Record Top Grades for Academy Students


Students at JBVI are celebrating today after achieving more top grades than ever before.

Academic performance improved for the third year in a row with students achieving a record number of A*- B grades.

Vocational results were also outstanding with nearly 90% of outcomes graded as Distinction* or Distinction.

The sixth form achieved a 99% pass rate for the fifth consecutive year.

Delighted students are now accepting their university offers and will be able to start planning to begin the next stage of their academic studies.


Exam Success for Future Vet

Elizabeth Ward is on track to achieve her childhood dream of becoming a vet after her offer to study Veterinary Medicine and Surgery at the University of Nottingham was confirmed.

Elizabeth, from Newbiggin, was one of just 155 students to be offered a place from over 1,400 applicants to the prestigious course – considered one of the best of its kind in the country.

Her success follows on from last year, when she was the only UK student to be given a full scholarship for the two-week Pre-Vet Summer School at the Royal Veterinary College, University of London.

She said: “It still hasn’t really sunk in. I’ve wanted to be a vet for as long as I can remember, so I’m really pleased to have been offered my first choice place.”


Flying Start for Erin

Erin Richardson-Hogg’s career is off to a flying start after being accepted onto the unique Business Accounting and Finance degree at Newcastle University, a course run in collaboration with leading global accountancy firm PwC.

The specially tailored programme integrates academic study and business skills development with professional exams and over 200 days of paid work experience.

Erin said: “I’m really pleased, especially with my A in economics. The course sounded like a great combination of academic study and work experience and it will be great to get paid while studying too.

“The application process was tough and the university was not just looking for grades. They also asked about your hobbies and work experience. The opportunities I have had at sixth form, such as developing my music and volunteering abroad in Botswana were great things to be able to talk about too.”


Top Grade in Business for Aaron

Aaron Hart is set to study Business Management at Northumbria University after finding out he had received the grades he needed including a D* in BTEC Business.

He said: “I really enjoyed studying the subject at sixth form and am looking forward to carrying this on at university.”


Police Officer Training

Molly Common, from Newbiggin, is a step closer to achieving her ambition of training as a police officer, after gaining the required grades to study Professional Policing at the University of Cumbria.

Molly, who recently won a silver medal in the UK National School Judo championships, achieved the top double D* grade for her BTEC in Sport.

She said: “I’m looking forward to starting the course and will be able to continue my Judo at the university too.”


Hard Work and Commitment Pays Off

Mrs Towers, head of JBVI, said: “We are delighted that academic performance improved for the third year in a row and to see more students achieving the top grades.

“The hard work and commitment of the students have been rewarded and the staff are very proud of their achievements. We wish them all best for the future as they embark on their next stage in their academic careers or enter the world of work.

“Our sixth form students take part in a wide variety of valuable enrichment activities, from sport to Duke of Edinburgh Award, the Combined Cadet Force, and volunteer trips abroad that help to develop wider skills that important for life beyond school.

“They also have support from the school’s dedicated careers and employability manager, Mr Fox, who has forged strong partnerships with local employers.”

Limited places are still available at JBVI for courses starting in September 2017. For further information contact Mrs Danielle Towers at or visit JBVI

Pupils Get Creative at Primary STEM Week

From firing rockets to racing cars, mixing chemicals and cooking up a storm in the kitchen, children from across the campuses took part in the Academy’s Primary STEM Week.

The extravaganza enabled all our Y5 pupils to get creative, with plenty of hands-on activities celebrating the best of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

The aim of the week is for children to understand how STEM subjects impact on their daily lives through many different practical activities and investigations.

“The sweet and sour chicken was so tasty!”

“I’ve enjoyed it, as it was really creative.”

“I liked making the propeller cars”

All Action Term for CCF Cadets

It’s been another busy term for the Academy’s Combined Cadet Force (CCF).

Over 120 students now take part in activities that range from skills at arms to canoeing, first aid training, triathlons, music and highland dancing.

Earlier this month, members of the Cadet Pipes and Drums band travelled to London where they were invited to march along Whitehall with the Belgian Armed Forces.

Local business and community leaders also joined cadets and their families for the first CCF Engagement Dinner. The black tie event was a fantastic celebration of all the cadets have achieved over the last year as they continue to take on new challenges and strive to be the best that they can be.

See a few highlights below and find out more about the CCF at the Academy HERE






Imagining the Sun Inspires Project

Students produced some fantastic work during a two-day creative project inspired by the sun.

Led by the science team, Imagining the Sun involved all students across the Josephine Butler Secondary campus.

Each department came up with their own ways to get involved:

  • Maths made sundial and pin hole cameras
  • English created a set of Icarus wings, stories and a ‘Sun’ newspaper
  • Humanities looked at sun worship through the ages
  • Science created a giant sun made from the signed palm print from everyone in school as well as a 2D and 3D solar system
  • PE played solar games
  • Vocational imagined life on another planet
  • Music made their own CD
  • SEND made a sensory 3D display of the solar system and sun-themed cakes were baked and sold
  • Art made solar themes displays




Wedding Bells at William Leech Campus

Wedding bells chimed at the William Leech Campus as children took part in a mock wedding.
The service was officiated by the Reverend Joanna Dobson, from Holy Trinity, Widdrington & St John’s, Ulgham.
Katie from reception class was waked down the aisle by her brother Christopher who gave her away, accompanied by bridesmaids and ushers from each class.
She then pretended to get married to Alfie from Y1. Josh from Y6 did the reading ‘Let love be your guide’ from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and the children from Nursery to Y6 sang ‘Shine’ and ‘Our God is a Great Big God’ beautifully.
The bride a groom gave Haribo rings and signed the register witnessed by Freddie and Maddie, before everyone tucked into a fabulous buffet and a chocolate fountain.


Secondary Sports Day 2017

Our talented young sportsmen and women (and staff) went head to head at our annual Secondary Sports Day.

Held at Gateshead International Stadium, it was a brilliant celebration of the dedication and hard work that our students have shown over the last year as they pursue their chosen sports.

There was a bonus for staff at the end of the day, when athletics legend, Steve Cram, stopped by to help with the clean-up.

Congratulations to all who took part.

Check out a few highlights from the day:

Double Celebrations at the LOVE Northumberland Awards


The Duchess of Northumberland helped to celebrate the very best in community and voluntary environmental work across the county at a special LOVE Northumberland awards event.

Nineteen groups, organisations, schools and individuals were honoured with winner, runner-up or highly commended awards across eight categories.

The award for the Best Children’s Project was won by the Josephine Butler Primary Campus for ‘Let Your Light Shine’ and the Grace Darling Campus won the category for the Best School Recycling Project.

Representatives of all shortlisted entries attended the event at The Alnwick Garden, which was hosted by local historian and TV presenter John Grundy. The annual awards were developed by Northumberland County Council through its LOVE Northumberland campaign, with the aim of promoting the work of the council and its many partner organisations, community groups and volunteers who all help to preserve and enhance the environment in the county.

Councillor Anthony Murray, civic head of Northumberland County Council, welcomed everyone to the awards evening, saying:  “All of the shortlisted entries should be very proud of their work and I sincerely hope that they enjoyed this event, in the inspirational setting of The Alnwick Garden.

“The LOVE Northumberland awards are all about celebrating the work that individuals and groups do, largely in a voluntary capacity, to keep their local areas green and clean right across Northumberland day in and day out.”

Each winning entry received a £250 prize, each runner-up £100 and highly commended finalists £50, with the money to go towards their project or other work within the local community.
Best School Recycling Project

Rewarding achievements in school recycling and waste minimisation

Winner: Grace Darling Campus of the Northumberland Church of England Academy

Children from Grace Darling Campus have been very busy working on a range of waste minimisation and recycling initiatives for their entry to the Best Recycling project. Following a whole school assembly delivered by Northumberland County Council and workshops in Y3, the school council met and discussed the range of activities and strategies which could be completed around school.

Each member of the school council then completed waste audits around school identifying the main waste items both inside the school and in the school grounds. Findings from this were then shared with the rest of the school and recommendations to minimise waste were made.

Each class from Nursery – Year 6 then completed activities to raise awareness and share information with others to increase the understanding of the learners.

Here’s a taster of some of the things Grace Darling Campus have done:

  • Nursery read the story Big Bear, Little Bear by David Bedford and Jane Chapman and the children made icebergs and bear caves for bears from recycled materials.
  • Recycling stations have been created  in the classrooms
  • Posters were displayed to encourage less food waste in the school canteen area
  • Children have learnt about Earth Day and its meaning and completed personal pledges
  • A new area called ‘be whatever you want to be’ has been created which is completely made of recycled materials.
  • The school now use old and unused exercise books at break times in the yard, allowing children the opportunity to draw and colour and minimising the waste caused by old books.
  • Following a clear out of the school archives and loft space, unwanted books and resources were donated to the Sri Lankan schools projects.
  • Children have completed litter picks within the school grounds and on the paths which lead into school. Some of the children also assisted in the Great British Spring Clean with St. Bartholomew’s Church.


Best Children’s Project

Winner:  Josephine Butler Primary Academy – Let Your Light Shine!

By focussing on the mental and emotional well-being of the children the school have created a number of areas in the school grounds.

The children have built and planted a raised bed in the yard. The bed is planted with herbs and vegetables that parents can help themselves to as they pass.  The area also has a lighthouse and deckchair linked to their ethos of ‘Let Your Light Shine’.

This is celebrated further in the Primary Drop off zone; the children and parents have worked together to design and make a giant stone representation of the NCEA emblem.  Using local stone and learning new skills the area has been cut, and the stone placed and cemented and the school are planting plants and flowers around it in the Academy colours.  They are hoping to enhance it with a daffodil island and a primrose path ready for next Spring.

As a community they have also built a new rabbit hutch and pen using recycled materials donated by local families.  This houses two rescue rabbits, Luna and Honeycomb.  They are used as “reading rabbits” in school and are petted by the children while reading, to alleviate any stress or anxiety related to reading aloud.

The children have raised money to fund these projects by selling artefacts and plants that they have made using recycled materials.  They set up a mini enterprise at The Grainger Market in Newcastle and sold items in the school’s Christmas Fayre and the Easter Fayre.

By looking at ways to enhance the environment and benefit the community the children are truly letting their Lights Shine in an innovative and creative way.
Read more about the awards in The Chronicle

Y6 Transition Summer Challenge


Get ready for secondary with our Summer Transition Challenge.

“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes them meaningful”
Y6 please download and select 1 or 2 challenges.  Ensure you record your daily challenge over the summer and be ready to present on your return in September. Think creatively or digitally how you can do this!
Enjoy the rest of your Transition and look forward to seeing you in September.

Y6 Summer Transition Challenge