Head Teacher’s Half Termly Letter – February 2019

Dear Parents/Carers

As we approach the end of this half term it is hard to believe that we have been back six weeks already this year. The time seems to have gone so quickly. We came back to see the total completion of our £800,000 refurbishment of the windows and curtain walling in the Geography, History, MFL, Business, Main Hall and Art areas of the Academy. This was as a result of a very successful ‘Condition Improvement Fund’ bid Joseph Swan Academy submitted in December 2017 and was awarded in April 2018. Work started in July 2018 and was completed in December 2018. We were one of the very few schools in the country to be awarded such a substantial sum of money. In addition we have had new blinds put into these rooms and will be having some areas recarpeted over February half term. Due to careful budgeting as an Academy, we will also be having new flooring in some areas of Science, Business and Maths over half term. We, Joseph Swan Academy, submitted two additional bids in December 2018 for a second phase of window improvements. We await to see if we are successful this year.

We have focused on continuing to improve the lesson delivery across the Academy throughout the Autumn Term and this half term. We were very pleased with the Ofsted Inspection which took place on the 30th November and in the report which followed. You may remember I wrote to you with a detailed update regarding this but would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your kind words and emails regarding this. We certainly are going in the right direction for further improvement and have continued to focus on this each day.

This half term has seen four pleasing sets of Year Group examinations for Years 11, 12, 13 and 10. We also had very positive attendance and feedback form our Progress Evenings for Years 9, 10 and Year 11. We have also been presented with a National Citizen Service Gold Award which we are very proud of. This is in recognition of all the hard work our Year 11 (2017-2018) completed in a volunteering and citizenship capacity last year. We have launched this programme with our current Year 11s and look forward to continued success with this during this year. Newcastle United (NUFC) continue with their excellent partnership work with Joseph Swan Academy. Our NUFC Enterprise Group are now regional winners and represent the North East in the National Finals next month in a national competition. This is something we are very proud of as we are of the absolute majority of our students.

All in all this has been a very positive half term. We look forward to next half term starting with Year 9 Examinations which begin on the 25th February 2019 and Year 11 Examinations which begin on the 4th March 2019. We have a Year 12 and Year 13 Progress Evening on the 7th March 2019 and are putting final touches to the planning for a Shine Concert on Wednesday 27th March 2019. Two ‘Shine Award Evenings’ will also take place next half term on Wednesday 13th March 2019 and Wednesday 20th March 2019. Further details will follow in regard to these events.

Next half term will be a busy one but one in which we will continue to demonstrate our commitment, motivation, energy and vigour. Thank you as always for your support in everything we do. I am proud to announce that we are full for next year’s Year 7 on first choices alone with many parents appealing to get their child into the Academy. This is very positive news indeed for students, staff, parents and the local community.

We continue to strive each and every day to ensure Joseph Swan Academy is truly where ‘Everyone Can Shine’.

Can I wish you a pleasant, happy and healthy half term break. We return on Monday 25th February 2019. I would, as always, ask all parents to ensure that your son/daughter returns wearing full Academy uniform, has their full equipment for learning with them and is ready and eager to learn.

Yours faithfully