Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy is celebrating another excellent year of A-Level results. Over 56% of students achieved A* to B grades with nearly 80% achieving A* to C. This is higher than last year and indicative of the hard work and dedication of all our students and their teachers.
Many of our students are now looking forward to attending prestigious universities such as Bristol, Durham and Newcastle to study a wide range of subjects from Law and Biomedical Sciences to Marine Technology and Psychology. Many have also gained higher apprenticeships working with the NHS and HMRC.
Behind the statistics though, there are many stories of personal success and we are proud of each of our students and their individual achievement and wish them every success with their future.
A successful day of enterprise for our year 12 business students at Northumbria University. Lots of creativity today but Olivia Innes, Sophie Hughes and Katie Wealls won the award for ‘most innovative business idea of the day’ with a fab business idea for biodegradable/re-useable dog waste collection bags.
The Performing Arts Department are thrilled to announce that the next 2019 Academy Production will be….JOSEPH and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Auditions have been held over the past four weeks. As always we are incredibly impressed with the talent, enthusiasm and commitment from all of our Lord Lawson Performers. We are excited to announce that casting is now complete and has been announced to students.
Luke Mallon, Year 10 has secured the role of Joseph and is very excited to begin the rehearsal process, “I’m so happy to have been selected as Joseph, it is an amazing opportunity for my first lead role. As soon as I listened to the Joseph soundtrack, I knew it was a great choice of show and I can’t wait to get started in rehearsals” Luke Mallon, Year 10
Joseph Rehearsals will continue on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 3.15- 5.00pm.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream will be performed from Tuesday 15th October- Friday 18th October 2019. Tickets will be on sale soon with more information to follow before the end of the academic year.
Please note that although casting is complete there are many opportunities for our New Year 7 students to join the production in September. Year 6 will receive further details during their upcoming transition days.
If you have any queries about the production please contact Miss Brown via email at email@example.com
On Wednesday 5th June Yr 12 students visited Eagles Arena in Newcastle for mock interviews with 85 employers. The event was coordinated by the ESH group and was the culmination of a year’s preparation in school. Throughout the year students have heard presentations and completed 5 Checkpoint tasks as part of the Building my Skills programme with local businesses and employers. Each session has been delivered by a different business guest who has provided students with insight into the world of work across different sectors and information about a variety of careers and career pathways. Students have learnt invaluable employability skills which they can transfer and develop in their future career, and ultimately become more employable. The programme of employability portfolio tasks has included the students mapping their career path, completing a financial budget, tidying up their appearance on social media, writing a CV and cover letter and learning how to prepare for an interview.
The students found the interview practice a very useful experience, especially as many were with employers in their chosen career fields. The advice and feedback given will help the students prepare for University and Apprenticeship interviews next year.
On Friday 3rd May we took 13 of our Year 12 Science pupils to visit the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland.
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator. The LHC consists of a 27-kilometre ring of superconducting magnets with a number of accelerating structures to boost the energy of the particles along the way.
During their visit, the students received a lecture on the work of CERN from one of the Physicists working on the LHC before being taken by them for a tour. During the tour, the students visited the Synchrocyclotron, the first accelerator built at CERN (pictured). The 600 MeV Synchrocyclotron (SC), built in 1957, provided beams for CERN’s first experiments in particle and nuclear physics. In 1964, this machine started to concentrate on nuclear physics alone, leaving particle physics to the newer and much more powerful Proton Synchrotron (PS).
After this, the students visited the ATLAS experiment. ATLAS is one of two general-purpose detectors at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). It investigates a wide range of physics, from the search for the Higgs boson to extra dimensions and particles that could make up dark matter. Although it has the same scientific goals as the CMS experiment, it uses different technical solutions and a different magnet-system design.
During their visit, the students were able to have a look around the Microcosm, the CERN visitors centre and experience a more hands-on approach to the work that was carried out. They also visited the Globe, an art installation on the site.
During the trip, the students also got the chance to explore the historic old town of Geneva including the Reformation Wall, the Cathedral of St. Pierre, and the L’ancien arsenal. On Saturday morning the students visited the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum, learning about the history and work of the organisation and viewing an exhibit about prisons around the world.
The trip ended with a quick pop over the border to France and a trip up the Mont-Salève cable car for a hot chocolate and a snowball fight (there was still snow in May!) before visiting the Natural History Museum.
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 AcademyDesign 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.