EHT Blog – Summer 2018

Jul 21

Dear All,

Here we are again – another school year over and it has been a very busy one, and an extremely productive one.

We are planning some significant changes for next academic year, so I thought that I’d begin by giving some important information regarding JCSC in September:


We understand that you are reluctant to buy new items of uniform late in the summer term, and have been more tolerant of clothing that does not exactly match our clear policy. In September we will expect full compliance with the policy, so please read the following carefully before you go shopping near the end of the 6 weeks holiday, because anything other than full uniform will not be accepted.

  • Blazers with the school logo embroidered are to be worn by all year groups, including years 5 and 6
  • Grey v-neck sweater with the school logo embroidered
  • White shirt
  • Black school shorts, knee length skirt or standard fit school trousers [not fashion items, jeans or leggings; no logos or embellishments]
  • Shoes should be plain black throughout, without visible logo and be polishable

If you would like further clarification on the above, or would like to know where the uniform can be purchased, please visit our website or contact us directly.



Our recent experience of lockers is that they cause more problems than they solve; relatively few students appear to use them and they become an excuse for lateness to lessons and a haven for lost property. We are going to mothball the lockers for a trial period, which will extend to the first half of the autumn term, up to October week. Students will not be able to use lockers during this time. At the end of half term, we will review the situation and inform you of our findings. If we decide that the lockers should remain unused, we will reimburse parents a proportion of the hire charge that was initially paid.


Timing of the school day

Dating back to when they were two separate schools, the South Avenue and Acklington Road sites have had slightly different finishing times in the afternoon. From September, the end of the school day at both sites will be 3.10pm.

Additionally, the first activity of the school day will be lesson 1 – therefore students’ punctuality is essential to avoid them missing a key part of their education.

Please impress upon your child them the importance of arriving on time every day.

Tutor time will be moved to the end of the morning session and be called ‘Interact’.



Inevitably, at this time of year, we have some changes in our staffing as valued colleagues move to new opportunities elsewhere and others, having contributed massively to the community, begin a well-deserved retirement.

Mrs Armstrong joined JCSC following many years at Druridge Bay Middle School, so she has been part of our community for a number of years, impacting positively upon the education of hundreds of people. She leaves an impossible gap to fill in our team of primary teachers and wish her all the best for the future!

Mrs Lawrie has spent the past 17 years teaching in Amble, firstly in the middle school and then joining JCSC and working successfully in the Food Technology department, building it up to the highly successful subject area it is now. Her legacy is not just that our students love their food lessons and achieve well at GCSE and A-level, but that it is an absolute beacon of excellence, on a par with any school in the country – anyone who visited our ‘Create’ exhibition earlier this term can testify to that. We wish Mrs Lawrie the very best for the future, and are sure that she will continue to be a part of our future events.

Other staff leaving this summer are:

  • Mr Withey leaves the ICT support team having successfully completed his apprenticeship;
  • Miss Batchelor leaves the art and DT department and is joining another school in Northumberland;
  • Mrs Kaur leaves the year 6 team due to relocation;
  • Miss Hedworth leaves the art department due to relocation;
  • Mrs McGee leaves the science team in order to develop her own business;
  • Mr Snowball also leaves the science team;
  • Miss Swallow leaves us temporarily as she begins her maternity leave this summer. We wish her all the very best in this most exciting of times, and look forward to her rejoining us in the future.

We thank them all for the contribution they have made to James Calvert Spence College and wish them the very best of luck for the future, wherever that takes them.

This means that we are fortunate enough to welcome some new faces, eager to meet you and your children and to assist us in ensuring we provide the very best possible education for them.

  • Mrs Alcock joins us as second in English;
  • Mr Carter joins us as second in Science;
  • Miss Boe becomes a permanent addition to the primary team, and Mrs Stuart joins us until Christmas at least – both will be teaching new year 5;
  • Mrs Yuill and Miss Scrimgeour join the Art & Design department;
  • Miss Kane joins the English department;
  • Mrs Davison becomes a permanent member of the maths department, alongside another new teacher, Miss Clegg;
  • Mr Watson joins the PE department.

Other staffing changes include leadership responsibilities for some of our existing staff:

  • Mrs Charnley takes the position of Second in maths;
  • Miss Avison becomes Second in Art & Design;
  • Miss Holmes becomes Lead Teacher for PSHE;
  • Mr Eyeington becomes Lead Teacher for History;
  • Mr Frater becomes Lead Teacher for Geography.

I am sure you will join us in congratulating our existing colleagues who are taking on a new challenge and warmly welcoming our new teaching staff.


This year ends on a sad note for those of us associated with Acklington C of E First School and its community, as it closes its doors for the final time. The children who currently attend have been allocated places at their choice of new school, and I know that they will always be grateful for the unique environment they have had to themselves, which has shaped them into confident and articulate young people. I will miss them, and hope to see them later in their educational pathway as they pass through the doors of JCSC. There is a celebration event on the last day, Friday 20thJuly between 3.00pm and 6.00pm, open to students, staff and members of the community both past and present.


As I think back throughout the past academic year, there are so many positive memories of events that it is difficult to narrow it down to just a few, but the Year 11 Leavers’ prom and the Art & Design ‘Create’ exhibition are prominent, as they encompass all that is good about JCSC and our community.


We took the decision to host the prom in school for a number of reasons. We wanted to make it affordable, we wanted to make it accessible and we wanted to make it special. I believe that we achieved all of this and created special memories for students, parents and staff due to the combined hard work of so many members of staff. It was special because, unlike a hotel function, it was created just for our students, and prepared with love by those who have spent years seeing them grow and mature into responsible young adults.

The ‘Create’ exhibition allows us to showcase the varied talents of our students through the subjects within the art & design directorate. Art, design technology, engineering, fashion, food technology, graphics and photography were all on display, and there was a live fashion show on the catwalk. Students mingled with almost 200 guests from the community, including the mayor, local councillors and representatives from the local authority, handing out refreshments and canapés whilst the pop-up shop allowed visitors to take home a piece of unique artwork or design. The feedback from this event was universally positive, and highlights some of the many talents that are nurtured and developed within JCSC.


We do hope that you have a safe, relaxing and enjoyable summer break and we look forward to your child/children returning to us on Wednesday 5thSeptember [we now have staff training days at the start of term], when we will continue to strive for excellence for all of our students.

Best wishes

Neil Rodgers

Executive Headteacher