Year 11 Update

Dear Parent/Carer

It is with great pride that I write this newsletter to all the parents and carers of our fantastic Year 11 students.  I would like to take this opportunity to share with you the events, activities and successes that our Year 11 students have experienced and contributed to since returning from the Christmas holiday.

On January 8th the Year 11 students returned to the Academy to commence their January Trial examinations.  The dedication, commitment and conduct by all students throughout these examinations was exemplary. Students received their Trial Examination results on 29th January at a special celebration event. Over 280 awards, nominated by teachers, were presented to students during this event.  Awards were for Outstanding Progress, Resilience, Positive Participation, Ambition, Dedication to After Academy Progress Club (AAPC), Dedication to Home Learning, Outstanding Achievement and many more. Ten students were presented with a Special Recognition Award for outstanding progress, attitude and contribution to the Academy and wider community this year.

The Trail Exam results morning was followed by our Progress Evening. This was very well attended by Parents, Carers and Students.  I would like to thank you for taking the time to speak to your son/daughter’s teachers as I know the feedback, encouragement and next steps will be vital to the last remaining weeks before the examinations in the Summer.

On the 26th January the Year 11 students attended an extended assembly on the holocaust. This was an exceptionally moving assembly that helped students gain an insight into the heroic work of Sir Nicholas Winton. The assembly was delivered to mark the Holocaust Memorial Day on Saturday 27th January.

On Tuesday 30th January all Year 11 students took part in ‘The Big Write’ aimed to develop their independent writing skills through investigating topics such as Climate Change, Body Image and Fake News.  Every student in Year 11 wrote a letter which was sent to authentic audiences such as the Prime Minister, President Trump and magazine editors. In addition to the Big Write, the English Department held an event to support all Year 11 students with their English Literature text, An Inspector Calls.  Our Maths Department has also delivered a fascinating Problem Solving Day to all students.

On the 9th February, twenty-five Year 11 students have been invited to take part in a special Heart to Heart celebration meal. Our top point holders and students who have demonstrated exceptional performance, effort and enthusiasm have been selected to attend this event. On the same day, many Year 11 students participated in the Academy’s fundraising event to ‘Row the Amazon’.  Students will contribute to this challenge throughout the day in order to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society.

Excellent attendance is a high priority at Joseph Swan Academy. This half term, Tutor Groups have been competing in a weekly attendance challenge.  Students in every Tutor Group work together to reach a weekly target of 95% or more.  By doing so they are awarded 50 additional points. This half term 11LF, 11LP, 11KG and 11PH have managed to exceed their weekly targets.  The Year 11 Team has also launched the Prom Tag challenge. Students are awarded with a gift tag from their teachers for exceptional effort and attitude.  Each gift tag received will result in 20 additional points for the student. Over 90 students have received tags so far; many have received more than one gift tag.  The points that students receive are contributing to their Prom Points totals.  This year’s Prom will be held at The Sage on the 6th July.  This will be an exciting event to mark the end of Key Stage 4 and the Summer examinations.  If you require any additional information about this event, please contact the Year 11 Team.

On the 26th February, all Parents, Carers and Students are invited to an Exam Preparation Workshop Evening at Joseph Swan Academy between 5.00pm and 7.00pm. The purpose of this event is to provide additional support and guidance in relation to Revision and Study Skills, English, Maths, Science and French Speaking Exams, Understanding the New Grades at GCSE and Exam Anxiety. If you require any further information regarding this evening, please contact the Year Team.

Throughout our next half term, Year 11 students will be invited to attend the After Academy Progress Club (AAPC) to support their progress further.  Details of the AAPC lessons are in the packs distributed on Progress Evening but is also available to view on our website.  Our Trail Examinations in March will also help to make those vital final preparations for the Summer Examinations that commence on the 15th May 2018.

Your son/daughter undoubtedly faces the most important half term of their academic career and we are here to support and guide them every step of the way.  We will continue to hold events to enable your son/daughter to carefully prepare for the 2018 exam season with confidence, determination and ambition. We truly want them to shine.

May I wish everyone a happy and healthy half term holiday and I look forward to seeing the Year 11 students again on the 19th February 2018.

Yours faithfully

Miss K Allan
Year 11 Leader

Gateshead Food Bank Donation

Joseph Swan Academy’s Student Leadership Team took the lead on organising the “Reverse Advent Calendar Challenge” over the Christmas period. The aim behind this initiative was for students to work collaboratively in order to give something to others, instead of receiving something themselves during each day of Advent.

Every student from each tutor group in Years 7 to 11 contributed towards this challenge by bringing in an item of food to donate to Gateshead Food Bank. This meant that over 50 boxes were packed with food from our students’ donations!

The Student Leadership Team then packed the food boxes onto the Academy’s minibus and helped to deliver these supplies to the local Food Bank. The staff at the food bank were overwhelmed by the kindness of our JSA students and were astonished to find that we had in fact donated 371.20 kg of food to the cause! They said that this would help to feed many Gateshead families in need, “Well into the New Year”.

World Challenge Launch

On the evening of Wednesday 18th October, the World Challenge team came to Joseph Swan Academy to launch our fantastic expedition to the Uttarakhand region of Northern India.

This expedition gives students the opportunity to trek in the foothills of the Himalayas; go on safari; visit the beautiful historic Agra and see the Taj Mahal. Even more importantly students will be working on a community project which aims to provide better educational facilities for students in an impoverished village in India.

The evening was well attended and delivered brilliantly by our World Challenge partners. We hope that many of the students who attended will opt to take part in this once in a lifetime opportunity.

Sixth Form Taster Week 2017

Last week saw eager Year 11 students make the transition into Year 12 by attending the Sixth Form Taster Week.

Students began the week with a “Welcome” assembly where they found out all about the events taking place and were then issued with their timetables for the week.

All courses offered at Key Stage 5 put on a Taster Lesson to give the students a real idea of the type of work they will be covering in their AS courses from September onwards. Attendance was excellent, and feedback from all subjects areas was extremely positive, with all students saying that they had enjoyed the lessons and learned what they needed to know in order to make their course choices later this summer.

All students also attended an interview and those successful students have been offered conditional places, which will be made firm once GCSE results are in.

The final part of the week was an Enrichment Day on Friday. Year 11 students got the chance to register and try out the Unifrog system which will be used for researching course choices and applying for Higher Level Apprenticeships next year, while Year 12 students started their university applications – very exciting!

In the afternoon, we all celebrated a great week together with food, popcorn and music in the 6th Form “picnic area”.

We look forward to welcoming our new Year 12 students properly on GCSE results day.

Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award

A group of Year 11 students took part in an expedition at Hadrian’s Wall to complete their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award. The students were fantastic, showing off their map skills and camping.

  • Day 1 entailed walking along Hadrian’s Wall, pitching their tent and then cooking their own food.
  • Day 2 entailed completing the walk along Hadrian’s Wall.

Despite the rain, the students were in high spirits and were an asset to themselves and the Academy. All students had a fantastic time and are looking forward to completing their Silver Award.

Year 10 and Year 11 this Academic Year

Dear Parent/Carer

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate your son or daughter on the achievements that they have made throughout the Academic Year 2016/17. It is with great pride that I write this Year 10 and Year 11 letter. Your child has been studying for their GCSE and BTEC qualifications throughout the year and, for our Year 11 students, the hard work is now over. We patiently await the results day on 24th August 2017. Every student in Year 10 or 11 recognises the importance of this time in their academic career and understands the opportunities that being successful at Key Stage 4 will bring.

It is for this reason that our aim is to provide guidance, support for every student so that they can truly ‘Shine’.

It has been a busy term. The first day back after Easter began with our ‘Welcome Back’ assembly to celebrate the success and ambition of our Key Stage 4 students. The theme was ‘demonstrating resilience’ and how this can support our own personal development.

Our Year 10 students have attended an Interview Skills Day at the Academy in association with the Careers Service. Students learnt vital application and interview skills and received personalised feedback on how they can continue to improve. Many of our students have since used these skills when applying for University courses. Six Year 10 students have successfully applied and been accepted on courses to Newcastle University and Cambridge University (Jesus College).

On 7th June all the Year 10 students and with all students in the Academy participated in our very own General Election organised by our EPRE department. Prior to the day students were given the opportunity to watch all the Party Political Broadcasts and to discuss these further with their Tutors. Using real polling booths, students voted for which Party they believed should win the election. Students took their vote incredibly seriously and the Academy released exit poll data and updates throughout the day. The winners of our Academy General Election was the Labour Party.

On the 19th June the Year 10 students began their Trial Examinations. The students have prepared themselves for these examinations and have behaved superbly. They will receive their results on 14th July as part of the Year 10 Academy Results Day. Students will also take part in activities that focus on our ‘You Can Do It’ ethos. This event will be followed by the Year 10 Progress Evening. We look forward to seeing you on this important evening where you can find out more about your son/daughter’s progress.

We still have lots of learning and many activities to do before the summer holiday. Our Reward Day for top point holders is on Saturday 8th July. This will be taking place in the Academy and replaces the visit to Lightwater Valley. This free event will have music and entertainment and be a real celebration of the Year successes. Our ‘All Together’ Games on Monday 17th – Tuesday 18th July will give our students the opportunity to show their athleticism and dedication to doing their absolute best.

Next year is a crucial year for the Class of 2018 and I am very excited and proud to say that I will be taking over Year 10 as their Year Leader and taking them into Year 11 with the support of Miss Rodaway.

For our Year 11 students, the countdown to their final examinations began with the first of the examinations on May 15th. Since this time over 160 exams have taken place and we are incredibly proud of how conscientious and dedicated the Year 11 students have been throughout the examination season.

Students have attended Booster Sessions and Top Tips regularly as well as continuing to attend Light Bulb Learning after school and holiday lessons.

The English and Maths departments delivered conferences to many of our students. These events, taking place at the Hilton Hotel and St James’ Park, were well attended and thoroughly enjoyed by all students.

After the examinations were over the students attended their final Assembly. Students received awards and thanked their Tutors for their support and encouragement throughout the past 5 years. The students have also participated in the traditional Year Group photograph. An event that always fills us with pride when we see the entire Year Group together for one of the last times.

The Year 11 Prom deadline was on the horizon soon after returning from Easter and over 100 Year 11 students attended Beamish Hall hotel, a perfect location to celebrate the success of the Class of 2017.

We now look forward to the greatly anticipated results day on Thursday 24th August.

Many of our Year 11 students have chosen to continue to study at Joseph Swan Academy in the Sixth Form. All students who applied are attending a Taster Week from Monday 3rd to Friday 7th of July where they will experience life as a Sixth Form student and attended lessons in their chosen subjects. They will also join the current Sixth Form for their end of year celebration BBQ. We look forward to welcoming them back in September to study for their Post 16 qualifications.

Students in both Year 10 and 11 have worked hard this term. We currently have a large number of students who are learning to play a musical instrument and have their lessons at the Academy. Many of our Year 10 and Year 11 students have recently taken and passed music examinations. We would like to congratulate all students on their exceptional performance during these examinations.

Our Year 10 and Year 11 students have also been eagerly collecting reward points since the start of this Academic Year. The following students are the top 20 points earners. They have collected a commendable number of points this year, well done.

Chloe Graham Thomas Newham Jade Wilson Ellie McTeer Dawid Stepien
Evelina Saliapina Alice Graham Victoria Elliott Josh Bickerstaff Casey McGinley
Faith White Chantelle Bradford Daniel Dura Anna Richardson James Johnston
Sophie Webber Sinead Gorman Sophie Watson Lewis Dale Jon-Paul Slater

Finally, I hope that every student has had a successful, enjoyable and memorable year at Joseph Swan Academy. I look forward to welcoming the Year 10 students back to school on Tuesday 5th September 2017 as our new Year 11s and to the celebrations on the 24th August at the GCSE and BTEC results day.

Yours faithfully

Miss K Allan
Academy Leadership Team

Year 11 Study Day

With the exams fast approaching a group of 9 year 11 students left the Academy for a full day of preparation and skill enhancement.  Walking into the conference room at Gateshead College was like walking into Sir Alan’s boardroom with all the latest gadgets and a beautiful glass window overlooking the Sage and the Gateshead Quayside.

The boys dived straight in with some Maths revision tips delivered by Mr Hill.  They created revision cards on key topics and used them to answer exam questions relating to them.  All students successfully managed to answer the questions using the tips Mr Hill had given them.

With no time for a break the students moved on to look at transferable revision skills delivered by Mr Divers.  Mr Divers helped the boys discover what type of learner they are and what methods to use to give them maximum retention when it came to the exams.

After a short revision break, Science and command words were next on the cards, with time for lunch in the middle.  The boys were reminded about the different styles of question they would come across and how to use all the information given to them in the paper to earn as many marks as possible.

Last up in the day was Mrs Warr with her English Language revision.  The boys were encouraged to write their own creative story using a picture as a prompt and were reminded that senses, vocabulary, imagery, punctuation, emotion and rhetoric were all important when trying to get the marks in these longer answer questions.

24th June University Explained

Dear Parent/Carer

University Explained: An Information Day for Parents and Carers
Saturday 24th June 2017 from 9.30am to 2.15pm

I would like to inform you of Durham University, Newcastle University, Northumbria University, the University of Sunderland and Teesside University, as part of the Raising Aspirations Partnership, University Explained event. University Explained is an Information Day for Parents and Carers and will take place on Saturday 24th June 2017 at Durham University.

The day is designed for parents and carers of young people who are currently studying in Year 10 to Year 12. The event is open to any Parents and Carers who have an interest about finding out more. Students who are currently in any of these year groups, and would like to find out more about Higher Education, are also welcome to attend.

Students at Joseph Swan Academy may be considering what they will do once they have left school and they may have the potential to progress to university. University Explained is an opportunity for Parents and Carers to find out more about Higher Education to help support their son or daughter in the decisions they will have to make about their future.

The programme offers a range of informal information sessions which include:

  • The University Application process
  • Financial support for students
  • Student support at university
  • Student opportunities and employability

To reserve a place at the event, please visit the following link or telephone
0191 208 3128.

Yours faithfully

Miss H E Scott
Head Teacher

Joseph Swan Academy Sixth Form Applications

The application process for Joseph Swan Academy Sixth Form is now open for September 2017.

The application form can be found under the Sixth Form tab on the website. Year 11 students should complete the online application form in full and submit it. The Sixth Form Team will be in touch with students individually in due course with details of the next stage (interview) of the application process.

Should you require any further information about our Sixth Form courses, please contact the Sixth Form Team.