The January issue of LIGHThouse, the Trust’s monthly newsletter, is now published.
You’ll find our response to the communications survey in our monthly newsletter LIGHThouse
Governors and senior staff would like to let you know about the latest developments at the Academy.
Please come along on Monday, 9 July at 6pm in the Main Hall at the Josephine Butler Campus.
It is with regret that the Beauty and the Beast rehearsal scheduled for this Sunday 4th March has been cancelled due to the severity of the weather.
Children can practice at home by clicking on the link below. There are practise tracks and a copy of the script. If this does not work, students can practise singing their parts along to YouTube videos. Please thank your child for all their hard work so far – there are a lot of lines to learn and they have all done very well!
Sorry for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding and continued support.
Mrs R Glanville
Head of Music Development
Hundreds of primary pupils at the Northumberland Church of England Academy went head-to-head in the search to crown the school’s first spelling bee champions.
All children across the five primary campuses took part, with two winners from each class going on to compete in the grand final at the Josephine Butler Campus.
Thanks to generous sponsorship from local housing group Bernicia, the finalists were awarded a specially-made rosette, with the winners taking home their own Spelling Bee mascot ‘Bernie Bee’ and a spelling dictionary.
After a nail-biting finish, which saw children tackle challenging words from beyond their age groups, the winners were Chloe, Y2, Lachlan, Y4 and Sian, Y6.
Sian said: “I feel really happy and proud to win. Making spellings into a competition made it fun and I’ve really enjoyed taking part. I was nervous at first, but once I’d done my first word, I felt a lot better.”
The contest is the latest cross-campus initiative that has helped drive a rapid rise in standards across the primaries. In the summer, the Academy recorded its best primary results and progress scores at the end of Key Stage 2 were in the top 10% nationally in both reading and maths and in the top 20% for writing.
The Great NCEA Spelling Bee was organised by Mrs Cole and Mrs Weatheritt.
Mrs Cole, deputy head of the Josephine Butler Primary Campus, said: “Learning their spellings can sometimes seem a bit dull for children and so we really wanted to bring them to life and create a bit of excitement around it.
“We came up with the idea of the spelling bee and the feedback has been fantastic and has really raised the profile of spellings around the campuses.
“All classes had their own mini spelling bees and the winning boy and girl were then selected to compete in the grand final.
“We are so proud of how hard everyone has tried to learn their words and it has been wonderful to see the children have the confidence to stand up in front of their friends too.”
Mrs Weatheritt added: “We are very grateful to Bernicia for sponsoring the initiative, as it enabled us to give all the winners some fantastic prizes in recognition of their hard work.
“We now hope this will become an annual event and be even bigger and better next year.”
Steve Burke, team leader for customer involvement at Bernicia, said: “We are delighted to be supporting such an inspiring event that has clearly generated so much enthusiasm amongst pupils and created a real buzz about the importance of spellings.
“As an organisation, we are committed to providing support, advice and guidance to help our tenants and residents of the local communities and it is a honour that the official mascot ‘Bernie Bee’ has been named after Bernicia.”
In the case of school closure due to poor weather, notice will be placed on the Academy website, the Northumberland County Council website and Radio Newcastle.
Any information will be transmitted by 7.30am.
Congratulations to our primary pupils and staff for achieving the Academy’s best set of results.
Progress levels at the end of Key Stage 2 (Year 6) were in the top 10% nationally in both reading and maths and in the top 20% for writing. In Northumberland, the Academy was placed third in maths and fifth in reading.
In reading, 77% of pupils reached the benchmark standard set by the Government compared to a national average of 71%.
In Maths, 79% achieved the expected standard, higher than the national average of 75%. At greater depth, reading and maths were above the national average and 66% of pupils achieved expected standard in all areas compared to a national average of 61%.
Across the primary phases, all results were above the national average, including Good Levels of Development (GLD) in Reception and phonics test results in Key Stage 1.
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
- 73% of children in Reception achieved at a Good Level of Development benchmark, for the second year in a row above the national average of 70%.
At Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2)
- In Year 1, 83% achieved the phonics test and over 90% achieved it in Year 2. In both cases this exceeded the national average.
- In Year 2, in the annual assessments, 76% (National Average 76%) achieved expected standard in Reading, 68% (68%) in Writing, and 74% (75%) in mathematics. At greater depth reading and mathematics were above the national average.
Primary Director, Mrs Hinson, said: “These fantastic results have not happened overnight, but are the result of long-term hard work and dedication from pupils and staff, alongside vital parental support.
“It really has been a whole team effort that involves instilling the children with a tenacity and desire to learn and not to give up when the going gets tough.
“Introducing higher level reading areas with additional quality books, specialist speech and language therapy, Easter Schools and the support of the Learner Welfare team are just a few of the many initiatives we have at the Academy that are contributing to the success of our pupils.”
More information about our results can be found HERE.