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.


JBVI Students Impress with Interview Skills

Students at JBVI impressed potential employers from the region’s leading businesses when their interview skills were put to the test in a practice session.

Organised by John Riddell and Michelle Brannen from Business in the Community, a total 17 representatives from a wide-range of organisations took part.

Mr Fox, the Academy’s careers and employability manager, said:  “A number of employers spoke to me personally about how confident, well-presented and articulate our students were.

“One said the performances she witnessed were better than people she had interviewed for actual jobs in her company and another remarked on how well students could adapt between formal and informal conversation.

“The chance to be interviewed by employers is a valuable experience in preparing our young people for the world of work and we would like to thank all involved.

“Students said that the three interviews gave them an opportunity to improve as they went along and that they felt proud of their final performance.”

Jackie Gardner, corporate relations director at  Faulknerbrowns architects:

“It was a privilege to have been involved in the recent mock interview sessions with the Sixth Form pupils at NCEA.

“Having undertaken initiatives like this at other schools, it was truly rewarding to experience first-hand the calibre of your students.  All of those whom I interviewed were bright, informed and hugely positive about their futures which gave me great confidence in the support and advice which your pupils are receiving.

“I look forward to being invited to participate again.”


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

Constructionarium Bridges the Gap


Students from JBVI gained an insight into opportunities in the construction industry with a week of events on South Tyneside.

Marsden Quarry, owned by the Owen Pugh Group, held its second Constructionarium North East event, with the aim of bridging the gap between classroom learning and practical site teaching.

Read more in this article from the Shields Gazette






“Realise that the staff want the best for you.”

When did you leave NCEA?

I left NCEA in 2014

What did you do next?

I attended the University of Sunderland to study (BA Hons) English Education with QTS.

What are you doing now and where?

I am about to graduate the above course with a 2:1, meaning I have an undergraduate degree and postgraduate degree as well as QTS.

Can you describe a typical day?

A typical day for me was teaching English/Media Studies/Drama to KS3 to KS5 students in my placement school, which has recently ended.

What three things do you enjoy most about your chosen career or further study?

The three things I enjoyed most were: being able to develop my knowledge of my favourite subject, developing my own skills to become a better individual/teacher, and meeting people who were as interested in my chosen subject as I am.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

In five years time I’d like to be teaching English in a school which I love, possibly even with a role such as head of department.

What advice would you give to current students?

The advice I would give is to listen to the advice and support which is being given to you by staff in school, not just teachers of your subjects. Realise that the staff want the best for you. Don’t be scared; do something that will get you out of your comfort zone (like university) and if you are scared, remember everyone else in the country is in the same boat.

The Academy is proud to be involved in a national initiative to transform the way schools deliver career programmes across the North East.

To celebrate the success of the Good Career Guidance Benchmarks Pilot and look to the future, the Gatsby Foundation welcomed career leaders, headteachers and key individuals from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to an event at the British Academy, London.

The event was a chance to highlight the excellent work of the 16 schools and colleges who piloted the benchmarks and to collate some learnings from the two-year pilot. Discussions concentrated on important next steps for embedding the benchmarks in schools and colleges across England.

Lord Sainsbury, who spoke at the event, expressed his thanks and his awe at the hard work and determination of the people in the room who ensured the North East pilot had such a positive impact.

Sir John Holman, who was commissioned by Gatsby to map out what good career guidance should look like in the UK and subsequently developed the Good Career Guidance Benchmarks, said:

“This occasion showcased the national importance of the pilot and confirmed that career leaders and headteachers from the North East pilot will be key players in Gatsby’s future work. It was a wonderful day, full of uplifting stories about the people who really matter – young people starting out in life.”

Ryan Gibson, National Facilitator for the Good Career Guidance Benchmarks Pilot at the NE LEP, said:

“The programme has been transformational in terms of improving students’ access to careers education and helping them develop the skills employers need.

“The initiatives the North East LEP has developed as part of the Career Guidance Benchmarks pilot have improved collaboration between the business community and the education sector, as well as provide teaching staff with workplace training and personal development opportunities to better equip them with the knowledge and skills to provide effective careers advice to students.”


NCEA’s Careers and Employability Manager, Mark Fox, said:

“From World of Work careers fairs to work experience placements and close links with industry, the pilot has had a massive impact on careers advice in the Academy.

“At the recent Young Enterprise Presentation, we had three students from JBVI who had never done anything like that before, but who stood up in front of 150 VIPs and talked about their experiences of an 18-month employability skills course. It was a very proud moment.

“Sixth form student, Jerry Garratt, also has a regular work experience placement at Koast Radio and now has his own show.

“Careers leads from pilot schools have been asked to be Gatsby advocates and start spreading the word about the eight benchmarks around the North East first, then further to the rest of England. It is widely anticipated that the benchmarks will form a cornerstone of the new national careers strategy due out before the end of the year.”

Find out more and see some of the pilot’s work in action at the Academy here:




Find out more about careers advice at NCEA HERE