progress report will be issued at this event and important targets will be set for the forthcoming term.  It is important to attend this event to hear about the progress your child has made.

Appointments for Tutors

We will be running an appointment based system for the evening.  Please select the two most convenient time slots. A specific time will be allocated by your child’s tutor and a sticker will be placed in their planner by Friday 30th November to confirm this.

Appointments will be allocated on a first come first served basis, so please return your preferences on the reply slip as soon as possible, by no later than Wednesday 28th November 2018.

We look forward to seeing you and sharing the successes of our students during this evening.

Yours faithfully

Miss H. E. Scott
Head Teacher

Year 10 Progress Evening

Dear Parent/Carer

I would like to invite you to our Year 10 Progress Evening which will take place on
Thursday 22nd November 2018 between the hours of 4pm – 7pm at Joseph Swan Academy. This event will be an appointment based event with staff from each department located on the Academy ‘Street’.

This Progress Evening is a real opportunity for you to speak to your son/daughter’s subject teachers. It is important that you see key staff to discuss the progress your son/daughter is making in the first term of Year 10.

The Year 10 Team will be on hand for additional advice and support throughout the evening.

Please discuss the evening with your son/daughter and ask them to make appointments with the teachers you would like to see. The appointments will be between 4pm – 7pm. Please indicate if you need later appointments for your son/daughter. Note appointments will be approximately 5-10 minutes in length. You will have the opportunity to see your son/daughter’s books/folders during the evening.

Please do contact the Year Team if you have any questions.

We look forward to seeing you on Thursday 22nd November 2018.

Yours faithfully

Miss H. E. Scott
Head Teacher

Academy Remembrance Services

To remind ourselves on the true meaning of Remembrance Day, every year Miss Scott hosts an Academy Remembrance Service to each year group.

This service begins with a heartfelt reading of In Flanders Fields. This WW1  poem is read by two students from the year group. This is a point where we can all  reflect on the sacrifice that has been made across the century.

The year group services are a truly emotive and beautiful; the perfect way to commemorate Remembrance.

The service ends with staff and students paying their respects to the fallen soldiers by planting their dedicated wooden crosses in the Garden of Remembrance. Each cross is  dedicated to a soldier who lost their life in the war, many of  research members of our family who lost their lives in the World Wars, some of us choose to dedicate these crosses to those ‘known only to God’, the Unknown Soldiers.

At the end of the day, we end our commemorations by gathering in the street for our annual two minute silence where we reflect on the passing of the soldiers who fought our wars and shaped the world we live in today. It is particularly significant this year with the commemoration of 100 years since the Great War.

‘Loved and were loved and now we lie in Flanders Fields.’

Written by Abbie, Rosie and Emily.

Remembrance Day Activities

Over the course of the first four lessons, there have been many engaging activities being held all over the school. For example, on the staff car park, there are many fascinating workshops about Anderson Shelters, tanks and spitfires.

The Anderson Shelters are a new addition to our schools remembrance-themed activities, a set up simulation so students can go inside them and experience what a war raid would have entailed. In 1939, the cost of an Anderson Shelter was £13. The Shelter would have been built into family’s garden’s to use when air raids took place to shelter from bombs and damage caused by aircraft flying over head. It was an remarkable experience for the students to be surrounded by authentic artefacts from both Great Wars. It was quite a surreal experience and one that our school is feels deeply appreciative to have hosted.

Across from the shelters, there was almost a “mini museum” of artefacts and pictures from the “Battle of Britain”. This consisted of army uniforms, chess games, gas masks, record players and cutlery. It was great to be able to see students getting involved with the visitors, asking questions and trying on the uniforms as we, as a school, see that it’s very important to get educated on World War 1 and 2.

Also, there was a suffragette’s workshop which highlighted the social changes of women and women’s rights from the 1900’s till now. It showed the difference in women’s fashion, jobs and how women were granted the right to vote. It was compelling to see how much society has changed over the past 100 years.

It was extraordinary to see students getting so involved in each activity around school and showing respect at this significant time of year.

‘Lest We Forget’.

Written by Abbie.

Edited by Faith