Key Stage 2 - Sats !

Key Stage 2 have been completing their SATs exams this week. As a school, all 10 of the year 6 students completed three English test papers and two Mathematics papers. Despite how stressful the week has been, Key Stage 2 have really demonstrated great determination and resilience during SATs week, providing a great example of how to represent the JNA values and as a staff team we could not be any prouder. As a reward for all of their hard work, the boys attended a reward trip going to Dearne Lea Tea Room & Ice Cream Parlour where the students enjoyed some delicious ice cream and watched how the dairy cows were milked.

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Bikability - All Passed !

Some of our pupils have been involved in Bikeability, this is a Government recognised training programme, providing practical skills and understanding of how to cycle on today roads. The project helps reduce road accidents and can save children's lives. The pupils have been out on the roads learning how to ride safely and deal with traffic and other obstacles they may come across.

The pupils listened and followed instructions given to them by the instructor, who later commented on how impressed he was that they completed their Level 2 qualification so quickly. Undertaking this course has improved the pupils confidence and they now all feel able to ride safely on the roads with other traffic.

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Pizza Project ! Raising some 'dough'

In Hospitality & Catering this half-term KS3 have been hard at work on a pizza project. Pupils began by experimenting with different topping combinations to create the perfect pizza. We practiced making our fresh dough from scratch and realised that leaving the dough to prove in the right conditions and for the correct amount of time was key! We also perfected our pizza sauce which was made from scratch and tasted absolutely delicious. Check out our recipe at the bottom of this post.

After tasting and reflecting on our creations we upped the stakes the following week. We provided samples to staff and other pupils around schools and took over 50 orders for our pizzas. One pupil received a whopping 17 orders! That was going to be a real challenge to deliver. After a week break to mentally prepare for ShowTime pupils were ready and raring to go.

The effort and teamwork on display was inspirational. One pupil who did not receive any orders due to an absence in the previous session supported his peers by preparing pizza boxes and organising work spaces efficiently. It was tough, and everyone’s arms were tired from kneading over 10kg of pizza dough but due to some great #perseverance & #cooperation we did it! Feedback from customers was fantastic and most commented that they could not believe how hard the boys must have worked to produce the quantity and quality that they did. We raised over £130 for the school defibrillator by selling the pizzas and everyone cannot wait to try them again.

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Teamwork & Co-operation in Group 3A

Students in 3A have been increasingly enjoying playing board games and competitive team games over the past couple of weeks. Class favourites at the moment include Monopoly Empire, Cluedo and Uno.

As a class, the students came up with the following reasons why playing these types of games have been good for developing peer relationships:

·         Having fun with friends and taking the time to sit down and communicate whilst doing a fun activity

·         Having a laugh (usually at someone else’s expense!)

·         Developing our memory skills

·         Speeds up our responses just like when playing video games

·         Helps us to be confident when communicating with each other

Scientific research has proven that playing team games also lowers your blood pressure and helps muscles to relax, reduces stress and boosts your immune system and helps children to develop critical thinking skills. Staff have noticed increased participation and confidence in students leading games in breaks and lunchtimes. Modelled first by staff, students now have the confidence and trust to lead activities, which is really positive to see. Here’s to more games fun next term. JNA values :)

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Abracadabra!! The power of pupil voice

Two months ago Callum made a great video about the outside space at KS2. He thought really carefully about how to get more children outside and sent this video to Sarah with his suggestion. Callum’s video has had over 1000 views!

As a consequence, although we couldn’t follow Callum’s advice to the letter, we have recently installed a new Roktagon.

Climbing works almost every major muscle group in the body, so children using this fantastic resources will increase their upper body strength (by using their arms and hands), increased their lower body strength (by using their legs) and develop core stability, muscle control and balance when taking part in this activity.

We would like to say a huge thank you to Callum for helping us improve the environment for everyone at KS2.

Check out the videos below to find out more!

Group 2a Love Thrive!

Thank you to Thrive for featuring this blog post on their website! Follow the link to check out our post here!

What a busy week Group 2a have had. Our favourite time of the week is Thrive. The Thrive approach uses neuroscience, attachment theory and child development to create a powerful way of working with children that supports their social and emotional development. At Joseph Norton in KS2, we spend our afternoons participating in Thrive activities that help us build a positive sense of self and build optimal learning capacity.

Some of our favourite Thrive activities are mindfulness sessions, arts and crafts and outdoor activities. This week, we used great team work to build a group robot. We decided to use recycled materials, which we brought in from home. We were all amazed at how many materials can be recycled and were really proud of our efforts to collect so many different materials. We delegated roles and each of us created a different body part. We used our incredible imaginations to design buttons for our robot - all with different functions!

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The time we spend in Thrive helps us recognise different emotions. We thought about empathy this week and how we can sympathise with others. We then applied this to our English lesson. We have been reading The Iron Man and thought about how the characters may be feeling. We wrote superb letters from Hogarth to The Iron Man, to apologise for trapping him. Our Thrive activities help us improve all aspects of our development and learning and we can’t wait to continue on our Thrive journey.

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Physical SULP in Group 2

At Joseph Norton we have Social Use of Language Programme (SULP) time when the children first arrive in school. This gives staff and children the time needed to communicate with each other and prepare for the day ahead. It also gives pupils the opportunity to work on their social and interpersonal skills. We spend time together getting ready for learning and the children are offered breakfast and a friendly face!

In group 2 this week we have been using more physical activity to promote good self-regulation and create a happy, relaxed atmosphere with boys who are prepared for learning. We have had a go at yoga and used the stretches and breathing techniques to support our balance and use our bodies effectively. This has helped us to be focused and be ready for our learning challenges. We have also had a go at karate as Scarlett, our Inclusion Support Worker, is a skilled karate professional! Both of these have supported our mental health and well being.

The children all joined in and were keen to try different poses and techniques. The children have lots of questions and are keen to stretch their bodies and warm up ready for their day!

 Hi-yah!

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Great Teamwork In Group 1

This week has been a busy one in Group 1.  Everyone has worked really well together and team work has been the motto of the week.

In Maths we explored algorithms and coding. We remembered what we had learnt last half term in imperative verbs, points of a compass and geometry and we were able to programme using directional language. We started with a game of ‘Simon says’ as a whole class, and then partnered up to guide each other to a set target. Then, we transferred these skills to an electronic mouse and track.

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In Science our topic was flight. We experimented with different types of paper craft, testing how far they traveled when thrown and which design was the most resilient. We had a quick challenge as a group naming things that flew. The total we got to was 27.

On Friday it was Red Nose Day and Group 1 decided they wanted to raise some funds for ‘Stand Up To Cancer’. Staff were pleased we had chosen to do something ourselves.  Everyone worked hard preparing buns for sale and resources for hand massages. It was a great afternoon and we raised over £30.

It has been a good week and everyone showed great teamwork skills!

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ArtistS in the Making

To mark the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, Leeds Art Gallery are displaying a selection of the Renaissance master's greatest drawings. We couldn’t let an opportunity to see some of his work first hand pass us by so this week we visited the gallery to look at this exhibition and other pieces of art. We were amazed by the detail and how fine some of his work was. We were particularly interested in the story of how his work, a life size clay sculpture of a horse, was destroyed in front of him and how that must have made him feel. We were also interested to see that he wrote right to left to help him keep his notes secret. This is called mirror writing.

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In citizenship we compared the First Past the Post and Proportional Representation electoral systems. We looked at some of the advantages and disadvantages of each system. We looked at different countries around the world and the differences in how they are governed.  By the end of the week we could make comparisons between the UK system of democratic parliamentary government and some other systems in other parts of the world.

We have continued to work hard on our core subjects. In maths was are using trigonometry to calculate missing angles or sides in right angled triangles. In English Literature we are looking at The History Boys and in science we are finishing our physics unit on electricity and circuits.

Busy Times on the Farm

It's been a busy start to the year on the farm, we are leaving winter behind us and getting ready for spring. We have been building fenced raised beds for this years growing, which will hopefully stop the goats nibbling at our crops when they are out and about playing around the farm. A cold frame has been built in the greenhouse for our tomato seedlings to grow and the grape vine has been pruned, we should have our first proper crop this year !

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Our animals are enjoying the warmer temperatures and the chickens have begun laying their eggs again. We welcomed our newest addition to the farm family, Daphne the Duprasi (fat tailed gerbil) and she has gone down well with both staff and students.

Joey the cat had a 2 day adventure up a tree before doing his best pigeon impression and making a leap of faith, thankfully he was a very lucky cat and survived unscathed!

Of course we couldn't ignore pancake day and we did it the best way we know how, over an open fire in the fresh air. The farm is almost into the growing season and we're all looking forward to the next few months, bring on the sunshine.


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What's been Happening in Group 7

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Since Christmas, Group 7 have been working hard on a range of new topics in both English and maths. They have been developing their analysis of a range of poems from the ‘power and conflict’ cluster and tackling fractions in advance of their upcoming functional skills exams.

Diving head first into poems from William Blake and Shelley Percy has shown staff that the group are not ‘ad-verse’ to hard work.

Excitement filled the classroom when the group found out that KFC would be helping them to complete work using fractions. However, the class detected ‘fowl’ play when they found out that KFC stands for Keep Flip and Change (a method used when dividing)!

The group also welcomed Mark to KS4. Mark will be supporting the group and helping them prepare for their GCSEs.

It's all happening in PE!

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Since the start of the new term, the pupils at JNA have been focusing on health and fitness and how we look after both our physical and mental well-being.

Key Stage 4 have been making community links by visiting local gyms and working hard to improve their overall fitness. Alongside the physical training they have also been learning about anatomy and physiology to further understand the human body. This knowledge will support them in completing their GCSE.


Key Stage 3 have been taking part in a wide range of fitness sessions and have thoroughly enjoyed the boxing fitness classes. They understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle and how physical activity can help them feel better, be more productive and learn more in class by firing up the brain.

All pupils are very motivated to get fit and take part in some of our upcoming sports fixtures so watch this space!