Josephine Butler Primary Campus are delighted to have been awarded The Modeshift Stars Bronze Award. 

Modeshift STARS is the national schools awards scheme that has been established to recognise schools that have demonstrated excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable travel.

The scheme encourages schools across the country to join in a major effort to increase levels of sustainable and active travel in order to improve the health and well-being of children and young people.

The Bronze Award is  for schools that  that demonstrate a commitment to promoting sustainable transport by conducting an annual survey, identifying travel issues and solutions and delivering a range of travel initiatives. Our children have enjoyed taking part in ‘The Big Pedal’, Walk to School, Bikeability and looking at safer parking. We trialled a Walking bus and even did a plan of @park and Walk’.

Radio 4 Broadcast: Debt Special

Radio 4’s consumer affairs programme You & Yours featured staff from Josephine Butler Primary. You can listen to a recording of the programme here:

 

Listen here for the part of the programme containing the staff from Josephine Butler Primary.

 

Listen here to the whole programme.

 

 

APPOINTMENT OF INTERIM CEO AND MOVE TO MULTI ACADEMY TRUST (MAT)
Governors are delighted to announce the appointment of Alan Hardie, a National Leader of Education and Principal of Whitburn CofE Academy in South Tyneside, as Interim Chief Executive Officer.   Alan will be working with our Principal Directors on a part-time basis to support teaching and learning across phases and the move to a MAT.
   “I was delighted to be asked to support the Academy through its transition to a Multi Academy Trust and I look forward to meeting and working with staff, governors, students and parents/carers. The Academy clearly has many strengths but no one is under any illusions that we need to do more to ensure that outcomes for all students match the aspirations set out in our ethos.”   Alan Hardie.
Multi Academy Trust
Governors are pleased to confirm that our move to become a MAT has now been approved by the Regional Schools Commissioner and formalities are underway to ensure that the transition is as seamless as possible.  Once everything is in place, a meeting with parents will be organised as promised to you in my letter of 5 February.
John Brearley
Chair of Governors

 

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!

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/199E4Kncz0qHf-_o0mbZQR4zaFhrm0Pvf?usp=sharing

Sorry for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding and continued support.

Kind Regards
Mrs R Glanville
Head of Music Development

Bank of England Chief Economist Goes Back to School

Young bankers at the Josephine Butler Primary Campus had a new trainee cashier to put through his paces – the chief economist of the Bank of England.

Named by TIME magazine as one of the Top 100 most influential people in the world, Andy Haldane works with the governor of the bank to decide what the base rate of interest should be.

He took time out from his office in Threadneedle Street, London, to visit the school’s LifeSavers Bank.

The bank has been running for over a year and is setting the benchmark nationally for how the LifeSavers programme can be integrated into the curriculum and school life.

Each week, children can make a deposit into their account and see their savings grow. It is part of a wider programme that aims to teach children from nursery upwards and their families about managing finances – from APR and savings to bagging the best deal in the supermarket.

With attitudes towards money formed as young as seven, it is hoped the LifeSavers programme will promote lifelong good habits.

Mr Haldane said: “The school’s bank is brilliant and the children’s pleasure and pride in running it is clear.

“Through the LifeSavers programme they are learning about maths in an interesting way and also about money and the importance of saving for the future.”

Cashier Bobbi-Jo, said: “I really enjoy helping to run the bank. One of the best parts is seeing the smiles on the faces of the younger children when they find out how much they have saved.”

Fellow cashier Sian, Y6, added: “He talked to us about interest rates and about saving to get things that you’d like to buy and also for retirement. I felt really proud that he came from the Bank of England to see how we run our bank at school.”

LifeSavers is a financial education programme for primary schools, helping children and their families manage money wisely. It provides training and resources for teachers, offers support for school savings clubs, and encourages parental and wider community engagement.

LifeSavers is a partnership between the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Just Finance Foundation and Young Enterprise, with financial support from Virgin Money and the Government.

Mr Haldane also spoke to parents at the school to find out more about how they were affected by the cost of living and heard concerns that ranged from the impact of universal credit, through to the rising cost of everyday essentials, the prevalence of loan companies, lack of local jobs and poor transport links.

He also visited Hirst Welfare Centre, where he discussed regional perspectives on the economy with students studying economics at the Academy’s sixth form, JBVI.

Along with his team, he makes regular trips around the country to help him better understand what is happening in the real economy. Through regional Agencies, the bank is also carrying out engagement activities with schools to try and make both the bank and economics more accessible to people.

Mrs Cole, deputy headteacher of the Josephine Butler Primary Campus, said: “It was a real honour to welcome Mr Haldane and his colleagues to our school. The success of the bank is down to the children who run it with such enthusiasm and all our brilliant savers.

“We have also had excellent feedback from parents too. Financial management is a vital skill to learn and LifeSavers is a great programme to support us in doing that.”

Read more about what Mr Haldane thought about his visit on his BLOG

Spelling Bee Has Pupils Buzzing

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.”

Primaries Achieve Best Ever Results

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.

 

MP’s Praise for Young Comics

After the success of last year’s Voice Box competition, we decided to get the laughter started and take part again.

Each campus held their own contest with the winners going head-to-head at the inter-campus final at the Thomas Bewick Campus – home to last year’s winner Jesse Webb, who travelled to Westminster to tell his joke in the Houses of Parliament. 

Miss Carr, the Academy’s Speech and Language Therapist, said: “It was a lovely afternoon and I am really proud of all the children who took part. I’ve received lots of positive feedback from staff about the increase in the children’s confidence and how much they enjoyed it.

“Some of the parents also commented on how proud they were seeing their children telling jokes in front of a large audience.”

 

Ian Lavery MP, who judged the event said: “Myself and my fellow judges had a great time hearing some very original jokes and handing out the prizes to runners-up and winners. Well done to all involved.

“The work done by Julie Carr and the team across their many campuses at NCEA is really impressive and I look forward to seeing this work continuing into the future to help build self confidence amongst all our local children.”

Skye Edgar from the Josephine Butler Primary Campus was the overall winner and will be entered into the national competition.

 

Skye Edgar Y1

Josephine Butler

Why can’t Elsa hold on to a balloon?

Because she will let it go.

Mason Hope – Y6

William Leech

Why was the laptop cold?

Because it didn’t close its windows!

Zach Robinson – Y6

James Knott

Knock Knock, who’s there? Britney Spears

Knock knock, who’s there?… oops I did it again!

Ben Pepper – Y5

Thomas Bewick

What do you call a tall man in Scotland with a burger for a hat? A big mac
Joe Emery – Y6

Grace Darling

There has been an explosion at a cheese factory. Now there is deBRIE everywhere

 

Pupils Impress in Maths Challenge

Well done to all primary pupils who took part in the Young Mathematician Award, with special mention to the Thomas Bewick Campus who reached the second round. The team worked superbly together, their systematic approach to the problems were noted by the judges.

All campuses have also been involved in Mathletes where representatives from each campus compete for the top spot on the Mathletes league table (currently occupied by the Grace Darling Campus).