Group 1AM investigating What Owls Eat

Owl Pellet Dissection

Last half term Group 2 studied predators and Tom from Group 4 kindly brought us some owl pellets to dissect!


At first the boys thought it was disgusting and smelly but quickly realised how interesting and exciting it was. The boys worked well to break up the pellets and discovered different bones from various small mammals. Some boys even managed to try and re-create the mice that they had found! Dillon managed to find 3 skulls in one pellet. That's one greedy owl!

The boys learnt about food chains and what owls eat. They learnt how owls digest food and regurgitate the owl pellets. Group 1 even got in on the action!


Positive feedback

We love receiving feedback when people spot us out and about.  Please find below a lovely email we received recently regarding Josh in year 8.  Well done, Josh!  We are very proud of you.

Hi there, I’m sending this email to let you know about a really positive experience I had when I bumped into some people from your school.

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Huddersfield shopping with a friend. We were in the butchers when a young lad walked in and waited really patiently to be served. He asked if he could buy a pheasant and was so well mannered when asking the butcher questions about it. I then asked the boy questions about what he was going to do with it, and he told us how he would butcher it himself and then cook something with it. He was really lovely to talk to! I could see a couple of other boys of a similar age waiting just outside with two adults. I recognised the logo on their tops. When the boy left the shop, the other customers and the staff were talking about how impressive the boy's passion was. The younger member of staff was told to watch out or his job could be taken!!

I think it’s fantastic that the young people are being given the opportunity and are being encouraged to build on the skills they are passionate about or naturally gifted in. The boys and staff I met, are a credit to the school and you should be extremely proud of the great work you are doing, taking the time and making the effort to look for, and draw out the gold in these young people!!

Kind regards, Charlene

Group 9 - Preparing for Adult Life

This term has seen a big focus on independence and work skills for our Group 9 students. There are two areas of their regular timetable that they have really excelled at.

Firstly, they have been attending Leeds College of Building one day a week to learn construction skills, working towards a Diploma in Construction. So far they have done half a term on brickwork, and are now a few weeks into learning joinery.

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Group 9 have done a great job helping Rawthorpe Amateur Boxing Club move to their new gym in Milnsbridge. From moving equipment, to painting and finishing, and learning how the club works. When the work is done, they work even harder in the fitness training sessions.


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Team JNA

The KS2 children have been participating in Football for their P.E lessons with the end goal to attend a tournament at the end of term. The boys worked endlessly going above and beyond, practising at break times, lunch times and after school during enrichment.

Due to their commitments and efforts they were entered into an Under 11’s Football tournament at The Zone Huddersfield which was also attended by All Hallows, Oak, Rowley Lane and Dalton. Each game the boys dug deep showing fantastic team spirit and after all games were played Joseph Norton Academy were rightly crowned the winners, winning every game!

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1BS Exploring our Natural Environment

Group 1BS have been spending some time outside the classroom this week in order to find inspiration for their work and explore the natural environment. They have been using nature to give them ideas about using comparisons for their simile poems in English. This has allowed them to collect all their ideas and produce a group poem.

During the Farm lesson they located an active fox den and watched clips from a time lapse video which captured the fox, a pheasant and a magpie. They also cleaned and fed the animals in the farm and took the goats for their daily walk around the woods.



3B Have Come Back with A Bang!

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Group 3B have had an amazing start to the new half-term in their first week back at school.

We have enjoyed carving pumpkins to celebrate Halloween. We designed our pumpkins and brought them to life using Quiver on our ipads. Everyone engaged really well as we created our amazing designs, adding a flickering led tealight for the final spooky touch.

In outdoor education this week we were all very excited to go swimming at Doncaster Dome. We had an amazing time on the excellent slides; the snake slide being our favourite and we also enjoyed being outside in the Wild Waters.

Back in school we started our new topic, inventions. We had a go at inventing our own snack delivery zip wire, and worked well together as a team, sharing ideas and helping each other. We have also started reading George’s Marvellous Medicine and will be thinking about the story of George’s crazy invention over the half term.

In maths, we have been working on the properties of shapes and will continue with this work over the next few weeks, looking at real life shape problems.

We have had lots to celebrate this week. On Friday, we had celebration breakfast as a reward for our behaviour and excellent uniform this week. 3 of our boys reached 1500 WOW points this week, and received a prize and a certificate each to celebrate this. Well done boys, we are all really proud of you!

We hope you all have a happy and safe bonfire night. 

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Magic and Mystery

Magic and Mystery

This might all seem like a bit of gruesome fun but dressing up in costumes is actually an important type of play that every child needs to experience as part of their development.  While some children seek it out naturally, other children are reluctant to dress up as pirates, superheroes or lords and ladies.  So, once a year, our staff team show the pupils exactly how it's done and we're really pleased that more and more of them are joining in!  

Here are just some of the benefits of playing with costumes:

  • Dressing up play fosters the imagination
  • Dressing up lets children explore themselves
  • Dressing up strengthens relationships and helps children to understand other people's feelings
  • Dressing up improves communication and gives children the chance to practice words and phrases they wouldn't normally use

Harvest Time on the Farm

As we enter a cold wet and windy Autumn on the Joseph Norton farm we're as busy as ever!

After a fantastic first harvest we managed to supply the school kitchens with onions, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes and peppers. The land has now been cleared for winter and our thoughts have moved to improving the site and helping our local wildlife. Toads, frogs and squirrels have all benefited from our recent habitat creation around the pond. The pig pen is being cleared and grass sown as we prepare for a our curly tailed visitors in the new year.

It's not all work though as Gordon and Billy have had many walks around school and the woods. They particularly enjoyed eating the fallen oak leaves and brambles as we hunt for fungus, wildlife and conkers!


Look How Busy Group 7 Have Been

Group 7 have had a fantastic start to KS4 and the new academic year. We have been working hard in preparation for the new specifications for GCSE English and maths. We have been focusing on punctuation and grammar; reading; the 4 operations and BIDMAS.  In science we have been looking at different forms of energy, circuits and electricity.

We have also been attending BUMPY and learning how to ride bikes alongside studying for our Level 1 Bike Maintenance qualification.

In Outdoor Education, we have been working on our ASDAN Adventure and Residential Short Course and have been learning new skills like ice skating, kite flying and working as a team at Laser Quest.

During our afternoon sessions, we have been learning about the effects and dangers of legal and illegal drugs, working together completing jigsaws and focusing on our art work. 


Group 4's New Areas

Hello! We are glad to be back at school and are enjoying our new classroom! Over the summer break we were lucky enough to have our corridor revamped and a new breakout space with a small group work room made for us.  We have made great use of this new space to spread out and learn in different ways. We have hit the ground running after our transition last year and have really got stuck into our English work. We are all focusing on our presentation skills and challenging ourselves to broaden our vocabulary in all our written work. We are all happy with our efforts and are proud of how we are developing our skills. In maths we have learnt new ways of working and learnt skills that will help us in day to day life such as rounding large numbers and measurement skills. Science is always a favourite especially when we can complete practicals. Last week we investigated states of matter in the kitchen, who knew science can taste so good! This week we were all exited to receive an iPad each! We have made good use of these already and have used them to be quizzed on our learning, play interactive learning games and record our learning. We have also opened the group 4 restoration workshop. We work together to restore items back into something useful. We have recently completed a scooter restoration and have started bike restorations this week.

We are growing well as a group and are pleased to have good friends both old and new in our class. We are also keen to work well with others outside our group and have used fantastic Friday time to host games competitions! This week we are holding the first UNO world/ school championships! Spirits are high and we are using skills learnt in maths such as ratio and probability to give group 4 a winning edge! We are looking forward to forming a class rock band next week and bring lots of music into our lessons!

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Professional Development

Last Friday, staff at Joseph Norton were extremely proud to host an event lead by Dr Margot Sunderland at the Textile Centre in Huddersfield.

Dr Margot Sunderland is Director of Education and Training at The Centre for Child Mental Health London, Honorary Visiting Fellow at London Metropolitan University, Senior Associate Member of the Royal College of Medicine, and Child Psychotherapist with over twenty years experience of working with children and families.

Throughout the day, Dr Sunderland shared her expertise and taught attendees how to recognise signs and symptoms of trauma in children and how to respond to them. Staff members also learnt key tools and techniques for connecting with children who experience the world as threatening and hostile and how to move them from trauma to emotional well-being.


The team at Joseph Norton were joined by colleagues from across the Trust as well as SENCOs, Educational Psychologists and Clinical Psychologists from across Kirklees. Dena Roering, Director of SEN at Wellspring tweeted 'Absolutely speechless! Expert #MargotSunderland presented amazing content @josephnorton001 #TraumaInformedSchools.'



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.