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

The Royal British Legion’s Theme for 2018

Every year, the Royal British Legion have a theme for Remembrance Day. This year, as it marks 100 years since the war came to an end, the theme is simply ‘Thank You’. It is a simple, but poignant message; the charity want to say ‘Thank you to all who served, sacrificed and changed our world’.

So, in honor of this message, we have decided to create an ode to this in the form of Art. In addition to the ‘They Shall Not Grow Old’, artwork students completed yesterday, several students and members of staff have came together to create a poppy collage in the words ‘Thank You’.

As said by one of our contributing students, Callum: “Fellow students here at Joseph Swan have all been very enthusiastic to participate in all Remembrance activities. We are so proud to be given this opportunity to contribute in making something in honor of such an amazing cause!”

This will be center stage in our Art Commemoration Memorial, for everyone to take in and admire. It is a beautiful piece of inspired Art work and one that really showcases our appreciation as both a school and a community to those who lost their lives in the Great War and those who continue to serve and protect to this day.

What we want students to take from this artwork and the entire day in general is that the reason we celebrate Remembrance is to show our appreciation. It is much more than just another day, it is very deeply meaningful and  emotional day for everyone here at Joseph Swan and across the country as a whole. Although the poppy installation can be seen as just a piece of artwork, it has much greater depth and meaning because of the intentions and thoughts behind it and we truly hope it highlights how much important we value Remembrance.

So, on behalf of everyone here at Joseph Swan and our community, we would love to say THANK YOU!

Written by Abbie and Rosie. Edited by Faith

Remembrance Respect Day

Yesterday, we began our Remembrance Day commemorations by hosting the Colours of Remembrance and the Run for Remembrance (in which the students very successfully surpassed the 2,500 km target!). These were both excellent ways of raising both money and awareness at this very important time of year.

Today, we begin the second day of our Remembrance, with many activities spanning across the course of the day. We are delighted to be joined by many amazing guests such as tour guides from Beamish Museum and serving members of the armed forces. It is a brilliant opportunity for students to be able to speak and interact with these guests and have a true perspective of different aspects of service today as well as an understanding of the nature of lives of both civilians, and those in service, in the past.

Regrettably, we often find ourselves getting so caught up in everyday life that it’s possible to forget the true meaning and significance of Remembrance Day.This is why, as we do every year, we have the Academy’s Remembrance service, the predominant part of all our Remembrance commemorations. This is lead by Miss Scott. This is always an emotive service and presents the perfect occasion for us all to truly reflect and honour all those fallen soldiers from past wars, and those still serving today. All members of the Academy also receive a wooden Remembrance cross, which they can dedicate to someone personal to them. The cross is then planted at the end of the Remembrance service in our memorial area within the Academy grounds, as a sign of respect. Respect is the principal reason why Remembrance Day is so widely honoured and here at Joseph Swan Academy; it is our main ambition to pay tribute on this momentous occasion of the Centenary of the Armistice of The Great War.

At the end of this afternoon we will come together as a whole academy to hold our official period of silence together, on The Street (the central area of the Academy).

It is sure to be a fantastic but also deeply emotional day for both staff and students, just as it is every year.

“Forever lost, forever changed. We care, so we remember.”

Written by Rosie
Edited by Faith.

Colours of Remembrance

Over the course of Period One, students watched an interview about an astonishingly emotive film titled ‘They shall not grow old’ made by Director, Peter Jackson, who is most well known as director of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit franchises.

‘They Shall Not Grow Old’ is a truly incredible commemoration to all the brave soldiers from World War 1; it reminds us all of how we shouldn’t and will never forget the sacrifices they made.

Jackson has taken the old silent, black and white, raw footage of real events from the trenches and brought them to life by colourising them with the remarkable cinematic effects we have today. He used forensic lip readers and voice actors to capture the regional accents particular to each regiment, thus making the film more genuine and authentic and giving us a sense that we can hear those lost voices from the past.

Jackson wanted to portray the real lives of these soldiers, not just tell a generic story about war. His aim was to show that these men, often seen in the grey grainy images of WW1 that are so common to us, were more than just soldiers. These men were sons, fathers, brothers, friends, people– who deserve to be remembered. They were people who found time to enjoy each others’ company and entertain each other with jokes, music and companionship as well as being men who missed their families and their homes and who feared what the next day would bring. Jackson said ‘I wanted to reach through the fog of time and pull these men into the modern world, so they can regain their humanity once more’.

In our tutor groups we drew inspiration from the film and created our own pieces of art work, inspired by these reinvigorated images. We took black and white photographs of the trenches and soldiers and added colour to them. We shared Jackson’s motivation to reach across the century and breath life into these old images.  We feel this recognition of the individuality and humanity of the soldiers  is a very important and poignant message that people should be aware of. Surely this is the true meaning of Remembrance.

The art pieces will be used to create an artistic  war memorial here at Joseph Swan Academy to signify 100 years since the end of the Great War in 1918.

‘They Shall Not Grow Old’ can be seen in cinemas and on BBC2 at 9:30pm on Sunday at 9:30pm.

Written by Rosie,

Edited by Faith.

The Purple Poppy

Generally, Remembrance Day is focused on the commemoration of those who lost their lives fighting on behalf of their country in all wars, past and present. The Red Poppy has become the renowned symbol of our respect to fallen soldiers, however, the impact on the lives of animals is often overlooked.

In 2006, the ‘Purple Poppy’ was designed in order to encourage us to remember the animals who have been victims of war. The animals that did not give their lives willingly to be of service for humans; rather their lives were taken from them.

During the First World War alone, around 8 million horses and donkeys this was in addition to the millions of dogs, cats, pigeons, elephants, oxen, camels and canaries (!) who also died as a result of war.

Those who choose to wear the purple poppy do so to remember these deaths, just as the symbol of the red poppy is used as an image of honor and remembrance of lost human lives.

Written by Emily, Edited by Faith.

Remembrance at Joseph Swan 2018

The much anticipated annual commemoration of Remembrance Day has arrived so it’s a very busy time here at Joseph Swan Academy. Over the next two days, students will take part in many interesting activities that will educate them on the true meaning of why we commemorate Remembrance Day.

Last night, we held the annual Concert for Remembrance; this is a poignant and memorable event where schools come together to Remember through music and song.

Today, students and staff have the opportunity to wear red and black to signify the colours of the poppy for a small donation. Also, we participate in the ‘Run for Remembrance’ where  staff and students will work together to collectively run the length of the trenches – around 2,500 km.

We will be hosting a variety of activities and welcoming a wide range of visitors to the Academy, we will update you with news of events as we move across the two days so keep checking back for further updates.

Last year, we managed to raise an impressive £6,000 for the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

As always, it is certain to be an unforgettable experience for everyone in the Academy and is a special way to remember the fallen soldiers who fought in both World Wars and other conflicts across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

We Will Remember Them.

Written by Rosie and Abbie, edited by Faith.

Colours of Remembrance Day

Dear Parent /Carer

Tomorrow is our ‘Colours of Remembrance’ day in the Academy. Students can wear red/black clothing to the Academy for a small donation for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

Students are allowed to wear the following red/black clothes:

  • Hooded Tops
  • Black Jeans
  • T-shirts
  • Tracksuit Bottoms
  • Trainers Shoes
  • ¾ length shorts
  • Skirts (these must be at least the same length as an Academy skirt)
  • Dresses (these must be at least the same length as an Academy skirt)

Students are not allowed to wear the following clothes:

  • Cropped Tops
  • Vest Tops
  • Hats
  • Short skirts
  • Costumes
  • Items with inappropriate wording or images

We look forward to seeing many of our students participating in this tomorrow.

Yours faithfully

Miss H E Scott
Head Teacher