Message from John, the Headteacher: 15th October 2021

Hello all

Happy Friday!

And the weather is still good!

I do hope that you are all well this fine October day. This has probably been my favourite day here so far, because today we started our Beating the Odds topic, a Wellbeing project that’s about Emotional Resilience that’s running all year. It’s being headed up by our fabulous Educational Psychologist, Louise Brennand, and we identified it because a huge thing that we want for our children is for them to have resilience now and after they leave us. It feels like an agenda that school and home share and is so important for the rest of life! If you’re interested in reading about it in anymore, this sums it up

Beating the Odds also involves staff training, extra Educational Psychologist input, working on ways to assess Wellbeing and lots of other good activities. In terms of days in the timetable, we’ll have a timetable collapse every half term towards the end so that we can all explore this together. It’ll be good, and it’ll also be fun. This Bounce Back song has been played a lot today for example, in various forms and arrangements!

And here are some interesting resources that Philip C found earlier

as well as some videos such as

There are lots of lessons, activities, approaches and ideas that people are using to approach this crucial area. The key areas are Basics, Coping, Learning, Belonging and Core Self

What I’ll do is get some pictures out – at the moment when I’m writing this at lunchtime, they’re all still doing it!

Our Departmental Leads, who I’ve mentioned a few times, the Wellbeing Team, Philip C and many others, have already put lots of work into this topic, and it will only get better and better. Very exciting!

In terms of Digital Resilience, this is something you may have seen already, but it’s a parents’ guide to digital resilience, which is all part of this too

There’s a lot on this part of the topic, which you might expect

I’ve just seen an amazing video where the students talk about what Resilience means to them, but it needs editing, so I’ll send it out in a few days


Subject Focus

Well, we like our sport here, and so – not for the first time I admit – we have some photos from an activity that Helen organised a few days ago., We’re very lucky to have the people and spaces to do sporting activities and PE. Thanks Helen, and well done to everyone who took part

It was the NUFC football festival, and David kindly took the photos


Stars of the Week! 

We have at least four stars of the week now, representing the four Curriculum Pathways of Engagement, ELTBA, Accreditation and Preparation for Adulthood, run by Kasia, Sarah, Rebecca and Louise respectively

Our star of the week is Charlie from Beth’s class for her great persistence in choice making, which is a huge part of the style of work that that class does 😊 STAR!

In ELTBA, it’s…….Camilla!!!!!! Camilla was a star in English where they were doing a story called Somebody Swallowed Stanley, and so good with some visitors around the school. STAR!

Hannah in KS4 is also a complete STAR!, for joining in and being a star scientist in a lesson about energy. Well done, Hannah

And the fourth star today is Charlie, who’s shown great resilience – there it is, that word again! – in science, where he showed great problem-solving in science, and really mature independently skills STAR!

Well done all four, and thanks for making our school brighter and better. Enjoy your time as Stars of the Week

Bird News

Meanwhile, the Birds continue! And this is our weekly PHS Birdwatch update. Huge thanks to Andy

It’s been a busy old bird week for our classes again. For example, two mysterious tree-like figures have appeared down one of the school corridors… I wonder what they are for?

The Skylarks of 2LL and The Pufflings in 1SB have been creating some more beautiful pieces of art for their classrooms

Taylor from The Starlings (3RM) showed us his brilliant pencil drawn starling and woodpecker!

The Countryside Birds (4PC) have been adding to their collection with an Owl and Robin, with textured feathers

The Golden Eagles (6NC) used ICT to make their digital collage. Excellent work!

The Puffins (3BE) have been super active during their MOVE to Learn sessions – experiencing a great book called ‘Ssh! We Have a Plan’ by Chris Haughton. Have a look here  – also, we’re going to go on a bird hunt around school next week… watch this space

And finally

Just to share this picture that was taken yesterday.  £1057.00 was raised in the Summer Term and the cheque was collected yesterday by Beth and Bobby from the dog and cat shelter. (Bobby is the little dog). A lovely end to a busy week. Cheers John, and congrats to all John’s class

Take care everyone


Family Liaison update 15 October 2021

Family Liaison:

I can hardly believe half term is nearly upon us. I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing the bustle and activity around school. We have had to manage the ongoing pandemic as well as possible and I feel that we have done well all things considered. We even managed to hold a summer/autumn fayre.

Digital Resilience.

At school, we know the importance of E-Safety. Staff have regular training and updates.

See link below for information for parents shared with me by Philip Coates, one of our teachers.

Parent Resources:

Morrison’s It’s good to grow scheme.

Thank you so much to those who have supported this scheme. I had a look at progress, and we have 163 grow tokens. As we look forward to the opening of our outdoor space next week, please keep donating. We have until October 24th.

The plan is to use this to enhance our outdoor space. The link is:


I’ve been looking for half term activities but can’t find details as yet. Keep an eye on the Facebook page where I will share what come in. 

Tim Lamb Centre:

Recently refurbished with some fantastic additions including indoor trampolines, sensory room and a wonderful accessible outdoor space featuring a wheelchair accessible swing this is a must if you are looking for somewhere to visit. It also boasts a “changing place”.

Membership is £15 per year, with a £3 per visit for children visiting. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates. I will share their holiday programmes.

Get your membership here:


We held our meeting as planned on Monday 11th October. We were joined, as we are at most meetings by John who really values us. We have also had commitment from parent governor Kate Cordwell-Smith to join as often as she can, which is another means for the parent voice to be heard.

We are exploring memberships which would benefit school and will update as we make progress.

The postponed events from the last academic year will take place in November; dates to be confirmed for a Magic Show (Upper School Conductive Education corridor) and African Drumming (KS4 S&L and Post 16).

We agreed to fund 2 days of a theatre company “True Colours” visiting school, following positive feedback when they came in to Post 16 recently. We will also fund another online Pantomime.

Our next meeting is planned for Tuesday 9th November 09.30-10.30

IQ Cards:

Orders have been coming in over the last week, so clearly many of you loved your children’s/young people’s art. These will be delivered to school in early December.

Here are some of the results:


PTA 100 Club:

Forms for the 100 club are attached. We now have 27 numbers taken. It’s slow progress but heading in the right direction. I will send out paper forms in the next week as some people prefer a hard copy.

Sign Up Here

PTA Facebook page.

As we approach half term, I use the Facebook page to share social information and invite parents/carers to do so too. The link to join is below:

PTA Facebook Page


My contact details:


Phone: 0191 2161811 x 3260.

Message from the Headteacher: 8th October 2021

Hello all

How is everyone? Good I hope

We’re well into October and the Autumn Term now, and there’s a lot going on, from Harvest Festivals to all sorts of Therapy programs, new topics in class, and plans for trips and such-like. Most classes seem to have settled now after what is always a time that can be difficult for some. Thanks for all your help in working with us during that settling period. We have 23 classes this year, and some great Class Teams, but everything we do is teamwork, from support staff, teachers and therapists working together, to having parents & home as partners, and having the children at the centre of everything that we do


Subject Focus

It’s nice to focus on a subject or area sometimes. I love Outdoor Learning, and had a bit of a chat about that last week. Another thing I love though is Food Tech! And we are very lucky to have Jayne who teaches it here

Food, cooking, eating, shopping, nutrition and everything associated with it are really important for our students, whether we’re talking about then Preparing for their Adulthood, learning to cook, enjoying food, having sensory experiences, thinking about employment opportunities or anything else – even just liking food like me!

And I can honestly say that I have never been into Jayne’s classroom when something good wasn’t happening. I really enjoy popping in there, and I’m pretty sure that most people do too

Have a look at this photo. One brilliant thing that was happening here is that Jane the OT had adapted the blender so that it could be used by a number of students to blend with, and feel what was happening. It was inspiring to hear them talking about it

Jayne and the Food lessons are a really important part of the school

Jack and Macey making some lovely Eve’s puddings and chopping some lovely healthy vegetables. Mmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!

Jayne also teaches Design Tech and makes tie-dye T-shirts and all sorts sometimes. We’re very pleased and lucky to have Jayne, and she and her lessons make a real difference to the children and the overall life of and quality experiences in the school. Cheers Jayne!


Student Council

Claire and Philip, and others, are doing lots of work this year on Pupil Voice, and making sure that this is a really important part of the school, in everything that we do. One of the ways of doing that is to make the Student Council really important and vibrant

They and I want to say a Big Thanks to the 29 entries this year that have come in for to be on the student council this year. What an encouraging sign, that so many people want to have their say!

The current chair, the fabulous Danny Watson, will stay on to assist with the transition to this years’ chair. Thanks Danny. Voting takes place over the coming weeks. This is Claire, in a beret, looking through the candidates’ entries

Stay tuned for updates!


Stars of the Week! 

We have a few stars this week – of course we do!

The first is Francis Goldsmith-White, for his improved confidence within his maths work! Maths is so important for life skills – some people find it easier than other, So congratulations, Francis! Star!

Funnily enough Zakaria Mokrani in 2LL is also a star for maths – maths is obviously having a good week – for his amazing work in number bonds to 10! Well done, Zak! Star!

Also a star is Liam McBride! First because of his lovely story about Ollie the Owl that he wrote, and which Is not on the wall of my office, but also because he agreed to have lunch with me today as well! (Well, sit near me at least!) Thanks for the story and well done for all the work you’ve put in at lunchtimes, Liam. Star!

The 4th Star is a group, Antony’s class, who brilliantly sang their Seagull song this morning with me, complete with all the actions and noises. I really enjoyed that, and Antony is great on the ukulele. The whole class team was brilliant and I really appreciated them having me. So for the whole class team – Stars!

We’ve got so many people who could be stars of the week, so we’re going to try and have four each week from now on, one from each of the main four departments! Here are eight gold stars, two each…

Bird News

Bird News has been amazing this week. I can’t believe how everyone has responded to the topic and used it as an opportunity to come together and have fun whilst still doing real learning in a creative way that suits them. Thanks to everyone, staff and students, who have got into it. People have done good work in all subject ad departments, and all ages. I can’t wait to see the birdfeeders that Phillip’s class are working on!

Here’s the fabulous Andy Hall’s Bird Watch!

This week, classes have been very busy making Bird Art – 2BE The Puffins made some brilliant flying puffins using paper plates and paint

4PC have used papiermâché to craft their birds – they will be making bird feeders next week and are even designing their own AQA unit of work based on Countryside Birds.Wow!

3AM have made some brilliant Seagulls for their classroom door – and are brilliant singers of the Seagull Song!

Also, this ‘Know Your Birds’ poster appeared in one of the classrooms… how many would you know or have you spotted before?

And finally, again with this…

We’ve been overwhelmed with your generosity with donations for the Feeding Families appeal that we put out. Thank you so much. What a community to be part of…

All the best for a lovely time in what seems like lovely weather! Enjoy



a new era?

Family Liaison 8 October 2021

Family Liaison:

It is good to see that these blogs are of use. I have been in contact with or been contacted by parents/carers and staff following on from last week’s blog.

I haven’t yet had much feedback from parents about workshops/training which would help you. I am aware that school staff are considering this as I write, so now is the time for you to have your say.

Morrison’s It’s good to grow scheme.

We have had people in working on our outdoor space in the last few weeks. We shared a link with you a couple of week’s ago asking for your support of the above scheme. Thanks to those parents who contacted me to advise that our school wasn’t on the list. After a couple of emails, I can now confirm that we are on the list. Could I ask you to share with family and friends who shop at Morrison’s who may not have a school they are supporting and ask if they would consider us?

The plan is to use this to enhance our outdoor space. The link is:


I will continue to share information as I receive it and am conscious that half term is not far away so here is a start: 

Durham and District Leisure Group: DADLG   

This group arranges weekly clubs and holiday activities. It is open to those living in Durham and neighbouring authorities. There is an annual membership fee. Contact them for further information on

Telephone: 07592366454


Smile Through Sport has a half term programme organised.

They also have regular clubs running. Contact them for further information.


Our next PTA meeting, to be held on Microsoft teams is Monday 11th October from 13.30-14.30. We very much look forward to welcoming as many as possible to join us. We really need your suggestions and support to make the PTA a success.

Join Meeting Here


PTA Summer/Autumn Fayre

It has been lovely talking to and hearing from families about the fayre. This was a resounding success and a lot of people worked hard to ensure that it was entertaining and as safe as possible.

I am now able to share the financial information with you.

Funds raised for the PTA: £1167.16


Trader/stall income: £405.

Funds taken on tombolas, raffle, PTA stalls and catering: £1526.56

Costs, including hire of fairground ride, catering supplies, banners and stationary: £764.40

IQ Cards:

Final call to get your orders in for the Christmas cards if you wish to purchase them. Could you please get orders and payment to me no later than Wednesday 13th October?

PTA 100 Club:

Forms for the 100 club are attached. We still have a way to go to reach my ambitious target of selling 100 numbers. However, we have around 175 children in school and some staff also subscribe so it really should be achievable, and we would appreciate your support. To date, we have had 13 numbers taken.

Download Form Here:  100 Club Annual Subscriber agreement 2020-21

PTA Facebook page.

Have you joined? If not, please consider it to keep on top of latest news.

Join Here


My contact details:


Phone: 0191 2161811 x 3260.






NCS – Post 16 – Stop motion animation

This week saw a group of our amazing Post 16 students creating a wonderful stop motion animation as part of the ongoing NCS events.

Each student created their own model/s with varying degrees of support and worked as a team to film this short sequence.

We hope that you enjoy it; and remember to ‘Be Epic’, ‘Live Life’ and ‘Do Good’!

Brought to you by Post 16

Credits: LY/DO/JW/DW/FC/FW/NF/DK/AB/RG/LM/PH & Callum and Alex from the NCS

Message from the Headteacher: 1st October 2021

Hi everyone

I hope everyone is well, and Happy October to you all!

I wanted this week’s blog to have an outdoorsy theme, as we have committed very much to using Outdoor Learning in our curriculum. We think it’s so important for our children and students for so many reasons: working in teams, learning new skills, enjoyment, confidence, physical activity, being outside! And these are just a few!!!

We have quite a team to do this now: we already had John Strachan, who leads on this and has done so many good things for the school already; as well as Helen J who does so much for the sporting side. This year we’ve also been lucky enough to get Hannah T to come and work for us, and she is a great Outdoor Tutor. David is also very involved in this area, as are others. Together they really enhance our school in many ways, and make it a better place to be for the students

For example, Hannah has had some students building a den, or going on a Bear Hunt! And walking through the Thick Oozing Mud! Some of the students from 2SC were not overly keen on the texture of the mud, but did enjoy the wooshing snow storm and the deep dark cave

3RR have been on a hedgehog hunt, looking for clues using positional language. Fantastic!

4TS have been exploring the outdoors, enjoying throwing leaves around and then creating bird cakes and hanging them up in the outdoor learning area

Outdoor Garden

In addition to this, can you guys picture the little patch of land to the left of where the taxis drive into school? Well, John Strachan and some new friends from Virgin Media have been working on this area and making it into something great! We have a new useable space for all these great activities, where it’s fun to be outside and do all these lovely things. Thanks so much to the guys from Virgin Media and of course to John. We’ll have an official opening of our new garden some time soon! Here are some aerial pictures of it, ad the newish playground markings next door

The New Garden!

What they call TellyTubbyLand – the lower school play area

The National Citizen Service

And this seems to fit in well with that too. We’re all still very grateful to Louise Finlay and her marvellous team who have spent this week again in post-16 carrying out more exciting events with the National Citizen Service This week’s theme was Live Life

On Tuesday they focused on Mindfulness and Wellbeing, and students carried out random acts of kindness throughout school. They also took part in Pilates and relaxation sessions

On Wednesday, True Colours Theatre Company provided a tactile and immersive theatre session enjoyed by all. Sessions included singing, dancing, script-writing and making props. Phillip H facilitated a group of students to create a stop motion animation workshop, which is absolutely amazing, and for those of you of a certain age, reminded me of Morph! Students used Lego and created their own clay models. It is honestly brilliant

Thursday was Food for Thought where students were inspired to plan and budget to make afternoon tea for the whole group. Everyone played their part: shopping, cooking, decorating post-16 and organising the entertainment for an action packed afternoon, with everyone living their best lives!!

Huge thanks again to Louise F and the team. These things are so important for our students for so many reasons


Stars of the Week!

Harrison F has been nominated as Star of the Week for his helpful, happy and try-everything attitude on the Citizen Service activities. Well done, Harrison!!!

Callum Wilson is the other Star. For how he has transitioned into this school year, he’s been a ray of sunshine, and growing in confidence and maturity!!!!!!! Well done to Callum too!!!

Huge congratulations to both cracking boys

Annual School Project – Birds

Here’s your weekly dose of Bird News…

I’m sure most of you know Andy, who does a lot of music and other things with the classes. I’m really grateful to him for all the Bird Project work he is doing around the school. Here’s some of his latest news

  • 2BE, The Puffins, have been on a flight with an eagle this week, in our Experia Sensory Room using our fully immersive environment to experience flying through the sky with an eagle! Feeling the wind beneath their wings, the pupils really enjoyed swooping and soaring through the clouds. Amazing. That’s the first picture below…
  • 3AM, The Seagulls, have been practising flapping their wings and using their voices to ‘Caaa-caaw!!’ during their lessons – their ‘Seagull Song’ appears to have been a big hit!
  • 2SH, The Woodpeckers, have been painting their birds for display on the classroom door. They look fabulous! (the 2nd picture)

Slowly but surely, the habitats of our birds are taking shape around the school…

We are going to ask classes to find out what the collective noun (or the name for a group) of their chosen bird is. My favourite is a wisdom of owls!

And finally

This year we will be completing a harvest collection for a local charity called Feeding Families, who help families and individuals in need of emergency food parcels.

Please send any food donations into us by 20th October to allow for us to display it for our Friday Harvest assemblies. A list of preferred donations has gone out in a lost from our office

All the best. Have a lovely weekend


Family Information – 1st October

Family Liaison:

A few things have come up this year which I would like to mention:

Vulnerable Student Bursary: Forms have been sent to families of young people still at school aged between 16 and 19 years. These often cause confusion as it is divided into sections as follows: Vulnerable Student Bursary and Discretionary Student Bursary. I have helped some families with this form in the past. If you are unsure of your eligibility and would simply like to discuss, please phone or email me. It would be helpful to us if you would either return forms for my attention to school or let me know that you have applied direct to finance department. Whilst they manage the payments, we need this information for the School Census.

Benefits: See section below. Again, if you would like to discuss any financial assistance your family needs please let me know and I will try to help or signpost you to other experts!

Remember that I am here to offer support and if it is beyond my expertise I will find organisations that may help.

I very much look forward to being able to re-introduce in school coffee mornings as soon as it is deemed safe to do so. I know that many of you felt these to be helpful.

Contact-for families of disabled children:

This week I joined an online workshop for parents on “Money Matters”. This covered, in depth Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Carers Allowance, Universal Credits and some other money related information. I have asked for permission to share, but this has been declined. However, I can still use the information I have to help/guide if this is required. Please get in touch with me if you have questions about benefits. If I can’t answer, I will signpost you.

Do you claim DLA or Personal Independence Payments (PIP)? Do you claim Carers Allowance?

Would you be interested in workshops at school on these or would you be happy to attend the Contact ones online?

There is a wealth of information on the Contact website. In addition, they have a helpline, free from landlines: 0808 808 3555. Should you require more support on the benefits system than is on their website they will be able to get a welfare advisor to call you.

Please visit their website for further information.

The Sunshine Fund:

Do you live in Tyne and Wear, Northumberland or Co. Durham? If so, this may be of interest. They provide grants for equipment for children with disabilities up to their 19th birthday. Examples of things they have funded include specialist bath, all terrain wheelchair and a specialist p-pod chair. Grants are provided quarterly, but if you want to apply for the autumn one, the closing date is Monday 4th October.

Please visit their website below for more information:


I’d like to invite parents to join our meetings. We have a small group of extremely committed parents who have been on the committee for 1-4 years. Without parent support the PTA we simply couldn’t function. I am extremely grateful to committee members past and present for all you have done/do to keep us going. We have our first meeting of this academic year scheduled for Monday 11th October from 13:30-14:30. This meeting will be via Microsoft teams and we would love you to join us. The link is here:


IQ Cards:

Most of you will have received a copy of your child’s drawing by now. Orders have started coming in and I really appreciate your giving me enough time to do my bit. The closing date will be upon us sooner than you think. They will be collected from school on Friday 15th October; however please get your orders in no later than Wednesday 13th as the courier could arrive early in the day. I hope that you like them; the ones I have seen are lovely.

PTA 100 Club:

Forms for the 100 club are attached. We still have a way to go to reach my ambitious target of selling 100 numbers. However, we have around 175 children in school and some staff also subscribe so it really should be achievable, and we would appreciate your support.

PTA 100 Club Registration Form

PTA Facebook page.

Have you joined? If not, please click here to join

My contact details

Phone: 0191 2161811 x 3260.

Parent views: Relationships, Sex and Health Education outcomes for Secondary and Relationships and Health Education outcomes for Primary schools in 2020

The Government introduced new Relationships, Sex and Health Education outcomes for Secondary and Relationships and Health Education outcomes for Primary schools in 2020. We are currently reviewing and updating our curriculum in line with these outcomes as well as planning bespoke and individualised learning of RSHE to adequately prepare our young people for adulthood.

We would love to hear your opinions on the new statutory outcomes to help us shape our own, unique PH values when delivering this curriculum; you can have your say by using the links below to complete our survey:

For parents and carers of Primary school students (Year 6 and below):

For parents and carers of Secondary school students (Year 7 and above): 



Family Information – 24th September 2021

The Fayre

Our postponed summer fayre took place on Saturday 18th September and was a huge success. We had students and families past and present and ALL feedback was positive. Families were pleased to see each other face to face as were we. Happy, smiling faces throughout the day. The weather helped and the sun shone. Here are a few photos from the day. I will update with the funds raised for the PTA once confirmed and costs included. However, on behalf of the PTA committee I want to say that our aim was to provide a fun filled day for families, allowing many who have shielded or been isolated throughout the pandemic to meet in a COVID safe environment. I feel that this was achieved.

PTA 100 Club

I would like to thank those who have already joined the 100 Club. Just to explain what this is: cost is £12 for the year. There are 12 draws which we tend to do 6 monthly (academic year). Of the £12, £6 goes to PTA funds and covers the cost of annual memberships including Parentkind (which keeps us legal) and, pre COVID school memberships of The Tim Lamb Centre and The National Trust (education memberships). The latter are for school use only. The remaining £6 goes to the winners of the draws and is divided accordingly. So, if we sold 100 numbers, winners would receive £50. We have never managed that; wouldn’t it be great if we could do this year. The form is available from me.

IQ Cards

Some of you will remember the lovely Christmas cards designed by students last year. These proved very popular, and we are taking part again this year. Soon, if not already a photo of your child’s design and order form will be sent home. I will send reminders but the date on the form is the day they will be collected from school, so orders need to be in no later than Wednesday 13th so that we are prepared. If you do place an order, please let the class team know that it is in the student’s bag. We have chosen this date so that completed orders are with you in early December.

Workshop For Families

We are looking at providing some workshops online until we can safely return to face-to-face sessions. In order to assist planning, it would be very useful if families would contact me and let me know what information would help you. In the past, I have provided choices but feel it better that you inform me of your priorities. We are looking to arrange one on E-Safety, one which is very important, and details will be shared once confirmed.

Facebook – PTA Group

If you haven’t joined yet click here

This is a closed group for parents, family members, students over the age of 13 and staff. Please do not invite professionals to join as it is another means of sharing information with and from you. There are some questions which must be answered before you are accepted. Quite simple ones, just the name of your child so that you join the right group. We have had requests from parents at our other school/college, but this can be confusing. We all offer different things and aren’t in competition, I hope.

Outdoor Space

As many of you will be aware, we are currently improving all our outdoor spaces and the Morrisons Good to Grow voucher scheme would help greatly towards these improvements.

So, if you shop at Morrisons please donate your tokens via the app or at 


Best wishes,
Eileen Robinson
Family Liaison Officer

Message from the Headteacher: 24th September 2021

Hi everyone

Please do take a moment to look at both the Covid part of the blog, and the family area too, where there is some very nice stuff from Eileen, particularly about the……

Autumn Fayre

Really great to meet so many of you at the Autumn Fayre. My favourite thing on those days is seeing the children out of school time and doing Saturday stuff, like going on rides and eating sweets! It’s also nice to see staff and their own families in a different context. Thanks so much to you for coming, even if you just popped by for a minute. There was so much there to do and see, and it was such a good turnout! I grew up going to those things every year when I was a child, because my mum basically had the same job as I do now (and that meant I had no choice!) so it’s something I really enjoy

Of course, we’re very lucky in our school, because of several things: one of those is the PTA, which is a real strength of the school, full of fabulous and dedicated people. Thanks so much to them for all of this. Another is that we have so many committed staff, and of course our very own Family Liaison Officer Eileen, ably assisted by Jo, and of course many others, such as Claire

Hopefully we can do it all again in ten months, as long as Eileen has had a sit-down before then! 😊This is the sort of thing that makes the school good, I’m pretty convinced, and long may it continue. Thanks for your support in all its various forms, and to everyone who was involved in any way

And we were lucky with the weather! And the ferrets went down well!

The National Citizen Service

We’re all very grateful to Louise Finlay and her marvellous team who have spent this week in post-16 carrying out some exciting events with the National Citizen Service around the region, in Parks and Activity Centres. The students have had an amazing time doing all sorts of outdoor activities, such as using a climbing wall, bushcraft, exploration, orienteering, archery, kayaking, circus skills and many more! It’s so great to see the students getting out and taking part in these things. These are the days that you remember when you’ve left school!

Anyone who took part has to be a Star of the Week! That’s 38 Stars who participated!!!

On a serious note, for so many of our young people to do so much adventurous activity is a testament to their courage and spirit, and we believe that all of it helps with things like self-confidence, self-esteem, resilience, skills, health, and stimulating interest in new areas

And it’s also a great feat of organisation, so huge thanks again to the entire team, especially Finners. A lot of work goes into these things



The Climb!                                               I’m on a Boat with Ruth and Grace


Departmental Leads      

Thanks for your kind words about the Departmental Leads who do so much in the school every day. And huge thanks to them again, as I am mentioning them again: that’s Tracy, Claire, Sarah, Louise F. They really do run the school, thank goodness!


Ninja Star of the Week! 

Aoife Smark is the first student this year to achieve the Grandmaster Numeracy Ninja Status, gaining a Black Belt!!!!!!!! This is a really good and big achievement, and so Aoife is definitely a Ninja Star of the Week!


Annual School Project – Birds


Andy has been exploring the sounds that different birds make this week in classes by listening to bird calls, using ‘professional bird call whistles’

He is going to incorporate everyone’s favourite bird calls into actual songs!

In class, they’ve also been following the sounds of different birds around the room, in school and outside – listening to the different volume and pitch of each – there were seven: curlew, skylark, nightingale, cuckoo, duck (a firm favourite with our pupils!) crow and dove

A member of staff, Ruth, was able to guess all seven bird calls, just by hearing them: seriously impressive! I wonder if any of our pupils will manage the same feat, or whether any parents might? 😊

a curlew

Let us know if there’s any ideas you have for the Bird Project. Thanks, and thanks to Andy


And finally

Have a great weekend, especially while the weather is still good. Next week we’re hoping that John Strachan’s work that he’s organised will be done on the patch of land near where the taxis come into the school, and that really will transform that area, meaning that we can do more Outdoor Learning and other generally nice things! Look out for it, and thanks to John and the great parent of a colleague who is doing it. I’ll update about that and them next time, or when it’s done.

Below are some more NCS pictures which are lovely!

All the best