Gardening Gang are Best in Show


Green-fingered pupils at the Josephine Butler Primary campus have collected yet another award for their outstanding garden.

The campus was named winner in the ‘Best Commercial Property’ category at the 8th Annual Ashington Gardens Competition.

Organised by the Town Council, the event took place at Ashington Cricket Club with this year’s competition supported by Wansbeck Garden Centre & Café, based on the North Seaton Industrial Estate in the town.

The judging panel included Town Councillors Marjorie Chambers, Avril Chisholm, Ely Turnbull and Mr Bob Bell as a guest expert judge.

All of the judges attended the Awards Evening as the prize winners were presented with shields, trophies and gardening vouchers.

The Civic Head of Ashington, Cllr Victor Bridges, presented the prizes

Councillor Mark Purvis, Business Chair of Ashington Town Council, said:  “The Town Council is delighted that year after year, many of the town’s gardeners take part in the annual Gardens Competition.

“The Awards Evening recognises the gardening skills we have in Ashington and that gardeners make a significant contribution to improving the town’s appearance for the benefit of us all.”


Kick Off for Premier League Girls Football

NCEASport has teamed up with Newcastle United Foundation to offer weekly girls football training as part of a national flagship programme.

Thanks to the Premier League Girls Football Programme, the partnership will see coaching sessions delivered every Monday after school from 3.20pm.

Premier League Girls Football aims to inspire more girls over 11 to take part in the sport in their local community.

It’s part of The Football Association’s wider strategy on growing participation figures for women’s football and its vision to be the second-largest team sport after men’s football by 2018.

Mr Blight, director of NCEASport, said: “We are pleased to be working with Newcastle United Foundation to offer these high-quality coaching sessions. It’s a great opportunity for players to improve their skills and confidence in a fun and relaxed environment.”

All girls in secondary are welcome.


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Check out a few highlights from the first two weeks of term:




SEND Information Roadshows

Families of children and young people with SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) in Northumberland are invited to attend an information roadshow.

Hosted by In It Together Parent Carer Forum and Northumberland County Council, there will be information stalls representing a wide range of services and organisations as well as workshops covering Special Educational Needs and Preparing for Adulthood.

Please find more details below:


Start of Term: Key Dates

Please note the following key dates for the start of term in September:

Monday 4th September: staff training day

Tuesday 5th September: term beings for pupils in all primary campuses, The Centre and for year 7 and year 10 in secondary.

Wednesday September 6th: Term begins for all remaining year groups.

Registration begins at 8:45am.



Cadets Remember Soldiers Who Died in Seaside Tragedy

The Academy’s Cadet Pipe Band was invited by local Regiment the Fifth Fusiliers to help support a special ceremony to mark 100 years since the death of nine soldiers at Blyth beach.
The Royal Warwickshire Regiment soldiers drowned in the seaside tragedy in 1917, when they were sent to cool off in the sea after a training exercise.
The Warwickshires later became The Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers and today are a part of the Fifth Fusiliers.
NCEA Combined Cadet Force (CCF) contingent commander, Major Parker, said: “The cadets provided a pipe band, a bugler, flautist, two singers and a marching section to the event and are very proud to help enable events such as this in our local community.”
Among the the drummers who sang at the ceremony was Cdt Courtney Stewart, 14, who lives in Ashington, but is originally from Warwickshire and her father was a Fusilier.
Major Parker added: “Courtney has practised her singing throughout the summer for this event and was proud when veterans from her county of birth spoke to her to thank her.”
See our cadets on Look North (14:17mins) HERE

For more information visit: NCEA CCF

Hard Work Pays off for GCSE Students

There were celebrations at the Academy this morning as students opened their GCSE results.

Hard work and dedication paid off for many as they found they had exceeded their expectations.

Both staff and students rose to the challenge of the new tougher exams and grading system, that is one of the biggest shake-ups in secondary education since the end of the O-level.

Star performances include two students who were among the first to score the new top 9 grade in maths that replaces the old A*.

Edward Binns gained four A*, two 9s, two As and two 8s. These included a 9 in maths, which required a score of at least 79% and was achieved in just 3.5% of papers.

Under this system, an A is equivalent to a 7 while a C is at the bottom of a grade 4.

He said: “I’m really pleased, especially to get my 9 in maths. I just told my gran and she started crying on the phone.”

Lewis Barnes was also delighted to achieve the coveted 9 in maths, along with straight As in science. He now plans to study maths, chemistry and economics A levels at JBVI en route to a career in finance.

He said: “I was really pleased and I did better than I expected. I enjoy maths so am looking forward to carrying this on in sixth form.”

Staff were on hand throughout the day to offer support and advice as students prepare to take their next steps into either further study or employment.

As well as continuing with A levels and vocational courses at JBVI, which last week recorded its best top level results, students have also gained places on apprenticeships.

Sophie Freathy, who was especially proud of her A in performing arts, will start an apprenticeship with mobile phone provider EE.

Mr Gibson, principal director of the Josephine Butler Secondary Campus, said: “I would like to congratulate students and staff for the hard work and dedication they have shown over the last year and in response to the changes to qualifications and the grading system.

“These exams are tougher than in the past and so the top grades that the students have achieved are all the more impressive.

“Many of our students have made outstanding progress through their time with us at the Academy, not just academically, but also as individuals and we are particularly proud of the achievements of pupils who have overcome a number of challenges to secure brilliant, personal results.

“We wish all our students the best for the future and look forward to welcoming many back in September to continue their journey with us in JBVI.”

A small number of places are still available in the sixth form for courses starting in September. These include new Performing Arts and CCF (Combined Cadet Force) pathways that include additional enrichment activities specially tailored for careers in the arts. and uniformed services.

For more information visit JBVI



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