Headteacher Update

June 2021

I am delighted that we have been awarded £10,000 funding to further develop our physical activity offer for our students and the wider community. Our Director of Sport, Mr Pilkington put in a bid for the funding and was successful meaning that we can now run activities between 4pm and 5pm Monday & Wednesday. These opportunities are available for all children who live in our community, no matter which school they attend, who are in Years 5-11. The new programme is called INVIGORATE and further details can be found here. https://youtu.be/xZBUxjLSjno . We know that involvement in sport is fantastic for both physical and mental health, now more than ever so please encourage your child to get involved.

I am also pleased that we have been contacted by North Tyneside Council regarding some proposed new cycle routes around the school. This is so important for the safety of our students so please do have a look and engage in the consultation that can be found here.

Northumbria Police continue to work alongside school on issues such as anti-social behaviour and drug misuse and this week many of our students were involved in a workshop about knife crime. The facilitators were exceptionally impressed with the sensible and mature attitude of all of our students as they listened to the devastating impact that knife crime can have on families and communities. Northumbria Police have also again asked us to share warning signs for parents regarding ‘County Lines’ that continues to be an issue across the region – please do read this leaflet.

As part of our planning for next year we have updated our Behaviour Policy and this has now been agreed by governors. The policy is based upon the simple principle that no student has the right to disrupt the learning or harm the welfare of others, which I am sure you all agree is the foundation that will help to ensure that all students feel safe, are happy and able to progress throughout their time with us. There are some significant changes to current practice and these will be communicated to you all and the students over the remainder of the term. The new policy is based upon evidence based research and having run some pilots, we are delighted to see what a positive impact the new measures have had.

The policy is built around the expectation that students adhere to the standards we expect and that the students should expect from one another and part of this is uniform. It is timely to remind you of our standards as you start to think about what your child may need for September and these can be found here. Please note that only black shoes are to be worn and you can find examples of what is acceptable on the uniform section of our website and whilst this year we have not fully enforced this rule as the year has progressed due to Covid and financial pressures, we will be enforcing from September and will have a stock of spare shoes for students who arrive in the incorrect footwear. Students are expected to arrive in full uniform every day and if this is not possible then a note should be provided and alternatives will be supplied from school stock. We will be sending students who are in incorrect uniform back home to change if they arrive at school without a note – this will very quickly resolve any issues meaning that all students are meeting our minimum expectations. Please note that we do recognise that some families may struggle to meet the full cost of the school uniform and PE kit and we do have a fund to support you with this. Please contact Mrs Blair who will be more than happy to help – helen.blair@johnspence.org.uk. Also, if you were eligible for a uniform voucher and haven’t used it yet, it remains valid until September. Our uniform suppliers have also extended their free delivery offer until the end of June, so please do take advantage of this, details can be found here.

Please get in touch with your child’s Head of Year if you need any further information or guidance.

Finally, on Tuesday I received an email from a member of the public and a phone call from a local store to commend three of our students who were helping a man who had collapsed in the street. It was reported that they were compassionate, sensible and handled the whole situation maturely having called an ambulance before other members of the public became involved. A huge well done to Steven, Osten and Connor for their actions.

I hope that you all have a relaxing weekend in the sunshine.

Best wishes

Jonathan