Autumn Term Newsletter 2023
A very warm welcome to our Autumn term newsletter, and the last newsletter for 2023.
It has been another tremendous term of hard work, effort, endeavour and commitment from all our students, and I am immensely proud of every one of them as well as the tireless effort of the staff at Heworth Grange who support them every day.
As the students and staff look forward to a well-earned break over the festive period, (and hopefully you all do too), please enjoy reading a round-up of everything that has been going on in a packed term at Heworth.
The Arts department at Heworth has had a very busy term with a lot of activities taking place, everything from cemetery visits where our GCSE Fine Art students were gathering resources for their drawings, to theatre visits and our own productions. Students saw productions of ‘Noises Off’ and ‘Everyone’s Talking About Jamie’ in September and will be visiting again in January to see Blood Brothers at the Theatre Royal. Meanwhile, the GCSE drama students invited members of their family in to watch them showcase their GCSE Drama performances… and of course, the theatre was sold out with members of the community for the annual Christmas production over two nights in December, ‘Howay in a manger’, which was a great hit with everyone!
The Art department have also been working with Year 9 students, Gateshead council and local artist Tommy Henderson encouraging everyone to be eco-friendly and dispose of their litter carefully. The students have produced some fantastic art pieces – their outstanding pieces are proudly displayed in the entrance to the school and around the school buildings. These posters will also be going into Newcastle Civic Centre, around the local Gateshead council buildings as well as in the local community. The Art department also launched our annual Heworth Christmas card competition and had a huge number of entries, and the three winning entries will be sent out to the local community.
Finally, we have also been successful in securing a place on the ‘Orchestras for All’ Modulo programme. In 2024, we will be taking pupils from across the school to 2 prestigious music venues to take part in a Modulo ensemble.
Congratulations to all our students who took part in these events and activities!
Science and STEM
As always, the Science and STEM departments have been busy with projects and events this term. Notably our Year 10 engineering students have begun an exciting design project, working closely with the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London! More information about this in our Spring newsletter.
Students in Year 10 Science have been working with the National Space Agency, which was planned to coincide with World Space Week, and taken part in masterclasses looking at our future in space; this will link with the GCSE space topic. We celebrated National Engineering Day with a visit by our young engineers of the future to a major local engineering company who were incredibly impressed with the knowledge and enthusiasm of our students.
A cohort of our Year 10 students have just embarked on our latest science venture and are taking part in an international competition, representing the United Kingdom together with 7 other schools across Europe and one in Dubai.
The competition will be looking increasing access to green spaces … The project offers fantastic links with industry and a taste of STEM in action in a real-world situation. Once they have come up with a proposal they will present their report to the international judging panel in early March…we will let you know how they get on when their work goes before an international panel of judges!
It has been a packed term for careers, with a key focus on Year 11 as they progress through their crucial final year at school. Over two thirds of Year 11 have had one-to-one guidance interviews looking at their Post-16 aspirations and choices, and all our students will have had an individual interview by February.
Understanding the world of work and Post 16 futures is critical for all our students, and so we have had assemblies for all year groups explaining about apprenticeships and highlighting some of the key growth sectors for jobs in this area. Our Year 10s have also had talks from Newcastle and Gateshead Colleges and the ASK (Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge) apprenticeship team about ‘future routes’. Major employers like B&Q have also been in to talk about opportunities in the retail sector, including a talk from a current apprentice about what it’s like to work and study at the same time.
We are working in partnership with The University of Durham again this year and they have already been into school to do revision sessions with our Year 11 looking at personal revision techniques to help them with their forthcoming exams. Newcastle University’s - Future Me team also came into school with their ‘Ace my revision’ sessions, helping to motivate our Year 11’s, teaching them how to learn effectively and how to manage stress.
Planning is well underway for more visits in the New Year with further opportunities to visit universities and colleges as well as our key link employers including the NHS, Liebherr, Clifford Chance, Amazon, and Nissan, coming in to work with our students.
Planning has also started for an Enterprise Week for all students and Year 10 work experience, and in January the NHS will be doing assemblies for all year groups about careers in the health sector.
Watch this space!
PSE and Well Being
Well-being, health and student support are also vitally important areas for all our students, and we started off the year with speakers talking about mental health and well-being to our Year 10 students.
External visits and workshops about the risks from drugs and alcohol have also taken place, as have talks about violence reduction and the risks associated with knife crime.
Our ‘Samarivans’ competition was designed to get students thinking about the importance of mental health and well-being. Many of our students showed their solidarity with the campaign against bullying for National Anti-Bullying week and joined staff in wearing odd socks for the day!
The Autumn term was also a busy one for sports fixtures and events.
Congratulations to all our Heworth teams for their sporting success and achievements this term.
Heworth has also played host to events involving local primary schools, and the Gateshead Schools Futsal competitions. Our ‘student sports leaders’ helped to organise, run and even referee those events as part of their sports leader’s course. They have also successfully completed an emergency first aid course.
The Basketball co-curricular club was treated to an entertaining evening watching the Newcastle Eagles in the BBL championship and our year 11 boys and year 8/9 girls' basketball teams continue to compete in the South of Tyne events.
Finally, congratulations to our year 7 and 8 teams who competed in the Gateshead school's sports hall athletics competition, with the boys team finishing 3rd overall.
A group of our students recently took part in the national GCHQ languages competition and did themselves and Heworth proud. The competition regularly attracts the best student brains in the country, as students solve the most incredibly difficult puzzles and challenges.
50 Year 9 students recently had a fantastic experience working with the army for a day – looking at all aspects of army life and getting an insight into what it means to be in the armed forces – as well as having a lot of fun in the process!
Our Duke of Edinburgh scheme is growing and growing as more and more students in Years 9 – 11 want to be a part of this experience. We’ve had walks, expeditions, and camps in all weathers with our different cohorts. Our second Years 9 and 10 Bronze DofE groups all successfully completed their expedition section; this involved students completing 6 hours of activity on two consecutive days whilst self-navigating a route around Hadrian’s Wall, setting up camp for the night, and preparing all their own food. The groups were fantastic throughout. We have also now completed our first practice walk with the new bronze groups and we have a group who have gained their bronze award and can’t wait to get started on the silver award!
A big thank you to all students who raised money for ‘Save the Children’ by wearing their Christmas jumpers and to all those students who have entered our annual Christmas card competition – our three winners have been announced on our social platforms!
All of this leaves us just time to mention our half termly attendance events, the inflatables went down a storm with the students, and bingo is coming soon!
Our co-curricular programme continues to be incredibly well attended and will re-start in January with over 30 clubs and activities on offer!
Year 11 Exams and Revision
A massive, ‘Good luck’ and best wishes go to our Year 11 students who will be starting their mock exams in the week we return in January.
There is lots of information and support on this website and the links are below – please help and support your child as much as you can!
Finally, thanks once again to all our students for their fantastic effort and commitment this term. Thanks to all our parents, carers, families, and the wider community; we appreciate and value your ongoing support.
Have a fantastic holiday, a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year!