Principal's Letter - 16th September 2022

Date Published:
Friday 16 September 2022

Dear Parent/Carer

As we near the end of a very successful first fortnight back at school, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support. Attendance in all year groups has been superb and there has been a real buzz about the place - it’s great that students are all so positive about being back in school.


Summer Examination Results

I hope you have all had a great summer.  The summer was particularly good for those of us at Jesmond Park Academy.  It got off to a great start with the publication of our ‘Good’ Ofsted report in July, but it continued in sterling fashion with some fantastic examination results.

Despite the national media trying to paint a picture of falling standards across the country, we managed to secure record results at the school in many of the measures that are used.  At GCSE, 82% of students obtained a pass in English and 77% received a pass in Maths, with 73% of students obtaining a pass in both.  These are our highest figures since the new GCSEs were introduced in 2017.  Our average grade was a 5, again our highest ever average.

In terms of A Level performance, we have achieved a pass rate of 99.2% which is our highest ever figure. Moreover, 27.2% of grades awarded at A-A* and 75% at C or above, again superb figures for our school.   Our vocational results were also outstanding with a 100% pass rate and 29.1 % of grades awarded at Distinction*/Distinction.

Both results days were fantastic with both staff and students celebrating together.  The success this year is testament to the hard work and dedication of the students and staff last year, especially considering all of the disruption to their education in recent years.  Well done, we are immensely proud of you all!


The Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II

As you will all be aware, Monday 19th September is the date of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral and this is a national bank holiday, with all schools closing around the country. Schools will reopen as normal on Tuesday 20th September.

School has felt a little different this last week and there has definitely been a reflective feel amongst the students and staff.  We held an assembly with the students on Friday, talking about the significance of this event; the fact that we were all living through history at the moment. I talk a lot about Cultural Capital with the students and this is an event that is being covered around the world.  The students were superb during the assembly and the minute’s silence was respected immaculately.

Father Jonathan, from St. Gabriel’s Church Heaton would like to invite those of all faiths to a service of thanksgiving for the life and reign of the late Queen Elizabeth II.  This will be held on Sunday 18th September at 4pm.  All are welcome at St. Gabriel’s.


Year 6 Open Evening

Our Open Evening for Year 6 students interested in joining us in Year 7 in September 2023 is coming up on Tuesday 4th October.  Our annual open evening is always one of our most important and well attended events of the school year. The staff and current students are really looking forward to showcasing our school for Year 6 students and their parents, giving them a real insight into all of the fantastic experiences we have to offer.


Mental Health Support

We have increased the pastoral capacity at the school this year and have a very strong pastoral provision within school.  We have Head of Key Stage leaders Mr Mason (KS4), Mrs Dowling (KS3); Heads of Years (Mrs Hooker Y11, Mr Cleland Y10, Mr Smith Y9, Mr McLaughlin Y8, Mrs Sayers Y7).  Each Head of Year has a dedicated non-teaching member of staff, a Year Manager, to help support their year group.

To support the pastoral leaders, the Wellbeing department has a full time school counsellor and staff in the SEND department also offer small group or 1:1 intervention.  In addition, we are providing self-care strategies via the Anna Freud website in tutor time to provide students with pro-active methods to support their mental health.

Furthermore, we have a number of external providers working with the school this year that will enhance the pastoral provision already on offer. 

  • The school established a Streetwise Hub on site last year and the Streetwise charity will continue to provide small group intervention, counselling and 1:1 drop ins this year
  • For the second year, we have a full week’s provision provided by the NUFC Foundation that focuses on small group pro-social intervention
  • New for this year, the Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) will be delivering sessions to Key Stage 3 students in Citizenship lessons around topics such as knife crime, drugs & alcohol, and malicious communications
  • The school nurse is returning to the school on a Wednesday afternoon where students can gain medical advice, and School Health will also help the school with our most vulnerable students
  • Barnardos will also be spending one day at school where they will run sessions with students around emotional needs


If you feel that you would like to discuss this support further, then please contact the relevant Year Team at the school.


BBC100 Share Your Story Schools tour

BBC visits up to ten thousand students each day in centenary school tour, as new research shows teenagers want career help. The project aims to inspire young people to achieve their career goals and help realise their ambitions.

As part of our aim to widen enrichment opportunities for all of our students, I am delighted that we have once more been successful in being selected for the BBC100 ‘share your story’ centenary celebrations.  On Friday 16th September all of our students in years 7–10 were invited to attend special assemblies throughout the day led by BBC staff.  More than 2000 face-to-face storytelling and careers sessions will be delivered in over 700 school visits across the next 15 weeks. The tour will reach up to 10,000 students each day and over 400,000 teenagers by the end of the BBC’s centenary year. This opportunity complements our careers advice and guidance strategy, which was highlighted as a strength of the school during our recent Ofsted inspection, to support all of our students at Jesmond Park Academy achieve their career goals and, as it states above, realise their ambitions.

The full website link to the BBC100 Share your story school’s tour is listed below:


IntoUniversity School workshops

Next week we are welcoming staff from IntoUniversity to work with cohorts of our students from Years 7–11.  IntoUniversity works in partnership with local schools and colleges in England and Scotland, aiming to inspire and support young people to realise their full potential. The Secondary FOCUS programme consists of a series of workshops which encourages our students to think about their future options, including trips to universities and corporate partners. Through this programme our students will learn about different career opportunities, university study, and other Higher Education options.

Again this forms part of our whole school Careers strategy. There will be ongoing communication with parents/carers throughout the year regarding Careers support and opportunities.


Parent/Carer Information Evenings and Parent/Carer and Subject Teacher Evenings

Most of you will be aware that as part of our parent/carer communication throughout the year we hold information evenings and subject teacher evenings. Our parent/carer information evenings are specific to different year groups and tend to be more generic. Our parent/carer subject teacher evenings are where parent/carers have the opportunity to speak directly with their child’s subject teachers regarding their academic progress. We will write to you throughout the year with specific details of the events coming up. Wherever possible we aim to balance the convenience for many parent/carers of being able to receive key information or speak to teachers online with the desire to welcome parent/carers back into our school to meet face to face.


Key dates for parent/carers coming up this half term are as follows. 

  • Year 8 ‘How to Support Your Child Evening’ Wednesday 28.9.22 5:00 – 5:30 ONLINE via TEAMs
  • Year 9 ‘How to Support Your Child Evening’ Wednesday 28.9.22 6:00 – 6:30 ONLINE via TEAMs
  • Year 10 ‘How to Support your Child Evening’ Thursday 29.9.22 5:00 – 5:30 ONLINE via TEAMs
  • Year 11 ‘How to Support Your Child Evening’ Thursday 29.9.22 6:00 – 6:30 ONLINE via TEAMs
  • Year 12 Parental Information Evening Thursday 22.09.22 5.30 - 6.30 IN SCHOOL face to face


The times above are approximate.  We will confirm all details via an emailed letter and pupil post letter which will also include the TEAMS invite early next week.

  • Year 13 Parent/Carer Subject teacher evening Thursday 13.10.22 via SchoolCloud or Face to Face


Parents/Carers of Year 13 students will receive further information regarding this evening.  It is anticipated that parents will have the opportunity to attend online or face to face.  In either instance the SchoolCloud software organises the appointments.

  • Year 7 ‘Meet the Form Tutor’ Evening Tuesday 18.10.22 5:00 – 6:30 IN SCHOOL face to face


Parents/Carers of Year 7 students will receive further information regarding this evening. Please note that this evening is face to face in school not online.


Support with Uniform Costs

In the vast majority of cases, the students have had perfect school uniform and have looked extremely smart coming to school.  Where there are teething problems, parents and carers are being contacted by Year Teams and we are working through this. Thank you for your support with this. 

We are aware that some families may at times face difficulties getting uniform as children grow throughout the year.  If at any point you are facing any difficulty in providing uniform for your child, please contact your child’s Year Manager or Head of Year. There are many ways in which we can help.  For example, we can loan items until it is possible for them to be replaced or we can often supply a pre-owned item for your child. It is also possible for you to apply for financial assistance in the purchase of uniform.  Please contact for information.  We look at any applications for financial help carefully based on personal circumstances, but can usually offer some support. There is also the option of buying pre-owned uniform directly from our uniform suppliers, Emblematic.

If any families find themselves with excess uniform or PE kits now that they have “restocked” over the summer break, the school would welcome any donations to help support the initiatives outlined above.  Donations can be made at Main Reception or Student Reception. Donations of shoes, trousers, skirts, coats and fleeces are particularly helpful.  We are very grateful to those families that were able to donate prior to the summer break.  Your actions have already helped many families and students.  All uniform being donated should be in a good condition.



From time to time you may need to contact school regarding your child, the first option is to contact your child’s form tutor. Their contact details can be found on the school website.

Secondly you can contact your child’s year team:

Year 7 Managers, Mrs Hearons & Mr Bolam  

Year 8 Managers, Mr Brown & Mr Bolam  

Year 9 Managers, Mrs Booth & Mr Bolam

Year 10 Managers Mrs Winship & Mr Henderson

Year 11 Managers Ms Henderson & Mr Henderson


School Meals

I hope that your child is enjoying the snacks and lunches that are provided by the school.  As many of you are aware, we returned to the Newcastle Council catering service last year and we are pleased with the results so far.  The new school menu can be found on our school website and as you see there is a 3 week rolling menu.

Finally, I would like to wish you all a fantastic weekend,

Warm regards.

Yours faithfully