EHT’s Blog – 24th November 2017

Nov 28

Dear all,

The past fortnight has absolutely flown – we’re now half way through this half term with only 4 weeks left until the Christmas break!

What’s been happening at JCSC and Acklington C of E First School? Plenty…

Last Friday was ‘Children in Need’ and the children at both sites participated in various money-raising activities. Odd socks were the order of the day at South Avenue and, if you follow the fashion tips of Mr Williamson, odd socks pulled knee-high on the outside of trousers are the order of the day… Imagine a cross between a footman from the days of old, and Forrest Gump and you’re halfway there.

The highlight of the day, as it was last year, was the ‘Bushtucker Challenge’ which took place in the morning at Acklington Road and the afternoon at South Avenue. The winner at the high school this year wasn’t a member of staff, but Bailee in Year 11 who managed to eat a giant waterbug [as did Miss Swallow]. At South Avenue, that accolade went to Mrs Allman, who also managed to eat one.

Not sure what a giant waterbug looks like? Let me enlighten you.
[If you’re not a fan of creepy crawlies, you might want to scroll down quickly…!]














Many thanks to all those brave souls who ate all sorts of unusual concoctions and creepy crawlies – Miss Swallow, Mr Moore, Mr Thirlwell, and Year 11 students Matty, Kacey, Maddie, Faith, Beth, Erin and Bailee at the high school site; Mrs Allman, Mr Hall, Mrs Potts, Mr Williamson, Mrs Kaur and Ms Gilbert at the lower school site. Special thanks to Mr Anderson who wasn’t supposed to be involved at all, but happily volunteered to eat the biggest grub I’ve ever seen – he didn’t take much persuasion, actually, which makes me wonder about his usual dietary habits….

Mr Anderson and the maths department hosted a meeting for parents of student in Year 7 last Thursday to inform them of the new Maths Mastery scheme that this year group are following. It’s a way of ensuring that the students fully understand mathematical concepts and are able to transfer and apply their learning into new scenarios. This kind of maths forms the basis of the new GCSE syllabus, so bringing that understanding to the lower year groups will enable us to build future success.

We had a lot of activities going on across the schools for Anti-bullying week, and some of the results are shown in the photograph below. It’s a display in the main student corridor in Acklington Road, and gives a taste of our collective stance towards bullying – it won’t be tolerated by any member of our community.

Our primary team took part in a review of KS2 last week, led by Mr Ryder. Members of the Executive Leadership Team were joined by Mr Bird and Mr Middlemist, both Deputy Headteachers in Berwick middle schools, and by our lead governor for the primary phase, Mrs Currie. Lessons were visited, books were looked through and students’ opinions on their own learning were listened to. Students and parents can rest assured that, although there are a few minor tweaks to be done here and there, the outcome of the review was exactly as we expected. Your education is in good hands, and there is fantastic learning going on across the phase.

Our governing body are often the unsung heroes of JCSC. Unpaid and regularly called upon, they give so much of their time willingly to ensure our school does everything it can to serve our community to the highest possible standards.

Recently, governors have been actively involved through the following activities:

  • Jenny Bewley [SEN governor], Stephen Shanks [safeguarding governor] and Candice Randell [Vice Chair] joined the staff for our training day at the start of this half term
  • Jenny has been in to meet with Mrs Van Schalkwyk, our SENDCO
  • All governors had their photographs taken, and will soon be on display in school at both sites and on the website. Jenny stayed and assisted with the school photographs on the lower site
  • Candice accompanied me to a committee and a cabinet meeting at County Hall to contribute to the decision on Acklington C of E First School
  • Candice and Sue Currie [Primary governor] held drop-in sessions for staff, where they are happy to talk to staff about any aspect of life at JCSC and Acklington First
  • Governors confirmed their attendance at our various Christmas performances

We have invited parents from the lower school to join us for Christmas lunch on December 13th, and received an overwhelming response – we’re looking forward to seeing you all!

The following day sees the Christmas reviews – one in the afternoon, and one during the evening. More details to follow via the blog, and social media.

Please remember that all school days are vital to the educational success of your children – help us to fulfil their potential by ensuring they attend every day and arrive punctually.

Enjoy the weekend!

Neil Rodgers

Executive Headteacher