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!

Fantastic Fundraising by Group 6

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Group 6 wanted to get involved in the school’s fundraising efforts to buy a defibrillator, which will both benefit the school and the local community. The group worked really well together to discuss different options of how they could raise some money and also involve the local community.  After lots of suggestions they decided to hold a raffle and quickly got to work to get it all organised.

The group wrote formal letters and hand delivered them to businesses in the villages around the school: mainly Kirkburton, Skelmanthorpe, Denby Dale and Scissett. They also posted some out to other places around Huddersfield. The children have been overwhelmed by the generous donations and are extremely excited about the upcoming raffle draw.

 Have a look at the amazing prizes on offer: 

  • Signed Huddersfield Town football

  • 2 x match tickets to see Huddersfield Giants play next season

  • £20 voucher for Little Fee  (Scissett)

  • Blacker Hall Farm hamper and voucher(Wakefield)

  • 2 X Full English Breakfast voucher for Mustangs (Scissett)

  • Back, Neck & Shoulder massage voucher - Koko (Kirkburton)

  • Prosecco and Ferrero Roche - Tesco (Scissett)

  • Lindor Chocolates - Tesco (Marsh)

  • Lady’s Scarf - Almond (Kirkburton)

  • Lady’s Scarf - Thinking of You (Scissett)

  • Gel nail voucher - The Nail Studio (Lindley)

  • Lady’s Hamper - Almond (Kirkburton) and The Shoe Box (Skelmanthorpe)

  • Chicken voucher - Gawthorpe Butchers (Denby Dale)

  • Scented candle - The Hardware Shop (Kirkburton)

  • Rug - Holmfirth Carpets

  • £5 Lindley Fine Wine voucher

The group then made some raffle tickets and posters to advertise the event. They are promoting sales to pupils, families and staff at Joseph Norton. The draw will take place on Friday 8th February. If you would like to buy a ticket please contact the school office.

Good luck !

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Group 5 Going Back in Time to World War I

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Group Five have been concentrating on the First World War this week. We have used it as inspiration to read and create some creative pieces, including poems and letters. It was useful to learn about the different creative techniques that could be used and it was good to include them in our work. We have also listened to music of the period and even created our own to match a silent movie. As we learnt more about trench life, we created our own trench model and we imagined what it would be like to be in the war (listening to sounds from the war while pretending to be in the trench).

We have also enjoyed climbing and cooking: but not at the same time! There have been many new games this week too: Ghost Blitz, Gobblet, Retsami, and Banangrams. All of these have helped us play alongside each other and developed our social skills. 

We were sad at the loss of Goldie the chicken on the farm and so we made a memorial for her which now has pride of place on her old coup.

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JNA Pastoral Update

The Pastoral Team have had a busy start to the new year.

This year, to strengthen our home-school relationship with our families, the Pastoral Leads from KS2 and KS3 have started delivering interventions in the home environment. This allows for improved communication and an opportunity to share best practice (both at home and in school). Ben has been working with families of students from KS3, building relationships between home and school and Callum has been working with families of students from KS2.

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The interventions carried out by Ben and Callum are helping to improve communication between home and school and supporting parents to gain additional strategies that help their children. The interventions have included whole family baking, Lego based therapy and gaming (although Callum needs to get some practice at Fifa 19).

We are also very proud to say Callum was chosen to represent JNA with a visit to Parliament earlier this week. This is what he has to say about his visit:

This week I was very lucky to be invited down to Westminster in London. The government are currently completing a review of SEND systems, and they are collating evidence from families and education professionals on how successful changes have been in supporting children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). I had the amazing opportunity of being able to represent support staff across the country and deliver evidence to the Education Committee in the Houses of Parliament - I hope I represented some of your own views.

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Goodbye 2018!

We’re listening to Christmas music as we write our last blog entry for 2018. It has been a fantastic week but we are now all ready for a good rest.

We started the week with a visit from Kirklees Musica who wowed pupils from across the school with their pop music recital. Their repertoire included classics from different eras of pop culture - from the Beatles to present day - and it definitely inspired some of our pupils who could be the pop stars of the future!

On Thursday we were blown away by the amazing pupils from KS2 who performed as part of our first Joseph Norton’s Got Talent! Routines included elements of dance, comedy, gymnastics and beat-boxing. The boys really were fantastic and the judges had a hard time choosing a winner. In the end of the trophy was shared between Oscar and Lewis for their moving and original performances. Thanks goes to all the staff who have supported the boys to develop and practice their routines in our after-school clubs.

Today pupils from different groups are working with Stephen in the kitchen putting the final touches to our whole school, home-cooked Christmas dinner.

We wish everyone a very happy Christmas and we look forward to seeing you on Monday 7th January.

Christmas Jumpers for Save the Children

We love Christmas and kicked off our celebrations this week with the Friends of JNA coffee afternoon and Christmas jumper day!

This year Friends of JNA held their coffee event at St. Augustine's Church where they welcomed parents and carers with mulled wine and festive cakes. The group completed a Christmas quiz and everyone won the bingo!!! Thanks goes to Revd Sarah Farrimond for use of the space, Joy for helping to organise the event and Sarah Trickett for the hours she spent knitting in advance. There was a fantastic raffle and we are grateful to Vision for Education for their help with the prizes. Congratulations to Kerry who won the Kindle Fire!

Today we paid £1 each to wear our Christmas jumpers and raise money for Save the Children. We enjoy supporting Save the Children because of the important work their do changing lives. This year we read about their Reading Revolution, which helps children learn to read. We got a very kind thank you for our donations from Father Christmas, which you can watch here.

Light Up The Woods

What can we say? What an amazingly magical evening. All the displays looked absolutely fantastic and were much admired by hundreds of people on the afternoon/evening. This year’s event has been deemed a great success by all involved. There were about 20 different groups and individual displays, singing, refreshments, a hot air balloon, fire display. glow-sticks and perfect weather!

The Made In Clayton West team sent their thanks to the pupils and staff for their hard work in preparing the amazing creations. Additional photos have been added to ‘Made in Clayton West’ & ‘light up the woods’ Facebook pages.

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Joseph Norton Academy awarded ‘School Mental Health Award’ – Gold Status.

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We are delighted to confirm that following external verification, Joseph Norton Academy has been awarded the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools ‘School Mental Health Award’ – Gold Status.

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This has been a significant piece of work for the school, led by Lee Wardle, and evidences the positive and relentless work the school undertakes to improve emotional health and wellbeing for both staff and pupils. We would like to extend a huge thank you to Lee and the staff who supported him to evidence this outstanding work.

Lee will be representing the school and receiving the award at the Carnegie Centre of Excellence third annual conference next year. We look forward to sharing the photos!

Liz Dawson, Lead Assessor, writes:

The school has presented a wide range of evidence that demonstrates they are excelling across all eight competencies of the School Mental Health Award. The school has used the framework and content of the Award to very good effect to develop their mental health and wellbeing strategies, structures and practices from a strong starting point.

The School Mental Health Award has given the school a framework that has helped leaders to formulate their practice and to co-ordinate what they do. By focusing on the competencies of the award, the school has become more organised, the culture of support for mental health is more embedded and it has become a ‘natural way of thinking’.

The school has presented an extensive body of evidence across all the competencies and the team who have led the award speak with confidence about its impact. Leadership and decision-making are very transparent and values-driven. Leaders are accessible to the pupils and staff. All leaders respond to crisis points for the children and they also model their own health and wellbeing. Leaders report that the mental health and wellbeing of the staff and pupils is not an add-on, it is part of the school’s daily routine; it is everything that they do.

’There is no activity in school that does not have that thought process as part of it. Everyone questions how planning and policies are impacting on the mental health and wellbeing of the children.’

Supporting good mental health and wellbeing is part of the identity of the school and reaches out to families also. Staff stretch themselves in the support of each other and of the pupils. The school takes care of the staff too. MH leads recognise they are not mental health professionals and know where and when to turn as needed. The school has created a safe environment where is comfortable for the pupils to thrive. It is significant to leaders that the pupils always ask for in-school support because they feel safe and well cared for in the school community. Families also turn to the school for support and this is having an impact on the wellbeing of the whole family on a day-to-day level.

Governors take an active role in the school e.g. the chair of governors supports the leadership of the school and understand the difficult decisions that need to be made. Governors understand the direction of travel within the sphere of mental health and wellbeing and advocate for the school to ensure the vision is not lost in other arenas. Governors have a clear understanding of the pupils’ and staff needs. They are more conversant in what a day is like for any staff member and what support needs to be in place so they can carry out their roles effectively.

The school has a wide catalogue of mental health CPD which is also open to other schools. It supports other primary and secondary schools relating to the needs of specific children and general support. The school works towards destigmatising mental health in the community. They offer parenting courses and work with charities such as Barnardos, the NSPCC and the national Autistic Society. They have received positive feedback from a wide range of organisations with which they connect.

Lunchtime Trailblazers!

Two years ago, in response to feedback from our school council, we took the brave step of transforming our school dinner service. We ended our catering contracts, appointed a Hospitality and Catering Instructor and agreed to teach our pupils how to prepare and cook dinner for themselves. Two years on and our pupils offer the most amazing meal service, planning menus, testing new ideas and cooking food for each other. We are so proud of their achievements. They have gained new skills, earned qualifications and given most professional services a run for their money. Check out some of our kitchen photos to see us in action and let us know if you would like to come for dinner!

Introducing Stan!

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This year group 6 have welcomed a very special newcomer to their class and would like to introduce Stan, our therapy dog. Stan is a Shih Tzu and has been selected to work with group 6 because of his happy, loving and calm nature.

A therapy dog is a dog that is trained to provide affection and comfort to people. Studies have shown that the presence of companion animals can improve the well-being of children and lower rates of anxiety, simply by making the environment happier, more enjoyable and less forbidding.

To welcome Stan, group 6 have created a soft bedding area in the classroom and worked really hard with Rob to build him his own kennel. We will provide more updates about Stan’s progress throughout the year.

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Demonstrating Sportsmanship

This week we took part in out first tournament of the year with our KS2 and KS3 football teams joining an inter-school football competition. Our teams had been practicing at lunchtimes and after school so we were ready for the challenge. Both Simon and Scott attended as coaches and supported us to keep calm and focus on doing our best. KS3 were amazing and won their competition. Coby scored some amazing goals - you can see one of them on Twitter. KS2 didn’t win but they were awarded a trophy for best sportsmanship!

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