Year 8 and Year 9 this Academic Year

Dear Parent/Carer

I am very proud to write to you about our Year 8 and 9 students and their experiences this year. The end of the year is approaching and very soon we will be calling your child a Year 9 or 10 student.

Mrs Peverley (Year Leader) will be taking the students into Year 9 and will be joined by Mrs Goddard (Home School Liaison Assistant) who has already started working with the Year Group.

Mrs Beeckmans (Year Leader) and Miss Forster (Home School Liaison Assistant) will be taking the students into Year 10.

As Year Groups they have given themselves a superb grounding for the next stage of their education. I would like to take this opportunity to share with you just some of the highlights this year:

  • he keenness and amazing engagement of students in our very first student ‘training day’ way back at the beginning of September
  • Our progress evenings, in December and recently in May and June, where it was lovely to see such a huge turnout of families, keen to meet our tutors and teaching staff to discuss the progress of their child
  • Our Remembrance Respect Day in November, where the students were impeccably behaved and respectful during a variety of assemblies, services and workshops. Students in KS3 alone managed to raise over £4,000 for the ‘Poppy Appeal’ during a very well supported sponsored silence event
  • The enthusiasm shown by students towards our Christmas festivities, including our carol concert, Christmas Jumper Day and our Year Group Christmas lunches
  • The students support for all of our SMSC days throughout the year, including our Heart 2 Heart day, where every student completed basic first aid training and out inventors and inventions day, where each tutor group competed to support their chosen inventor
  • Numerous successful higher education events that many of our students attended, when both Universities came to visit us and we took students to the Universities for the day
  • The Night at the Museum event, where some students from year 8 were lucky enough to camp out overnight in the Great North Museum
  • The success of both boys and girls sports teams across a number of sports, including Football and Basketball
  • The amazing commitment shown by girls who trained and performed in the Gateshead Dance Festival
  • The students from both years who have committed to the Sports Leaders training programme, many of which have achieved their level 1 qualification and in the process have supported in a variety of different events, including the ‘Glynwood Games’ and Kells Lane Sports Day
  • Holocaust memorial day, where Year 9 were involved in working with guests to produce a stunning art installation that can be seen displayed in our main reception area
  • The maturity shown by Year 9, whilst embracing the process of option choices for GCSE courses
  • The students who visited the Houses of Parliament
  • The students who represented us superbly at Gateshead stadium in our regional athletics competition
  • The huge number of students who have achieved record breaking merit points and rewards throughout the year. This includes a group of students who have now achieved 4200+ points so far this year and have been the first to gain the brand new Head Teacher’s Award Badge
  • The huge number of Year 8 and 9 students who supported a wide range of charity events throughout the year, including those who gave up their weekend to run in the Children’s Cancer Run

There are still plenty of things to keep our students busy until the end of term. They can look forward to:

  • Our Reward Day for top point holders 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 Year group days on Tuesday 11th July for Year 9 and Wednesday 12th July for Year 8. I know that both days will inspire our students.
  • 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
    I would like to take this opportunity to add my personal thanks, to you as parents and carers of our year 8 and 9 student’s, for all the fantastic support we have received from you this year.

This year, has seen our Year 8 and Year 9 students truly embrace the ethos of ‘Where Everyone Can Shine’. I look forward to watching their development and growth as they move on in the Academy.

Yours faithfully

Mr C Bland
Academy Leadership Team

North of England Children’s Cancer Run

On Sunday 21st May, a group of students represented Joseph Swan Acadmey at the North of England Children’s Cancer Run at Gosforth Park. It was a lovely day, great atmosphere and everyone was in very high spirits. On the day there were over 9,000 runners, with many other activities there.

This was the 35th Anniversary for the event and was focused on being an “everyday hero” and running to beat childhood cancer. This is a fantastic charity and raising money in order to increase the number of children cured of cancer, improve chemotherapy, to make treatment less distressing, to individualise treatments, find causes to childhood cancer and develop new treatments. To date they have raised across the 35 years over £30 million.

We had a wonderful group of students from across Years 7 – 10 contribute to this brilliant charity, they had the option of running 3 or 5 miles to raise money. The students were just fantastic and really embraced the moment – to date the students have raised through sponsorship alone a phenomenal £1,182.14 and this is continuing to grow.

Joseph Swan Academy is so proud of every single student who ran, they were so pleased with themselves and their acheivements. Thank you to every single one of you and the parents and carers who supported the morning’s events.

I am really looking forward to taking part in this event in the future

Well done and thank you

Miss Wilkinson

The Great North Museum: Adapt!

On Tuesday 9th May, nine year 8 students and three very excited members of staff left the Academy eager to see what wonders of nature the Great North Museum had to offer.  On arrival the group walked through the museum to get to the education centre at the back and were already captivated by the range of exhibits on show.

To start the day students had a lesson about the variety in nature and why animals have different features based on where they lived.  Students got to handle stuffed foxes and otters, feeling the fur and touching their sharp teeth.  One student was shocked at the size of an elephant’s tooth and another explained to Miss Bartram why alligators have two sets of eyelids.  Their science teacher would be proud of the knowledge they demonstrated!

After all the hands-on fun, students were sent to explore the new ‘Bones’ exhibition where students gathered information about different types of skeleton and teeth and discovered new facts about how animals move around. The sheer size of the whale skeleton was enough to take a few people’s breath away.

After a short break for lunch, the excitement continued with students exploring the other exhibitions in the museum.  There were Greek ruins and Egyptian tombs, Roman walls and prehistoric fossils. All the students gathered in front of the T-Rex skeleton to pose for a picture to commemorate the day.  The students were a credit to themselves and the Academy, and they all came away with new facts to share!

12th June – Year 8 Progress Evening

Dear Parent/Carer

Date for your Diary

I would like to give you advance notice of our Year 8 Progress Evening which will take place on Monday 12th June 2017 between 4pm and 7pm.  This event will be an appointment based event with staff from each department located on the Academy ‘Street’.

This parent/carer 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 Year 8.

You will receive additional documentation and details regarding this event during the week beginning 22nd May 2017.  We look forward to seeing you.

Please do check our website at for regular updates on all events and achievements.

Yours faithfully

Miss H. E. Scott
Head Teacher

Celebrating World Book Day!

Students of Years 7, 8 and 9 really revelled in reading in order to commemorate this very special day. Students began their day with a Live Feed dedicated to World Book Day. The favourite books of staff were discussed and shared with students in a video message, along with the day’s festivities.

Across the day, students were encouraged to share their love of books through discussion with teachers and staff did the same in lessons.

The main event was the revival of the ‘Book Swap Shop’ which had been a great success when celebrating Roald Dahl Day. Students brought in many of their old books that they had already read, and were able to exchange them for a different book of their choice. Miss Gilhespy was overwhelmed by the participation and the surge of students that came to use The Reading Room in order to exchange their books! To win prizes, students were also participating in a ‘Guess the Shelfie’ competition, matching up images of book shelves to the staff they belonged to. This proved to be a surprisingly difficult task when students realised that Geography teachers don’t just read maps!

All in all, it was a great day that everyone thoroughly enjoyed.

Year 8 Students Dazzle at Interfaith Conference

Interfaith ConferenceAs part of presenting their work from REAL projects to an authentic audience, ten students from Year 8 were involved in a conference entitled “Bridge to the Stars. Many Classrooms, One World”.

The students presented their work on stereotyping and prejudice to a delegation of over 150 adults and students from countries around the world. Delegates had travelled from as far as from Finland, Croatia and Malta to be part of this event.

Our students spoke confidently and intelligently as they showcased the fantastic work that they had created in REAL projects this term, and all in attendance were quick to congratulate our students on the eloquence and thoughtfulness of their work.

French Language and Culture Visit to the Opal Coast

At the beginning of February half term 30 students from Year 8, 9 and 10 visited the Opal Coast in Northern France. All of the students had a fantastic time and used the opportunity to practise their French. During the trip we visited a traditional French bakery, a goat farm, a world war museum and memorial, a sea life centre and a chocolate factory. Many of the tours during the visits were carried out entirely in French which challenged the students to understand and ask questions. In the evenings we made French crêpes and tried snails which most of us really liked! The students enjoyed experiencing the authentic French culture and practising their language skills.

French Visit 2French Visit 1

Shine 9 Group Visit to London and The Houses of Parliament

Shine 9 LondonThe Shine 9 Group visited London and the Houses of Parliament. The guided tour of the historic and iconic Parliament building was the highlight of the trip. The group visited the two famous debating chambers in the House of Lords and the House of Commons, exploring the rooms where the most important political and legal matters in our country are decided on.

The students also toured the thousand year old Palace of Westminster, built by William the Conqueror’s son, William Rufus. The visit was a fascinating insight into the history of this great building and helped students to understand how our Parliament has developed into what it is now.

Shine 9 - 2The Shine 9 Group also got a chance to see some of the other sights of London, like The London Eye, The Shard (the tallest building in the country) and even Platform 9 and 3/4 at King’s Cross Station! It was a great day, soaking up the sights and experiences of London but also learning a lot at the same time!

Roald Dahl Day

Roald Dahl 1What a fabulous day Roald Dahl Day was! Students of Years 7, 8 and 9 really revelled in reading in order to commemorate this very celebrated author. Students in Year 7 were treated to lessons that celebrated the life and work of Roald Dahl, which included: making fruit batteries in Science from giant peaches; looking at 17th century witches in History and how they compare with those in Roald Dahl’s book; looking at how to ‘throw like Trunchball’ in PE – amongst many other things.

All throughout the day, students were able to listen to Matilda being read aloud by Kate Winslet and were able to vote for Joseph Swan’s favourite Roald Dahl book – the winner being Charlie and The Chocolate Factory!

The main event was ‘Willy Wonka’s Fabulous Book Swap Shop’. Students brought in many of their old books that they had already read, Roald Dahl 2and were able to exchange them for a different book of their choice. Ms Gilhespy and Mr Lamb were simply stunned by the participation and the surge of students that came to use The Reading Room in order to exchange their books!

All in all, it was a great day that everyone thoroughly enjoyed!

Green Team ‘Clean for the Queen’

cleanupEquipped with specially printed rubbish bags the Green Team ‘Cleaned for the Queen’ by picking up litter. ‘Clean for The Queen’ is a campaign to clear up Britain in time for Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday, which will be officially celebrated in June 2016. The students did a fantastic job and thoroughly enjoyed doing their bit for the community and for our Queen!