Principal's Letter - 25th March 2022

Date Published:
Friday 25 March 2022
Dear Parent/Carer,
Happy Friday everyone – with the sun shining it feels like there is a bit more optimism in the air and something to look forward to in the coming weeks.


This year at JPA we have put a lot of resources into reading and literacy, as this is the cornerstone of all learning.  You will know that all students at Key Stage 3 have discreet reading lessons and there is targeted intervention for key groups of students.  Our librarian, Mr Brown, has recently emailed all KS3 parents about supporting reading from home – research shows that students who read more for pleasure will do better at school, no matter what age.  Students are never too old to read with or talk to about reading and our aim is to create vocabulary rich students.  Here are some tips from Mr Brown:

  • Read yourself! It doesn’t matter what it is – pick up a newspaper or magazine, look at a cookery book, read a computer manual, enjoy some poetry or dive into a romance or detective novel. Get your children to join in – if you’re cooking, could they read the recipe? If you’re watching TV, can they read out the listings?  
  • Make books a part of family life – Have lots of books around at home. That way you and your children are always ready to get reading, even if it’s only for ten minutes.  
  • Join your local library – Get your child a library card; you can now join Newcastle Libraries online. They’ll be able to get their hands on hundreds of fantastic books, as well as the latest video games, blu-rays and DVDs. Let them choose what they want to read to help them develop their own interests.  
  • Read about something they’re interested in – Help your child find the right book for them. It doesn't matter if it's fiction, poetry, comic books or non-fiction.   
  • All reading is good – Don’t rule out non-fiction, comics, graphic novels, magazines or leaflets. Anime is particularly popular now. Reading is reading and it’s all worthwhile.  
  • Ask questions – To keep them interested in the story, ask your child questions as you read. Start with ‘Where did we get to last time?’, ‘Can you remember what’s happened so far?’ and 'What do you think will happen next?’   
  • Read whenever you get the chance – Have a book or magazine with you for any time your child has to wait, like at the doctor's or the dentist.   
  • Read favourites again and again – Encourage your child to re-read the books and poems they love. Re-reading helps to build fluency and confidence.  


Year 11 updates

You will receive your child’s Year 11 Full School Report over the next few days through the post. You will have already received, in February, the key information of your child’s mock results and End of Key Stage 4 predicted grades. There will be further information regarding the ongoing contingency assessments and initial details surrounding the support in the lead up to and during the GCSE examinations, including a copy of your child's provisional personal examination timetable and a revision and support guide.  

We are holding a live TEAMs presentation on Wednesday 6th April between 5:00pm–6:00pm, to talk through the final academic support for our Year 11 students prior to the final GCSE exams. We will email the link to the TEAMs meeting to all of our Year 11 students and also to the emails that we have on our system for our Year 11 parent/carers in the week beginning Monday 28th March.

We will continue to write to you in the lead up to our GCSE examinations to keep you fully informed of all of the intervention and support planned for our Year 11 students. Please be assured that academic support and health and wellbeing support for your child are equally important to us. 

If you would like any further information regarding how to support your child, then please contact one of our Year 11 team in school: 


Wellbeing support in school

As part of the school’s response to increased mental health issues across our communities, young people can now access a range of social, emotional and wellbeing support at school, thanks to JPA’s partnerships with Streetwise and NUFC. 

JPA has had a strong wellbeing focus for over 12 years with a School Counsellor (Mr Hardaker), CBT worker (Miss Hutchinson) and Wellbeing Manager (Mrs Earle), who individually deliver bespoke programmes to students. 

The programmes delivered by Streetwise from the Streetwise Hub and NUFC via their classroom in the Wellbeing Department, supplements the school’s wellbeing offer.  Together the services aim to provide more preventative and early intervention support that young people can access quickly. 

It is hoped that early support will reduce student mental health deteriorating to levels where significant interventions are needed.  The students involved in the majority of the programmes are selected using a range of pastoral information, however, students can also access the Streetwise Hub via a drop-in at 2:40pm on Tuesdays.  From the drop-in, appointments can be made with Streetwise staff for the following week. 

Information for parents can also be found on the school website:


Teenage Mental Health

Kooth is your online mental wellbeing community. Access free, safe and anonymous support.  A Handy Guide for Parents and Carers. Kooth - Top tips on how to talk to your children about their feelings.  

The site can signpost parents to a wealth of information and advice, as well as providing support and advice for parents and families.  Parents can refer their child for mental health support by contacting the Single Point of Access team (SPA) via this number 0303 123 1147 or by emailing: Opening times are weekdays 8am to 8pm and weekends 10am to 6pm.  This service has supported students within Year 10 quickly and with care following the death of one of our students.  The school is incredibly grateful to the staff at SPA for their support throughout this difficult time. 


Sporting Success 

We have had a fantastic year so far in terms of sporting achievements. The Year 7 Boys’ football team completed a brilliant season last Thursday by winning the City League finals. After beating Gosforth East 1-0 in the semi-final, they faced Benfield in the final. The game finished 0-0; JPA then showed great composure in the penalty shootout, winning 3-0!  

The Year 7 Girls’ football team won the U12 League recently and are still in contention for the Newcastle City Cup! They also won the city 5-a-side championships.  Our KS3 Boys’ table tennis team became City Champions this year, winning all matches at the tournament.

We have also had success in sports hall athletics competitions.  Our Year 8 boys were city winners and our Year 7 girls were city runners up.  Both teams then went on to compete in the county finals.

The basketball programme continues to go from strength to strength.  At a local level, the U14s (Year 9) U16s (Year 11) and U19s (Sixth Form) have all won the Newcastle school leagues, each team going unbeaten throughout the season. At a national level U14s, U16s and U17s all qualified for the knockout stages of the English Schools’ competitions, with the U14s progressing to the quarterfinal stages which will be held next month.


Parents’ Forum

I would like to set up a small parents’ forum in which parents are able to share ideas and to contribute suggestions to help improve our school. This will be a termly meeting in which the school and parents can bring up ideas for the following term/academic year.  If you are interested in becoming involved, please email Helen Dougal:


School Meals

On our return to school after the Easter holidays there will be a change in our school meals provider from Chartwells to Newcastle City Council. This change in provider is beyond the control of the school. We will be posting the new school meals menu and meal deal information in the Key Information and Updates section of our website soon. Further information from Newcastle City Council will also be posted in the Key information and Updates section of our website in due course. After several years without an increase in costs, there will be an unavoidable small increase in the price of the daily meal deal for students not entitled to free school meals from £2.10 to £2.30. The meal deal still provides the best value and we would encourage students to select these wherever possible. Pre-payment for school meals will still go through the Scopay payment system as usual and funds will still be able to be added to your account at


Church service

You are warmly invited to an All Age Eucharist with Parade at St Gabriel’s Church to celebrate Mothering Sunday on Sunday, 27th March.

The service starts at 9:45am and will last just over an hour. Children will be encouraged to take an active part in the service. Refreshments will be served afterwards, and flowers distributed to all those present in church. All are welcome at St. Gabriel’s. 

Finally, I just wanted to say a ‘Thank You’ to the English Department who celebrated a delayed World Book Day last Thursday.  I know it put a smile on the face of staff and students.

English Department World Book Day 2022


Warm regards.

Yours faithfully,