Although the photo is a bit blurry, we were really pleased to welcome the great, great, granddaughter of Joseph Norton to our school last week.

Although his last remaining relatives live in America, Joseph Norton, was born in Scissett on 6th July 1800.  Joseph was an entrepreneur and a philanthropist who used his passions and abilities to establish the thriving, principled textile industry for which the area is known.  Joseph embodied the values of our school demonstrating perseverance and cooperation when building his business and respect and responsibility for the many people he supported and employed.  

When Joseph left his family home, he chose to outline a deed of trust that specified that the six acres of land on which our Academy now stands could only be used for educational and community purposes.

Welcome to 2017-2018

Dear parents and carers,

Welcome to 2017-2018!
It has been great to welcome so many smiling faces back to school this week.  Attendance so far has been fantastic and we hope to break our attendance record again this year!  

While our pupils have been away, there has been lots of exciting work happening at school.  We have decorated three different areas, built a new carpark and have converted an under-used part of the building into a new Therapy Centre.  The centre will offer pupils the opportunity to access play, sport and art therapy as part of their personalised timetables.  If you or your friends or family have any unwanted toys that could be used here at school, please send them in or let us know so we can some and collect them.


As we increase the services we offer, we find we have less and less space for onsite meetings.  For this reason, we are now renting additional premises at Nortonthorpe Mills.  This space is a 10 minute walk from the school – or two minutes in a car.  All annual review and parents meetings will take place at this new address.  You can find a map of the venue in the Parent/Carer Zone.

Please be aware that our meeting rooms are on the first floor of this building and there is no lift.  If you are unable to use the stairs, please make us aware so we can make alternative arrangements.

We are excited to introduce new members of staff to our growing team.  New teachers include Karen and Michelle who are working with groups 3a and 3b.  New pastoral leaders include Bradie at KS2 and Michael who is supporting Darryl with KS3. 

Group staff will be in touch over the coming weeks to update Self-Regulation Plans and share information about timetables etc.  Please remember that pupils should be in full uniform including black trainers or shoes.  We ask that pupils do not bring mobile phones to school.  However, if they do, they must hand them in at the school gate.   

Please remember to inform group staff of any important changes that have taken place over the summer.  It is important, for example, that we have up-to-date information about your address, contact details and your child’s medication. 

Dates for this year area as follows can be found under School Information.

Important dates for this half term include the following:

  • Parent Coffee Morning - Friday 15th September
  • INSET day - Friday 29th September
  • Fancy Dress: Magic and Mystery -  Friday 20th October

Message from our Chair of Governors

Dear parents

The governors of Joseph Norton Academy send a warm welcome to parents, families and young people at the start of the new school year.  I would like to take this opportunity to tell you a little bit about what the governors actually do and who they are.

The governors are responsible for making sure that the school helps every young person to make the best possible progress in line with the school vision and values.  The governors meet every half term to find out from the Head and her team of staff how well the school is doing.  We ask questions about everything - events, activities, exam results, behaviour…..  We check how the school budget is being spent and how all the teaching and learning is progressing.  We find out about all the successes and help to plan any improvements needed.  Notes are kept of all our meetings and copies are available from the school.

There are up to 12 governors dedicated to Joseph Norton Academy.  They include the Head and two members of staff as well as local people with an interest in education, who are appointed by the Wellspring Trust.  There are two places reserved for parents.  At the moment, there is a vacancy for a parent governor and the governors would like to encourage any parent to seriously think about becoming a governor.  If you are interested, then Sarah can give you details.  There is also more information about the governors on the Joseph Norton Academy website.


The governors look forward to meeting you at school events.

Warwick Firmin, Chair of governors

Finally, we'd like to extend a huge well done and thank you to Stephen, our hospitality and catering instructor, and the boys who helped to organised our first home-grown, home-cooked school dinners last week. We are extremely proud that our pupils are now in charge of our school farm and our school kitchen and are working together to grow, plan, prepare, cook and serve their own meals. This is a fantastic opportunity for everyone and the food tastes amazing!  

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Joseph Norton Academy Awarded the RSQM


As the year draws to a close, we are pleased to announce that Joseph Norton Academy has been awarded the Restorative Service Quality Mark (RSQM).  The RSQM is a badge of quality that guarantees that a service provides safe, high quality restorative practice that meets the six Restorative Service Standards.  Joseph Norton Academy joins other RSQM awardees – in sectors ranging from criminal justice through education to care – delivering high quality restorative processes.

Jon Collins, the RJC’s chief executive, said: “I would like to offer my congratulations to the whole team at Joseph Norton Academy on this fantastic achievement. By successfully completing the RSQM, it has demonstrated its commitment to providing the highest standards in restorative practice.”

Sarah Wilson, Headteacher at Joseph Norton Academy said, 'I am extremely proud of the staff team for all the work they have undertaken to achieve the award but, more importantly, for the ongoing work they undertake with our children as they use restorative practice to help them build and repair bridges after experiencing conflict or crisis.  Particular thanks goes to our Pastoral and Restorative Practice teams and to Darryl Jones, who led them through this process.' 

More information and the article that was published on the Restorative Justice Council website can be found here:

Examiner Schools Awards

We are really proud to report that two members of staff at Joseph Norton Academy were recently nominated for Examiner Schools Awards. Abigail, was nominated for Support Staff member of the year and Sarah was nominated for Headteacher of the Year.

The awards ceremony took place at Kirklees College and was hosted by Harry Gration from Look North.  Aidan and Dominic were chosen to attend the event and represent our pupils. Kate, Sarah, Ruth and Abi went on behalf of the staff team.

A 10 page pull-out will be available in the Huddersfield Examiner next Thursday in which you will be able to read about the event but... and we can't wait to tell you... Abi was a winner and Sarah was a runner up!!! We are extremely proud of them both. Dominic and Aidan have already decided which awards we should go for next year.  Check out the pictures below:

Next Steps for our Year 11s

Last Friday we said a final goodbye to our year eleven leavers. Parents, carers and staff were invited to join the event where we embarrassed the group with lots of old photos, reflected on everything they have achieved and wished them the very best of luck for the future.

The group have lots of exciting plans for the future. Their destinations include Project Challenge in Halifax, Groundworks in Morely, ICT and Hospitality and Catering at Kirklees College. First, however, as Cameron explained, they are going to have a really good rest!

Every year, the school identifies one pupil, who has made exceptional progress to receive the Pauline Stones award.  This year, we are pleased to announce that the trophy was awarded to Lewis from Group 7.  Heather Green, his group leader, explained, 'Lewis has made tremendous progress this year and we are really proud of him.'  Lewis' name will be added to the new trophy, which will be proudly displayed in the school's trophy cabinet for years to come.

The Sun Shone for our Governors Away-Day

The rabbits and squirrel who live at our school were most disgruntled this Saturday when they were disturbed by the school's governing body attending their annual away-day.  The event enabled governors to reflect on the work they have undertaken to support the school over the last year and make plans for 2017-2018. During the meeting governors agreed they would like to communicate more directly with parents so, from September, there will be a governor section in each of our letters to parents. If you would like to know more about the work of this team please contact Kate or talk to a member of staff at our next Friends of Joseph Norton event.

Together We Can Replenish the Earth

We are pleased to share details of our new partnership with the Earth Restoration Service (ERS). The ERS School Tree Nurseries Programme provides a service to both the community and the environment by helping children in schools to learn about the environment and to plant trees and create wildflower meadows in order to restore their local degraded habitats. As part of this programme, pupils at our school have planted 50 tree saplings across our school grounds.  

More information and pictures of our nursery can be found here.

Our New Community Hub

Last Friday our pupils celebrated the formation of our new Community Hub by taking part in the Great Get Together in memory of MP Jo Cox.

The event took place on the lawn of Bagden Hall where pupils from Joseph Norton Academy, Kirkburton Middle school, Emley First School, Shelley First School, Denby Dale First School, Scissett Middle School, Farnley Tyas First School and St Aidan's Academy played Get-to-know-me Bingo, completed a quiz on the local area and entered a competition to design the new hub logo.  

Joseph Norton was represented by Dillon, Lewis and Elliot who did an amazing job representing our school.  The boys loved taking part in the event and were very excited as they drove down to the school and into the grounds of Bagden Hall. Bagden Hall was built by George Norton the brother of Joseph!

Kate Gaunt, our fantastic Pastoral Manager, who also helped organise the event commented, 'It was wonderful seeing children of different ages and backgrounds working together and sharing their ideas for the local community. We thank the Great Get Together for encouraging communities to organise such events as this was a great success!'

The Great Get Together

Pupils in KS2 are looking forward to attending The Great Together on Friday 16th June. On this day, communities across the country will be coming together, inspired by MP Jo Cox, who was killed on 16th June last year.

To celebrate diversity and togetherness, we will be joining pupils from other schools in the area for a communal picnic at Bagden Hall.  

There are more than 108,000 get-togethers happening across the country — from street parties and Big Lunches to BBQs, games of football and bake offs.  

Year 11's Final Hours

In Group 8 we had a fantastic time at the Museum for Science and Industry, we looked at the exhibition on Graphene. Graphene is a unique new material that has been in the news recently, but which we had also discussed in class as part of our General Studies exam preparation.  In GCSE Biology we dissected a lamb’s heart identifying the different chambers, vessels and valves. We continue to be very proud of the support being given to some of our younger pupils by our two School Leaders.

As we near the last half term of the academic year we are making sure that our year 11’s are happy and confident about their post 16 choices. We continue to visit colleges and providers looking at what will be their new classrooms and meeting some members of staff that they will be working with.

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Empty Classroom Day

On Friday 5th May, the whole school took part in an Empty Classroom Day. After the success of our Three Peaks Challenge last year, this was an opportunity for staff and pupils to get out of the building and, in most cases, the school and enjoy and be inspired by the world around us.

Anyone who has seen the impact that learning and playing outdoors has on children and young people knows how powerful such experiences can be. Learning outdoors creates lasting memories, helps build a greater awareness of the environment, provides opportunities to think independently, and gets children feeling challenged and excited by learning. Children and young people are more active when they play and learn outdoors.  

You can see some pictures of the day below - we know some of them are blurry but the boys are just too fast and don't want to stop for us to snap them!.  We will add more pictures as soon as we are able.