EHT’s Blog – 15th December 2017

Dec 19

Dear all,

One more week down in this very long half term up to Christmas… and still another week to go!

Alongside the usual learning in high quality lessons (which will continue as usual until the afternoon of the very last day of term), we have had some seasonal activities this week with external visits, the annual Christmas lunch at both JCSC sites, and the Christmas review – a chance for our talented young people to perform in front of family and friends.

On Monday, the children at Acklington C of E First School paid a visit to the Centre for Life in Newcastle, and also the ice rink outside. Fortunately all returned unharmed, without a bump or a bruise. And that includes Miss Jones and Mrs Archer! In fact, some of our children really impressed on their very first visit to a skating rink, despite their initial worries. Perhaps James is an ice skating star for the future!

Mrs Embleton, our catering manager, suggested that we offer parents at the lower school site the opportunity to enjoy having Christmas lunch with their children, and we had a huge response with over 100 parents visiting the site on Wednesday! It was a really special day and I was proud to welcome so many adults to our school, and to see how excited the children got to meet their family members in the gym and escort them to the dining hall. Special thanks to Mrs Crawley, Mrs Fairley, Mrs Smith and Ms Santiago for meeting and greeting, and super-special thanks to Mrs Keenan for standing outside for literally hours in the freezing, wet, Northumberland weather to guide our visitors to the entrance. She ended up colder than Barry was, when he finally got to Neville’s house and had to put the electric fire on. [If you recognise that analogy, let us know on Facebook or Twitter for a ‘like’!]

Thank you to the teaching staff who coped admirably and without a hint of fuss through altered lunch times, extended lunch breaks, shortened lunch breaks, and everything in between. Thank you to the facilities team who made the logistics of the day work, through their hard work and willingness to ensure the impossible could happen!

The biggest thank you has to go to Mrs Embleton and her catering team who, over the course of two days, served up hundreds and hundreds of beautiful Christmas lunches. They were delicious!

We are so lucky at JCSC to have so many people who go the extra mile to make things special for our students and our community. It’s a real team effort, staffed by wonderful individuals and I am so glad they’re with us, and proud to work with them.

The Christmas lunch days (Wednesday at South Avenue and Thursday at Acklington Road) coincided with Christmas jumper days, and there was a huge array of jumpers on display by both staff and students. Mr Williamson wore an outfit all day, without one person recognising what he was dressed up as… To be fair, most of us were just glad that that the headwear meant that most of his face was hidden all day. See if you can recognise what he was, and I’ll give you the answer at the end…

The Christmas Review… what a performance! If you missed it, you’ve missed out! Singers, dancers and poets performed alongside plays, musical performances and carols. It’s amazing how difficult it can be to keep 4 footballs on a stage during a song, and how entertaining it can be watching people trying to do so!

As someone who regularly stands up and speaks in front of an audience, I know more than most how daunting it can be to get up on stage. To do so in front of your peers, and to sing and dance, takes this to another level and I am in awe of those young people who did so.

Well done to all of our excellent, dedicated and talented performers – Molly; Megan & Ellie; Amy; Bethany; Kieran, Lula-Jay, Cerys, Tong & Lexie; Mollie; Keidi, Lily, Sophie, Jasmin, Neave, Fearne & Caitlyn; Rhianna, Amy & Ellie, Josh; Emily and Lyla ! We’re so proud of you!

Thank you to Mr Nisbet for his role as master of ceremonies. Thanks to Mrs Charnley for organising the raffle, despite year 11 students Maddy and Yaz obviously fixing the outcomes. How did Miss Fraser win 3 times??? And how did Mr Nisbet win at all???

Thanks to Mrs Duffy for ensuring the event was such a huge success and also for performing such a wonderful, seasonal solo.

Special thanks to Josh in year 11 who was central in organising the event, which will form part of his BTEC qualification, and whose drumming prowess was enjoyed by all.

Governors attended the Christmas lunch in their capacity as parents, with Mr Shanks ensuring his injured arm was covered in seasonal plaster – get well soon! They were also in attendance at both Christmas reviews with Mrs Randall, Mrs Cain, Mr Harker and Miss Bewley enjoying the performances.

Wednesday was a busy day at South Avenue – in addition to Christmas lunch day, Christmas jumper day, it was Year 6 parents’ evening. It was wonderful to see so many of you in attendance and I hope you found the meetings informative and positive.

One more week until a well-deserved break for staff and students alike. In addition to the usual lessons and activities, we have the 6th Form Christmas party, Acklington C of E First School Nativity, and a visit to the pantomime by the First School. What was that? They’re not going? OH YES THEY ARE… (sorry..)

Enjoy the weekend!

Neil Rodgers

Executive Headteacher


PS – Mr Williamson was dressed up as a sprout… and the clue that apparently nobody noticed, was the word ‘sprout’ written in capital letters on his jumper!