Head Teacher’s End of Year Newsletter

Dear Parent/Carer

Firstly can I take the opportunity to thank you for all the support you have given to the Academy this year.

There are many positives this year including those mentioned in the Ofsted report.  This is especially in regard to personal development, behaviour and welfare procedures and programmes within the Academy.  We are also pleased that our safeguarding procedures were recognised as being very suitable to ensure our young people are safe.  In addition there has been an increased understanding in the world around us through our Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural programmes.  This has included many charitable events which the students, staff and you as parents/carers have supported exceptionally well.  Thank you for this.

Throughout the year our Sports Teams have competed in many competitions and have shown real sportsmanship throughout.  We are incredibly proud of our young people for this.  I would like to mention in particular our Year 7 and Year 8 rugby teams who have had great success this year, winning almost every game they have played.  Our Year 7 Rugby League team is now ranked 9th in England, after a recent competition in Warrington.  This is an outstanding achievement.  Our Sports Leaders have planned many activities including events with our feeder primary schools.  An example of this would be of their planning, running and supervising of the Kells Lane Primary School Sports Day, which was held at Joseph Swan Academy.

We have also had over 175 trips and visits this year including careers visits, science visits, visits to promote technology, visits to museums, visits to the workplace, links with Newcastle United Foundation and links with all local Universities.  Reports and photographs from all trips and visits go on our Academy website.  Please do take the opportunity to see and read these on www.josephswan.org.uk.

A very successful ski trip to Gitschberg-Jochtal Plose, Italy took place in February with many students perfecting their skiing skills to a very high level.  My thanks, as always, to the PE Department who organised and ran this trip.

We have excellent links with the Young Persons’ Programme at Durham University.  Student ambassadors from the University link and work with our Year 10 students who have applied to participate in this excellent programme.  This culminates in a residential visit to Durham University with a packed programme of enrichment and University study activities.  This was thoroughly enjoyed by the Year 10 cohort with many students now wanting to apply after Sixth Form to this University.

In addition we recently had a former student who studied English Literature at Cambridge University, return to speak to our Sixth Form students about life at Cambridge.  This was very well received by our Year 12 students.

We had five students attend a residential at Jesus College, Cambridge who had the opportunity not only to visit this prestigious college but to stay there and experience university life at one of the top universities in the world.  Our students were, as always, ambassadors for the Academy community, for their families and themselves.

Sixth Form students who applied to participate in our World Challenge programme, which includes a visit to India in 2019 continue through sponsorship, voluntary work and entrepreneurial activities to raise funds for this trip of a life time.

Our ‘Be Kind’ Initiative continues to grow and go from strength to strength with further training of our ‘Be Kind’ Champions supporting our stance against bullying and promoting diversity and harmony within our community.  Can I also take this opportunity to remind parents/carers of our Anti-Bullying ‘Be Kind’ tab on our website at www.josephswan.org.uk.

Our Year 11 students had an exceptional Prom at the Sage, Gateshead with many visitors to the opera on the same evening, commenting on how wonderful our students looked and behaved.  Our Year 13 students celebrated all their hard work at their Leavers’ Ball at the Assembly Rooms in Newcastle.  Again this was another excellent evening with our students showing their maturity and decorum throughout the evening.  We wish all our Year 11 and Year 13 every success when they collect their examination results in August.  The Year 13 students will be able to collect their results from 7.30am on Thursday 16th August and our Year 12 students from 9.30am on Thursday 16th August.  Our Year 11 students can collect their results from 9am on Thursday 23rd August and our Year 10 students can collect their English Literature results from 10.30am on Thursday 23rd August 2018.

We continue to work very closely with our feeder primary schools regarding our outstanding transition programme.  We look forward to our Summer School which supports the seamless transition between primary and secondary school.  This focuses on resilience skills this year.  It is very positive to note that we once again are oversubscribed with a waiting list for Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 at Joseph Swan Academy for September 2018.

Our Duke of Edinburgh programme is developing at pace with the completion of six practice and full assessment expeditions recently taking place.  I am very proud to say that over 40 students in Year 10 have recently achieved their bronze Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

Other successes of the year include the development of the Academy Band and the concerts the students have been involved in throughout the year.  Many of our musicians are now at the level that they can join the Band and Bugles Army Cadet Band, many have, and I am pleased to say that one of the tasks for them this summer is to lead out one of the parades at Euro Disney – what an opportunity!

As always we are immensely proud of the work our students and staff do in regard to many different charities this year including the Royal British Legion, Save the Children UK, Shelter, Breast Cancer Awareness, the Bradley Lowery Foundation, BBC Children in Need, the British Heart Foundation, Macmillan Cancer Care, and Cancer Research.  We held a very successful Heart to Heart Day – ‘Row the Amazon River Challenge’ – in February raising funds for Alzheimer’s Research.  The focus of this day was to row the navigable route of the Amazon River which is 3,343 km (2,077 miles).  I am very pleased and very proud to say that we managed it, with over 460 students taking part with staff supporting them all the way.

Our work on Remembrance continues to be exceptional with full student involvement and appreciation from the Royal British Legion.  A special mention must go to Years 7 and 8 for their Silence for Remembrance activity this year.

We continue to develop the quality of teaching and learning across the Academy with the students achieving higher progress grades than ever before.  This is an unmitigating focus for all staff at the Academy and will continue to be so whatever the student’s ability.  We are continuing to develop expectations for all our students and staff and have revised monitoring and assessment procedures in place for September 2018.  Links with local ‘outstanding’ schools will support this process.  Homework will also be relaunched as will our merit and rewards system.  Miss K Allan will be the Strategic Lead Director for Behaviour and Welfare from September 2018 and will update Parents/Carers regularly with the embedding of new initiatives in this particular area.

The report on our inspection was disappointing.  As I have mentioned to parents/carers previously we have submitted an appeal and await the result of this.  We are not however in any way complacent and are working with passion, vigour, knowledge and skills to review and revise our procedures.  My thanks to many parents/carers who have been in touch or who have visited the Academy to show their support and also to give us the opportunity to answer questions and queries.  We will be placing a copy of the Executive Summary of our Action Plan on our website for you all to see.  Please do not hesitate to contact me via my assistant, Mrs Atkinson, via email andreaatkinson@josephswan.org.uk to request a paper copy or to set up a meeting during the summer holidays.  I am happy to meet with you at a time convenient to yourself.  It is important that parents/carers know that we strive for success for our young people every single day and will not either let this halt our progress but will ensure it sharpens this.

We invite you to make a note of the following key dates for your diary:

Term Dates

Term Dates First day of term Last day of term
Autumn Term Tuesday 4th September 2018 Thursday 18th October 2018
Autumn Term Monday 29th October  2018 Friday 21st December 2018
Spring Term Monday 7th January 2019 Friday 15th February 2019
Spring Term Monday 25th February 2019 Thursday 4th April 2019
Summer Term Tuesday 23rd April 2019 Friday 24th May 2019
Summer Term Monday 3rd June 2019 Friday 19th July 2019


Academy Training Dates (Confirmed) Monday 3rd September 2018
Friday 19th October 2018
Friday 5th April 2019
The Academy will be closed to students on these dates

Progress Evenings

Date Event Times
Thursday 18th October 2018 Year 11 Progress Evening 4pm – 7pm
Thursday 8th November 2018 Year 7 Progress Evening 4pm – 7pm
Thursday 22nd November 2018 Year 10 Progress Evening 4pm – 7pm
Thursday 6th December 2018 All Year Group Progress Evening 4pm – 7pm
Thursday 31st January 2019 Year 11 Progress Evening 4pm – 7pm
Thursday 7th February 2019 Year 9 Progress Evening 4pm – 7pm
Thursday 7th March 2019 Year 12 & 13 Progress Evening 4pm – 7pm
Thursday 21st March 2019 KS4 Options Evening 6pm – 8pm
Thursday 25th April 2019 KS5 Options Evening 6pm – 8pm
Thursday 6th June 2019 Year 8 Progress Evening 4pm – 7pm
Thursday 20th June 2019 Year 7 Progress Evening 4pm – 7pm
Thursday 11th July 2019 Year 10 Progress Evening 4pm – 7pm

Academy Open Evening

Date Event Times
Tuesday 25th September 2018 Year 5/6 Open Evening 5.30pm – 8pm

Go Active Everyday

Our Go Active Everyday programme has also been a great success this year.  Our new programme will be published on our website www.josephswan.org.uk on Tuesday 4th September 2018 with activities to start on Monday 10th September 2018.


Our Academy catering continues to be delivered by Hutchison’s Catering.  This is a local family run company who pride themselves in using and serving fresh food using local produce.  Payments for lunches can be made for via Schoolcomms.  Please see the Academy website for further details.


We are proud of our attendance statistics this year.  An attendance target of at least 96% attendance will be in place for every child for the 2018/2019 academic year. Please note holidays during term time can not be authorised and Parents/Carers will be fined as per current legislation if these take place during term time.

Academy Expectations, Uniform, PE Kit and Equipment

All students are expected to behave appropriately in Joseph Swan Academy.  If this however, does not happen sanctions will apply.  No student has a right to stop another student from learning or a teacher from teaching.  It is important that all students are aware of this and adhere to this rule.  Any student who refuses to do something that a member of staff asks will receive sanctions.  This will continue on from the good practice adopted in 2017/2018.

It is important to note that the absolute majority of our students have wonderful manners, are kind and treat each other and the staff with the upmost respect.  We are immensely proud of these students who make up the absolute majority of our student body.  Thank you and well done.

I regularly receive compliments from visitors to the Academy and from the local and North East community about how smart our students look.

The wearing of correct Academy uniform for all students is compulsory within our Academy.   Can I remind all Parents/Carers that no ‘skinny’ trousers or trainers are allowed and the jewellery and make up rules are simply non-negotiable for all students.  Please see the additional uniform regulation sheet for detailed information on this.

Please note that top knot, very short hair styles or hair which is dyed in a fashion colour are viewed as an extreme of fashion and are not acceptable within the Academy.

Uniform and PE kit is available from our uniform suppliers:

Joseph Swan Academy Uniform and PE Kit Suppliers
Uniform – Michael Sehgal & Sons Ltd

28-40 Scotswood Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 7JB

Telephone: 0191 230 2320, shop online at www.michaelsehgal.co.uk

PE Kit for Year 7 – September 2018 is provided by Michael Sehgals & Sons Ltd

PE Kit for Years 8, 9, 10 and 11 – September 2018 is provided by Moette Ltd
Telephone: 0191 373 5995, shop online at www.moette.co.uk

Equipment for Learning 2018-2019

All students must bring a black and a green pen, a pencil, a rubber, a ruler, a small pack of coloured pencils, a glue stick in a pencil case in a school bag to the Academy each and every day as part of their preparation for learning from September 2018.

Academy Hours during the summer

During the summer the Reception at the Academy will be open on a Monday, Wednesday and a Friday from 9am to 12noon.  Please do feel free to contact Reception if you have any enquiries/ queries.

In addition a reminder that on Thursday 16th August the Academy will be open from 7.30am for students to collect their A2 results and from 9.30am to collect AS results.  On Thursday 23rd August the Academy will also be open for Year 11 students from 9am for students to collect their GCSE and BTEC results and from 10.30am for Year 10 students to collect their English Literature results.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Ms Livingstone and Mrs Saunders on their ‘Early’ Retirement from the Academy after many years of excellent service.  We wish them both the very best for the future from us all.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the Staff of Joseph Swan Academy for their 100% commitment and hard work.  Every single member of staff want the very best for every child, as do I, and we work and will continue to work very hard every single day to ensure that we uphold our ethos of ‘Where Everyone Can Shine’ and continue to review, revise and improve in 2018/2019.

As I have said before can I thank you for your continued support as the Academy moves to the next stage of development.  Can I reassure you that we are fully focused upon building on successes we have achieved this year, embedding developments and addressing any areas of concern purposely with rigour, energy and pride.

Can I wish everyone a happy, healthy and safe holiday and look forward to seeing all our students on Tuesday 4th September at 8.30am.

Yours faithfully

Miss H. E. Scott
Head Teacher


If you have any questions or queries about the start of term please do contact the Academy via 0191 4422000 or via email using enquiries@josephswan.org.uk.