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.

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.






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.

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