Joseph Swan is Reading

The last day of the half term saw Joseph Swan Academy take part in an Academy wide reading event involving all students in every year group. The Academy’s take on World Book Day saw staff across the Academy getting in the spirit by dressing as characters from books by authors such as Roald Dahl, JK Rowling and PL Travers to name but a few. Students worked with tutors and year leaders to research entrepreneurs, inspiring leaders or scientists who have made a huge difference to our lives today. Students created unique and extraordinary presentations in a range of methods such as cakes, Lego sculptures, short films and art work. The quality of work produced by tutor groups was exemplary and demonstrated the creativity and pride students have in their work.

Throughout the day, teachers delivered lessons focusing on world renowned individuals who have inspired others linked to their subject areas. Students could clearly see how characteristics such as resilience, determination and creativity led to the achievement of great things over time and how these remarkable people made an impact on students’ lives.

The Academy benefited from two internationally renowned authors spending the day with students in workshops and sharing their journey to becoming successful. Our local Gateshead librarian delivered workshops on the Japanese comic artwork of Manga where students created their own characters as well as learned of the various community groups they can become involved in to support young people in Gateshead and further afield.

Other workshops throughout the day saw students using 10 ‘tricky’ words to create a poem or short piece of creative writing. The winning entry was a fabulous showcase of creativity, empathy and maturity by several students and can be viewed on the Academy website. Students also created bunting in the form of book covers, recommended books to other students and visitors by writing the names of them on hand made leaves and attaching them to a tree in the Academy reception area.

In addition, more than 100 students were rewarded for their efforts during the week by attending the specially created Reading Café for a lesson. Students immersed themselves in literature of their choice whilst relaxing in a tranquil environment and they were provided with a range of refreshments.

Finally, the Academy was thrilled to be able to give all students in Year 7 and 8 a brand new book for them to keep. Students were encouraged to read their book over the holidays and return them to the Academy Book Swap Shop on the last Friday of each month where they can exchange their books monthly. Students can also bring any unwanted books from home and swap them at the Swap Shop in a similar way.

The day was a huge success with many students further developing their love of reading and their understanding of how determination, resilience and creativity can support achievement. Many thanks to the student leadership team who facilitated several of the sessions and welcomed our guests, authors Dan Smith OBE and RK Summers, and Gateshead librarian Andy Hodgkinson. Thanks also must go to Halls of Heddon, Waterstones, Amazon, First Class Supply and School Merit Stickers for the donations received for the event.

Winners of the 10 Key Word Challenge

Life is a pilgrimage
Where you have to find yourself
Put your life into perspective
You don’t want to be last on the shelf.
You could just choose to be average
But why when you could inspire?
Make sure you find your inner fire.

Life is like a story
It’s up to you to pick your genre.
Living in harmony and karma
Everyone in your life builds your own collage
All the different fabrics intertwined
But you chose your own path.
It might not always be in a perpendicular line
When your rhythm starts to fade
Your journey has been made.

By Chloe, Caitlyn, Ebony, Katy and Libby.