Tuesday 26th – Friday 29th March
Last week after months of rehearsal the Performing Arts Department proudly presented our 2019 production Mary Poppins Junior.
On Monday 25th March we performed our dress rehearsal to an invited audience of local primary schools and then performed to four sold-out audiences throughout the rest of the week. Across the week our cast performed to over 1,500 audience members, this is quite an achievement.
Since September the cast has been hard working and dedicated attending weekly rehearsals to create a show and performances to be extremely proud of.
We are overwhelmed by the response to the show and could not be any prouder of our Cast and Team. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to Mary Poppins Junior from the Academy-Design Studio, the Academy office staff for support with ordering costumes and tickets sales, to Mrs Jacobson for chaperoning our cast backstage every evening and organising our Primary School Dress Rehearsal.
A Special thanks must go to Mr Warden and the Hi-Lights team who worked alongside us to create our incredibly colourful and creative Cherry Tree Lane set and provided us with technical equipment and assistance. We are so lucky to have you as our extended team and cannot wait to work with you again soon on our new production.
Thank you also to parents/ carers and audience members for supporting or rehearsal process and show week itself. The show would not be possible without your support of the students and the demands of the show.
Personally, I would like to thank the Performing Arts Department Mrs Hall, Miss Race, Mrs Gray and Mr Nesbitt. Thank you for believing in the production from the beginning and for making it happen. People do not realise how much of your time and going the extra mile you all do to make all of our productions happen. I know that the students appreciate all of your dedication and creativity very much.
Final congratulations to our amazing cast. Every performer worked hard to collaborate and create an exciting and impressive show. Professional both on and off stage the cast were a delight to work with. A huge well done to all involved.
The Performing Arts Department are always in awe of the talent, dedication and enthusiasm in our department and we are so pleased that the whole cast had such an amazing week. We hope you agree that the performances were…
Thank you and we look forward to announcing our plans for our new production very soon.
Miss S. Brown
Subject Leader Performing Arts
15 April 2019
Dear Parents, Carers and Families
As you will know, at the start of this week we welcomed in the candidates to be our next Principal for a robust and transparent recruitment process which allowed staff, students and parents a clear view of what was on offer. We are very grateful to the parents and carers who joined us on Monday evening for a Q & A session and refreshments with the candidates.
We were blessed with a strong field of applicants and interviewed two exceptional candidates who came to us with established track records of success in their current and previous roles. We are grateful to both of them for the significant work they put into the process.
We are delighted to announce that Mr Andrew Fowler has been invited to lead the Academy as its next Principal.
Andrew’s previous Chair of Governors, at Dane Court Grammar School in Thanet, described him as someone who offers ‘total clarity with great compassion’ and we felt this really shone through.
Andrew is a music and drama teacher by trade (he is an excellent tenor and sang for our students in a lesson on improvisation in music which he delivered on Monday). He has spent most of his career at schools in Co. Durham, rising rapidly to head of department, then assistant headteacher before making the jump to become headteacher at Dane Court where he spent 4 years.
His first headship had its challenges and prepared him well for his new role with us. Andrew led a 3-year upward trend in outcomes and value-added measures, taking the school to 86th nationally out of 3500 maintained schools.
Andrew has spent this academic year as Senior School Improvement Partner for North Tyneside, supporting 15 schools on their own improvement journeys. Headteachers he is working within that role are highly complimentary about the support he has been able to offer. He is able to quickly and accurately assess the state of play and make evidence-led judgements on how to improve and has led in this manner successfully in his previous schools.
Andrew brings a strong sense of moral purpose to the role and it is clear that he is driven by the care, progress and well-being of young people. He is a measured and articulate man whose every word has an impact and he was very clear on how he would lead us on a rapid improvement journey by raising standards, ensuring behaviour for learning and improving teaching and learning.
He will lead with compassion, trust and by involving and empowering others.
One parent who attended the Q & A session on Monday wrote to me saying that it seemed clear to her that Andrew is motivated ‘by doing what is right for the child’ and that he ‘would set clear foundations…to raise and maintain high standards’. She felt ‘children would be safe in his care and able to gain their full potential’.
Simon Hawkins has had a profound impact on our Academy in a very short time and will, without doubt, continue to do so during his remaining time with us. We appreciate that it is a matter of regret to many that personal circumstances did not allow him to put himself forward for consideration for the permanent post, which is a testament to the high regard in which he rightfully held. We are very grateful to him for the leadership he has offered us at a critical time.
Mr Hawkins will continue to lead the Academy and the pace and direction will remain unchanged. His own vision and the actions he is taking are in complete harmony with Mr Fowler’s ambitions for us.
Mr Hawkins has offered Mr Fowler his complete support and they will shortly start working together in preparing for the transition in the summer.
Mr Fowler will then lead the Academy forward on a rapid improvement journey, building on the excellent foundations Mr Hawkins is continuing to lay, with the aim of improving outcomes for all our young people.
We need your support in doing this and welcome and value your views and input; you are all invited to our regular Parents’ Forum where we can hear your ideas and take your feedback on board.
We look forward to introducing Mr Fowler to you in due course and I am sure you will all want to join us in welcoming him to our Academy.
In the meantime, a very happy Easter to you all.
Mr Chris Smith JP
Chair of Governors
On Monday 11 March, the science department had the pleasure of hosting year 5 students
from Barley Mow for a lesson on chemical reactions. After watching a demonstration of
sugar burning in concentrated acid and another chemical igniting with a purple flame after
the addition of glycerol the students shared their new knowledge about how to work safely
in a laboratory.
The year 5 students then carried out two practical activities themselves. The enthusiasm
grew as they performed a mini-investigation to watch the changes that occurred when
copper was added to a solution of silver nitrate. They were quickly able to spot that the
metal was changing colour. Throughout their session they periodically looked at the tube to
see how the changes continued to progress, noting that the metal looked ‘furry’ and the
solution began to change from colourless to light blue.
While these two chemicals were reacting, the students carried out their main activity,
making hydrogen gas by reacting zinc metal and sulfuric acid together. Their enjoyment
when test tubes of water became filled with hydrogen was nothing in comparison to
the excitement they clearly felt when they heard the ‘pop’ produced when the hydrogen was
tested with a lit splint.
The session finished with hydrogen rockets flying across the room with a loud bang, which
elicited several squeals, giggles and huge smiles.
Throughout the session, I was ably assisted by Sam Dawson and Georgia Miller, two of our
year 12 students. They were a fantastic help, giving out equipment and ensuring that the
Barley Mow students were able to successfully collect the hydrogen they produced, before
manning the Bunsen’s too light the hydrogen. Thanks also go to Mr Robinson, who in
addition to taking photographs, also helped students who weren’t sure how to set up their
As part of National Careers week on Thursday 7th March, we hosted our first whole school Careers fair in the Main Hall. All parents and students were invited to attend.
We had over 14 organisations offering advice and answering questions about Apprenticeships, further education, university courses and vocations.
The organisations came from all over the Northeast and as far afield as Glasgow:
Glasgow University, Teesside University
Northumbria University, Newcastle University,
Durham University, Sunderland University
Accenture, TDR Training, HMRC,
Ernst & Young, Armed Forces, Civil Service,
Northern School of Art, Newcastle College
We will be expanding next year to include even more organisations and hope to host the event in the afternoon and evening.
THE HARA Visit Lord Lawson Monday 4th February 2019
Year 7, Year 8 and selected Year 10 Performing Arts Students were very lucky on Monday 4th February as the Academy hosted up and coming band THE HARA.
THE HARA performed 5 of their tracks for us and also gave a very valuable talk on two issues that affect all students daily, Positive Wellbeing and also Online Safety. Not only did our students love the performances but they also felt inspired by the band sharing their motivational personal experiences about coping with bullying and the struggles they faced while following their musical ambitions.
I would like to thank many of our students for their very thoughtful and confidently poised questions to the band. Harvey Richards and Jack Wadey were very inspired by the event:
“The Band were very enthusiastic and I loved their interaction with the audience. I was inspired by the band and learned that you should just be yourself, it doesn’t matter what other people think of you”
Harvey Richards, 7SSH
“The music was fantastic but it was the empowering message behind it all that inspired me today”
Jack Wadey, 8SHE
Many thanks to THE HARA for their time this morning, we wish them the best of luck with the rest of their tour. Many of our students are now THE HARA fans and are excited to see them return to Newcastle in March when they will be playing at The Riverside.
Subject Leader Performing Arts
Following a series of performances based on the Minimalist music of Steve Reich and Phillip Glass, the Royal Northern Sinfonia visited LLoB Academy on Friday 25th January. 12 musicians performed for 40 of our GCSE Music students and instrumentalists centring the event on Reich’s Triple String Quartet, Pachelbel’s Canon and an extra special performance of Clapping Music also composed by Steve Reich. So inspired, students have since downloaded the Clapping Music app on their phones to try to recreate the performance themselves! The workshop presented served as an introduction to Minimalist music and the creative compositional processes involved in creating successful compositions using musical devices and textures.
This has been an amazing opportunity and a privilege for our students to work with a world-renowned British Chamber Orchestra and the leading professional orchestra of the North East. Many thanks to Gateshead Music Education Hub who supported this event financially.
Mr Lovatt has asked the Board of Governors to be released from his contract with the Academy in order to explore new challenges after more than 5 years’ loyal and dedicated service to Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy. Governors have agreed to Mr Lovatt’s request and he will be leaving us with immediate effect, with our thanks for his service and very best wishes for the future. Mr Lovatt also expressed his gratitude to staff, students and parents and gives his best wishes to all for the future at Lord Lawson.
The Board of Governors are delighted to welcome Simon Hawkins as Principal of Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy. Mr Hawkins has a wide range of experience as Headteacher and a Senior Leader in a number of large schools in London and across Yorkshire. As Headteacher, his leadership was recently described as, “having high aspirations, and pace with a strong drive for improvement” and Ofsted have echoed this.
Mr Hawkins starts work on Thursday 24 January 2019 and will lead the Academy until the end of the Academic year. A process will shortly commence to make a permanent appointment to the role.
Regarding his appointment, Mr Hawkins said “I feel honoured and privileged to have been appointed to lead Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy. This school has many strengths, exciting potential and I am keen to start work immediately on how we can drive up standards.”
Mr Hawkins added “Unconditional positive regard for all is at the heart of my approach: each pupil, family, colleague and visitor is valued here and welcomed. As a parent with two teenage children, I have high expectations of them and their school. I expect these same high standards of progress and personal development for your sons and daughters too.”
Chris Smith, Chair of Governors, said “On behalf of students, staff and our whole community I’d like to offer Simon Hawkins the warmest welcome to Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy. He brings warmth, passion and years of experience of senior leadership to his role coupled with a track record of producing rapid and sustained improvement in the schools he has worked with. Governors are confident he will have an immediate, positive impact at Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy and we wish him every success in his role”.
Come and meet the new Principal!
Mr Hawkins is keen to meet parents and carers; your voice matters and we want to listen to your views of the school’s strengths, priorities and how we can work together. Mr Hawkins is therefore inviting parents and carers to come to any of the drop-in coffee evenings held at school from Monday 28 to Thursday 31 January (inclusive) from 6pm to 7:30pm or on Friday 1st February from 7am until 8am. You do not need to make an appointment; simply drop in and come and meet Mr Hawkins over coffee for as long as you wish to stay.
Internationally renowned poet and lecturer Bob Beagrie recently visited us at Lord Lawson Academy. The aim of the visit was to encourage our students to think creatively about how they use words to convey messages, stories and feelings. A group of thirty-one year 8 students participated in the poet led workshop exploring different forms of poetry including kennings and list poems. They were given the time to craft their poems and to perform these to other members of the group. Bob really did inspire the students to create some memorable pieces, some of which can be read below.
Thank you to students from Jesus College Cambridge for visiting Lord Lawson and talking to our year nine students about university life and Oxbridge.
As part of the access and liaison team tour to the North East, Jesus College answered questions and encouraged our year nine students to think about applying to university.
Our year 9 students will soon be making their options choices, so the visit from Jesus College was very timely.