Message from John S, Headteacher: 21st January 2022

Hi there everyone

I hope that January is treating you well, and that the winter and Covid aren’t having too much of a negative effect on whatever you’re doing. The week’s gone really quickly in school, which I think is probably a good sign! It means that it was probably quite a nice week, and properly busy. Covid is still very much with us of course, and many of you and we are making compromises, so thank you for that. On the other hand we have had a lot of lovely things happening, from Outdoor Learning, to using the new Accessible Roundabout, welcoming a few new staff, and pressing ahead with lots of school-type things. I hope this week’s blog gives you a flavour of some of those. Cheers

Assessment & Progress: 1.Therapy

I said last week that I would talk for a few weeks about all the different ways that Progress is measured in the school, and the first and most obvious one is therapy

Before I do, a quick thanks for sending back the Key Drivers forms – we’re really excited about involving you more in these discussions about Assessment and Progress

So: Therapy is the first way that it’s obvious that our pupils here make progress. It’s why many of you, I’m sure, sent your son or daughter here, and it’s the thing that makes us different to many other schools of our type. It isn’t just that we have one or two, but we have a whole army of great physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, and Speech & Language Therapists who work here, and it’s fantastic. It’s one of the reasons that I came here too, because it really is quite different. We’re also lucky to have a counsellor and part-time Educational Psychologist, as well as a Nursing Team

All the therapists are making assessments all the time, and in a variety of ways. It’s actually quite inspiring to see them working with teachers and support staff. Their assessments begin when we are looking at children who have been referred here with the initial assessments that they do, and then continue with deciding on Therapy Outcome Measures, writing ETCH Reports, Annual Reviews, creating Therapy targets, writing Case Notes, and all sorts of other measurements and assessments, some of which are complex and profound. Their work is very important. They are the central part of our work here in making a difference to our pupils’ lives, and we’re very lucky to have them

The Class Team is the key group here and although difficulties always arise in the course of our work, the Class Team is the single best way that children make progress, because everyone works together. They are constantly monitoring each child’s progress in therapy, and always intervening when necessary to ensure pupils continue to make progress as we would expect, or better!

Next week, I’ll briefly talk about EHC Outcomes. I hope it’s helpful and interesting to hear about assessment measures in this way

 You said, we listened: Office Hours Opening

We would like to start a “You said, we listened” part of the blog, to show that we are trying to listen to parents/carers and pupils, to consult, and to try and improve our school community by listening to everyone

The first one in this section then is the hours that our school office is going to be open. When I became the Head in February the hours were 8.30 – 4.30, and 4pm on Fridays. Talking to some of you – and thanks very much if you have helped us with this decision – we can see that it may be more supportive sometimes if you were able to make contact with the office more often than that, so we have now got staffing in place and arranged it so that from the 1st February the office’s hours will be 8-5 Monday to Friday. Hopefully that will give anyone the chance to ring even if their child gets back late, or to phone earlier if that suits. We understand that many of our parents are very busy, and that contact of this kind is important

Thanks to all who helped this happen

We can’t do everything that everybody wants of course, and often people want different things, but we can listen, and we’re committed to finding more ways of doing so

Parent Governor

And a reminder about the voting for Parent Governor. Thanks for voting already if you have done. You have until 4pm next Friday, the 28th Jan.  We’ll get a few spares printed, as there usually a few late ones to come and we don’t want to run out! It will be good to get this sorted

Covid

Obviously things are happening across the country and in the news with Covid

There is a national relaxation of face coverings that is happening right now everywhere, it seems. This includes a relaxation of face coverings in classrooms. However, we’ll support pupils if they want to keep wearing them, and we’ll be continuing our current measures for staff due to us being in outbreak, as agreed with the Director of North Tyneside Public Health team. Different people have differing thoughts on this topic, it’s quite sensitive and even a bit controversial, but we will continue to take advice, and to do our best to do whatever seems in the best interests of our pupils and staff. Yet again, thanks for your support with this approach generally. I think this is another moment to cross our fingers with regard to the virus and hope that we have turned a corner

Bird Watch

With Christmas and whatnot, we’ve done a bit less on our Annual School Bird Project recently – we’ll get back to it more in the Spring and Summer

Aidan and Finlay in Philip’s class have created bird feeders this week in their project session by adding sticks and moss to a recycled bottle. The class had already researched the importance of feeding the birds during the winter months, and next week they’ll be finding a suitable place for the feeder in our Outdoor Learning area. We’ll be observing the success of the feeders by filming them over the course of a day using a GoPro. Fingers crossed we get some visitors! Here they are!

Aidan and Finlay keeping an eye on the birds in the winter months

Subject Focus – STEM again

Here are some of the things that the students said about the STEM project. It’s good when we get the students’ direct voices into anything

Kristian: I liked the murder part

Tatiana: I enjoyed making the trip to catch a vampire. I liked making my shooter

Faith: My favourite part was the Woolly Mammoth

Ella-Rose: I liked meeting new friends

[different classes were put together]

Brian: I liked space!!!!!

Sid: I liked the jungles, space, and the shapes!

Santi: I liked the monsters!


Some of these comments are great too! 

 

David has taken some lovely pictures of the school. Enjoy

What everyone calls Teletubbyland!

The Quad, looking a bit wet

Nice view of things

A nice, wider view of things

The latest state of the Outdoor Garden

 

Accessible Roundabout

The students seem to have really enjoyed playing on the accessible roundabout. Thanks again to those responsible for us getting it! In fact a few of them this week have absolutely loved it, like Antony’s class, where Amelia wasn’t too pleased when it achieved ‘Bat Out of Hell’ speed. ML……RIP. Have a look at them playing on it

Jay                                                                  Benjamin

Amelia                                                John                                                  Joseph

What a great class!!!!

Kayden Korner

That Kayden is a multi-talented chap, you know. Sometimes it’s poems, sometimes it’s jokes. But today, it’s a fun fact. Here it is:

Most Axolotl have very poor eyesight they often end up eating each other

They are still very cute though

 

This week the ELTBA Star of the Week goes…..to the lovely…Zacharia in Skylarks.  He has been working super hard both at home and school on his adding and counting on from a given number and the class team are extremely proud of him and his perseverance. Wow, Zach, that’s fabulous, great work. Clearly a STAR!!!

In Engagement, it’s…………………Ameen!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Class Team are really proud of Ameen, who as well as being a great guy has shown great resilience and bravery in a lot of things he’s been doing this week. These are great things to say about someone, Ameen, so huge congratulations for being this week’s big old STAR!!!

In terms of all of those students in Key Stage 4, we were all so proud of them when they were doing STEM Week last week that we wanted to nominate them all. STEM subjects are great for our students, and most seemed to really enjoy themselves, which is lovely to see. The extra preparations and all that the staff had put in were all well worth it, and so we wanted to say a big well done to all of those five classes, making them all STEM STARS!!!

Finally

The Wellbeing Project, Beating the Odds, that involves staff training, linking with other organisations & such-like, input from Louise B the Ed Psych and special timetable collapse days, is having its next special day on the 11th February. The sub-topic will be ‘Coping’, and it coincides with Children’s Mental Health Week which is perfect for our aim for the project which is to build resilience. People have been planning it this week

Finally finally….

Have a lovely weekend. I thought it was ging to be terrible weather in the winter when I moved to the North-East (jk!) but it’s really very mild and really nice most of the time it seems. Hope I haven’t jinxed it. Also hope you can make the most of it, and we’ll get back on the school train next week

Cheers

John S

Message from John S:, Headteacher: 14th January 2022

Hello there everyone

How is the new year going for you all? The holiday period seems like quite a long time ago already, but to be honest I always prefer it when we have got stuck into the term, rather than at the beginning or end, and we are underway with all the things we want to be doing in the school. I hope things are going well for you in January, which can be a challenging month….. 😊

Obviously we’ve had a busy time with Covid this week, with all the positive tests and close contacts, but it’s important for us not to focus too much on that to the detriment of real school stuff – we need to be a proper school as well. I think we’ve done that this week with loads of good lessons & projects, some new staff starting, and lots of exciting developments in literacy, therapies and other areas. I’ll get around to talking about all of them in time

Assessment

Please do try and find the time to have a look at the Key Drivers form that we’ve sent out. This is about involving you more in our assessments and our curriculum, and us doing more consulting & listening. I’m pretty sure that the best schools have parents & carers as strong partners, and we really want to get better at that

For example, thinking about all the assessments that happen here, by therapists and teachers and others, we want to get to a place where we are reporting all of these to you every term, and getting your feedback on some of them, like the Key Drivers or those Case Studies that you have been contributing to (thank for those by the way, they are great, and we are going to keep on making them better). We’re going to blog more information about all of our assessments; we’re going to put some better stuff on the website about our curriculum; we’re going to get our curriculum leaders to organise either in-person or Teams sessions to explain things well, from Therapy to Exams. In short, we just want to communicate better with you about all the things we do in school particularly when it comes to the progress of our pupils

Parent Governor

We’ve sent out the voting papers for this today, so hopefully you’ve got them by now. Thanks to those who’ve put their names forward for this. It’s quite a commitment being a governor, so we’re very grateful to anyone who wants to make that commitment. We already have one very good parent governor, and it would be great to have another. Good schools have good governing bodies, and we’re looking forward to working with a full governing body, so thank you

Please do vote!

Covid

Thank you for being understanding and flexible with us over Covid. It’s difficult, and we are going to have to hold on during the winter whilst lots of people are getting positive tests and being named as close contacts. We’re meeting every day to work out the best way to deploy staff, and to work out what we can do to keep things safe and high quality. But we can’t do that without you, and we’re grateful that you’re being understanding during this time. Fingers crossed for the spring

Subject Focus – STEM Week

So we said last week about how STEM is on the Government agenda, and designed to address skill shortages in engineering, and how we want to work on this with our students with Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths skills and approaches. It’s been great this week to see the KS4 students doing this in various topics such as: planning to go and live on Mars; talking about defrosting woolly mammoths; capturing vampires!!!!!!!!!!! and being detectives on murder mysteries (yes, it was me who was murdered; can’t imagine why the teachers thought of that…..)

It really was quite inspiring, well done to all the students, especially those for whom this isn’t their favourite subject – I always admire that – and a big thank you to all the staff who worked really hard preparing this

Have a look at these pictures, they’re grouped by the topics they did during the week

“Capture the Beast!”

Environmental Bio-Chemistry

Crime Scene

Space

erm, some staff………

Accessible Roundabout

Well, we finally got our accessible roundabout in. This feels like it has been a bit of a saga, and certainly predates me (!) but as far as I can tell, thanks to the fantastic fund-raising efforts of a few parents, such as the ones of the fabulous Milly and Jack shown here, and other efforts by several other people to actually get it, we have after various delays got this installed. Huge huge thanks to all involved. I think some children will really enjoy being on it. It’s a nice thing to have here in the playground – especially on a sunny day like today! Cheers again to all on this

Watch the Video here

You spin me round: Milly and Jack!

Kayden Korner

Great to have Kayden Korner up and running again this year. I seem to remember that we had a joke from the man himself last week, but this week we’ve gone back to one of his specialities, another of his poems. Kayden even emails these to me himself, so cheers Kayden. Here it is. Great stuff

 

This week our ELTBA star of the week is Owen in Magpies.  Owen has had a really calm and positive week in the class and has contributed confidently in class discussions and listened to other people’s ideas.  He has been amazing! Wow, Owen, that is definitely STAR!!! stuff, congratulations!

Nieve has been amazing since coming back, in all sorts of ways, with loads of smiles, giggles and lots of excellent sensory work. Lovely to have her back, and Nieve is clearly a complete STAR!!!

Aidan has worked super-hard this week, developing his independence and safety skills – and can make stuff on his own! (Goodness me, I couldn’t at that age). Aidan was very proud and told all his friends about his achievements! Aidan’s parents, therapists and the class team are very proud of him! That’s a perfect STAR!!! right there! Well done!

Also a Star of the Week!

Another STAR!!! now, Bobbie – and how brilliantly is he doing in the school generally? (Answer: brilliantly)

Bobbie has been asking to ride one of the school bikes. Helen eventually got it sorted and look! We have one happy boy

Finally

You remember our Wellbeing Project, Beating the Odds? Well the next special day for this is on 11th February, and the topic will be ‘Coping’ which will be great and something to look out for and look forward to. It coincides with Children’s Mental Health Week which you can read about here https://www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk/#:~:text=Children’s%20Mental%20Health%20Week%20is,take%20part%20in%20the%20week. and is perfect for our aim for the project which is to build resilience. I’ll talk about it as time goes on

Finally finally….

Came across this, looks like it might be kind of fun…..

 

Good luck!

All the best for the weekend. Good Health!

John S

New Year Message from John S: 7th January 2022

Hello there everyone

Happy New Year. I hope that 2022 brings you what you wish for, and is better than 2021! Thanks for your support last term, especially as had to make so many changes because of Covid ☹ We’re hoping that things will start to get better this year, although it’s been a very difficult start

It’s good to be back. This year will be a big year for many of our pupils, if they may be taking exams, or leaving us, or passing some kind of milestone, and we’ll be thinking a great deal about what’s best for them as they enter the next phase of their life. One of the most important things for us to think about for every young person here is their Preparation for Adulthood, and we’ll be doing a lot of work on that for the rest of the year to make sure that whenever our students move on, that they’ve had as much helpful input and as many helpful sessions as possible to prepare them for what comes next

Well, obviously not so much to actually show you in terms of work this week, so a shorter blog, but some things to talk about anyway, which are hopefully interesting to you

It was brilliant to see some of you logging in to the Quizmas, thanks for doing that. I’ve got everything crossed that we can do more and better things this year

Our Key Drivers: Wellbeing, Communication, Independence

I know that I’ve gone on about this a few times now, but I would appreciate it if you could have another quick read of the post on Key Drivers that we did a few days ago

It’s basically asking you guys to be actively involved in assessment in the school, and in discussions around the topics that we do. I think that if we can be better at directly involving you all with our classroom work here, then we’ll be a better school as a result. Let’s see how it goes anyway

We’ll send things out early next week on this to make a start. Thanks

Parents/Carers Views: Our Key Drivers: Wellbeing, Communication, Independence

Parent Governor

Thanks to those who’ve put their names forward for this. We’ll send out the ballot papers next week. We’re really looking forward to working with a full governing body, and this will help, so it’s great news

Please do look out for the papers, and vote!

Covid

I hope you’re all as well as you can be from a Covid point of view; it’s hard at the moment for everyone, isn’t it? Infection rates are very high across the country and I think that rates amongst our staff are going to go up before they go down. We do understand how difficult this all is at home for you, and we’re very sorry about that. We are trying all the time to organise staff and classes to minimise disruption and to make things as good as they can be, but we do appreciate how frustrating many things are at this time. We’re being as flexible as we can, and we’re grateful that you are too. I think we’re just going to have to get through the winter as best we can, and then hope that things get better again, this time for good! We’ll stay open and be as much of a proper school as we can be

To that end, Rebecca and Claire have organised a nice week for some of the secondary students, and that serves very nicely as our subject focus for next week. Often doing these kinds of different timetable arrangements actually help with staffing too, so hopefully we can do something good that also makes things better!

Subject Focus – STEM Week

STEM is high on the Government’s agenda for schools, to address a current skills shortage in the engineering industry. Skilled trade workers, engineers and technicians are the most sought-after jobs globally currently, and we would like to prepare our students for this by beginning to develop these skills within school

STEM is made up of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths skills, brought together to support independence and communication skills within pupils, and allow for them to plan, do, review, and evaluate their own thinking and working, as well as developing group work skills

Next week Key Stage 4 will work together to complete a STEM week comprising several challenges and work projects, focusing on different skills bases, and developing their independent thinking.  This will involve staff from Key Stage 4 and Post-16 supporting project-based learning and using skills-based thinking to guide pupils through challenges

We will create a blogpost next week showing what we have learnt, developed, and created during the week, and will hopefully role this out to other areas of school during the school year – there are some KS3 pupils for example that I think would love this approach!

Subject Focus for the last week of half term beginning 14th February – Art Week, specifically Humanities through Art

We do have Art Week every year – last week it was Literacy and Art – and this year it will be Humanities through Art. Another nice thing to look forward to, and something to help us with the winter blues at the same time. That’ll produce a fair few nice photos

Love to MVE

And thinking of things that are going to be coming up…….we’ve had MOVE to Spook, and we’ve had MOVing in a Winter Wonderland……….well the one for this half term with be Love to M❤VE!!!!!!! Something to look forward to…..

So looking forward to that!

Jay with Tine during the MOVing in a Winter Wonderland version in December

What have the team got in store for February?

Lower School Assembly

That other John S, John Strachan, took the first Lower School Assembly today, on New Year. Assemblies are great for our students, a really good way of sharing work and messages, of coming together, and for developing confidence and conversations. Well done to all the pupils who take part! All those who take part in these are definitely STARs!!!, but here are a few more

 Stars of the Week

We have Harry attached from Woodpeckers. Harry has been doing an excellent job keeping the lower school quad area clean and tidy from leaves. He was so excited to show staff his new sweeping brush. What a lovely thing to make you STAR!!! of the week, Harry, well done!

Also a Star of the Week!

Another star of the week is Nikhit in Blackbirds.  He has been working super hard in mental maths adding up 2, 2-digit numbers crossing 100 with no visual support at all. His team are extremely proud of him. Wow, proper Maths, and great work, Nikhit, that’s proper STAR!!! quality

  Kayden’s korner 

This is a great one to start the year with

What did the triangle say to the circle?

You’re pointless!

Finally

We have several new pupils starting this week, which is lovely! It’s so good to see especially younger ones coming to us, and we do truly hope that their time with us is fruitful, beneficial and happy, for them and their families; you are all very welcome. That means that as of today we have 173 pupils in the school – which I think is a lot! We still have a lot of families wanting to send their children here, and obviously that’s difficult for us right now with the numbers we have, but things change all the time

If you’re new, you may want to join our marvellous PTA! They are terrific, and the only thing that would make them better would be if more people were involved!!!!!!!!!

As I said at the top, have a lovely 2022. The very best of luck for the whole year, and I hope that we can move forward together and do good work which benefits the children. Thanks for your support in 2021

John S

COVID-19 update – Monday 3 January 2022

Dear Parents and Carers

A very Happy New Year to you all, and I do hope that the whole holiday has been a lovely one for you!

You will be aware that a lot has happened in the past few weeks with regard to Covid and that cases are rising a great deal locally. New guidance was issued very recently.

In school we will be continuing with bubbles and with staff wearing masks and face coverings. We will also be ventilating inside areas wherever we can. The government now advises that secondary aged children should wear a mask or face covering in lessons, so please let your Class Teacher know if you want us to support your child in doing this. We’ll continue to have a strong focus on hands, face & space and will update our school risk assessment once we’ve fully digested the DfE guidance

The government have asked us to support LFD testing of secondary aged children as they return to school. We’ll send out a form on Googledocs about this very soon.

We recommend that those who can take an LFD test prior to their return to school. Staff will also be participating in these regularly to detect and minimise the spread. We will continue in-school student testing where we have been.

Our position is that we go with guidance, but with all the necessary flexibility that our children need, and where things are recommendations, we try and work out what on balance is best for our pupils.

Staffing, as you may expect, is already under pressure with various confirmed and suspected positive cases. We are still being informed of positive cases, so please keep a watch out for any additional communications from us. We don’t know exactly how things will develop.

In order to protect our pupils and staff, please don’t send your child to school if they are poorly in any way. If they have any Covid or cold-like symptom then they should remain at home.

As always, thank you for your ongoing support of the school – it means a great deal. Please let us know of any positive tests or cases as this supports our efforts to track.

With best wishes for the new year and the new school term, which we will of course still be pressing on with!

Kind regards

John S

 

Hydro Closure

Due to our current outbreak status, Public Health have advised that we do all we can to minimise the transmission of Covid-19. We have therefore taken the decision to close the hydrotherapy pool this week due to the extreme proximity between staff and students in these sessions. We apologise for this, but please be reassured that the students will participate in an alternative land based physio session to ensure they have opportunities to engage in changes of position and motor development. Please contact your child’s physiotherapist if you have any questions.

Enterprise Group: Christmas products for sale

Our Enterprise group have been making Christmas goodies which are available to purchase for any last minute Christmas gifts.

If you would like to purchase any of the items please send a note with your child along with payment and we will ensure they are sent home to you by the end of the week.

Parents/Carers Views: Our Key Drivers: Wellbeing, Communication, Independence

For several years now the school has had three Key Drivers underpinning its work: Wellbeing, Communication, and Independence. They’re on the website and on key documents. These are crucial strands and themes for us because they represent the essential areas that our students need to do well in to thrive in society. We’d like your opinion on how your child is progressing in these areas

Please find information via the following link:  6 Key Drivers

Christmas Carols around the Tree update

Unfortunately, we find ourselves in the position where we are experiencing an increased number of positive covid cases in school and as a result we are in Outbreak.  We are in constant dialogue with our local Public Health team and in order to minimise any risk to families over the Christmas period, we feel we must take the decision to cancel our Christmas Carols around the Tree event on Thursday.

We understand how important these events are for our children and their families and we plan to replace this with a whole school Percy Quizmas event, which will be held virtually by Teams at 2pm Thursday 14th where all parents and carers are welcome to join.

There will be prizes for children and also our families which will include:

  • 1st – Festive bouquet by Remy & Rose
  • 2nd – Christmas wreath made by the Post 16 Enterprise group
  • 3rd – Chocolate sprouts!!

A Teams link to the event will be shared with all parents in due course.

We will be joined at the event by Rev Sarah Moon, Minister of Killingworth Parish.

Whilst we appreciate how disappointing this will be for you, we feel at this time that this is the best course of action to minimise risk particularly in the run up to the festive season, however we can assure you that there will be equal amounts of fun to be had whilst in the comfort and warmth of your own home!

Percy Hedley School Senior Leadership Team

Message from John, the Headteacher: 10th December 2021

Hello all

Well, it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas here, and I’m sure it’ll feel even more like Christmas next week. It’s my first one here, and it’s a lovely atmosphere, even although we are having to be sensible and careful because of Covid, and we are back in bubbles. One thing I’ve learnt about Christmas up here, is that people really do have a lot of Christmas Jumpers! Marvellous

It’s a pity we can’t do all the things that we want to do, and I’m sure it must have been very difficult last year, but we can do some things, so hopefully we may see some of you who can make it on Thursday – if you do, though, please check the timings as that’s now in bubbles. I hope we do see you. The Rev Sarah Moon is coming, and so is our Chair of Governors and Trustee Susan. I’ll have my big coat on, and it will at least be something rather than nothing!

Anyway, on with other business! Do you remember MOVE to Spook at Hallowe’en? Well, those fabulous Physios and others have been at it again and done a Christmas version, MOVing in a Winter Wonderland, and it’s fabulous. It’s just been so nice to see all the things they’ve been doing, and classes going down there and taking part. Everyone has been wonderful about it and with it. Have a look at this link

 

And a here are a few still pictures as well. As well as being fun and pleasant, this is just such good practice! They’re doing proper physiotherapy and intervention but making it a wonderful experience at the same time. We’re very lucky to have them. What on earth will they come up with next? Have a look at these and please do play the video on the link

(We posted something out a little while ago about MOVE, so please do have a look at that if you want to or have a chat with someone at the school. Here’s a link to that post: https://phs.percyhedley.org.uk/introduction-to-move/)

Even better, here are some things that the children said about it

Drae: I liked dancing

Gracey: I like the games

Kian popped 51 balloons!

Bobby: I liked throwing snowballs

Katie: It was good because it gets people moving. I like the sensory activities

Aiden: It was so much fun. The snowballs were best

Philip: I really enjoyed it because I liked all the different games you could do. I had fun

Owen: My favourite was Hook-a-Candy-Cane

Ethan: I liked the snowballs. I wanted to break the ice

Josh: I liked the little house

Seb: I liked the lights and music

Zac: I would like to do it again next year

 

Great to hear directly from the children!

Kayden Korner

OK, this is a new thing. Kayden is a complete hero who writes amazing poems (and tells jokes as well). I love reading and hearing his poems, and Pam often puts them on the wall in school too. Here’s a great one about Winter. This is really great, thanks Kayden

Group of the Week – 4JF

I never seem to talk about this class, but they’ve done some very good things recently. They made some clay snowmen in art this week. Great to see people doing creative subjects as well as other ones

 

Stars of the Week! 

Now for the STARS of the Week

Our school is structured into four Curriculum PathwaysEngagement, ELTBA, Accreditation and Preparation for Adulthood

 Let’s have a look at who the Star of the Week for the Engagement Pathway is first. Well, yesterday, they had a trip out, walking up to Killingworth for lunch. Gracey took her VOCA and for the first time used it to communicate with a complete stranger at the till to order her own meal. Gracey was so brave and so chuffed with herself, smiling ear to ear. The whole team were so proud of her! Gracey = STAR!!!

The team and I thought we would share this lovely photo with you of Jack Gilbert-Ovens on Rebound Therapy. Jack was extremely engaged during the sessions. He was eager to communicate and used a switch to ask for ‘more’ bouncing. His smile says it all! STAR!!!

This week the ELTBA Star of the Week is Lucas in 3RM Starlings.  Lucas has been doing some fantastic work in IT lessons looking at staying safe online. He has also had brilliant ideas and shared them confidently with the rest of the class.  As part of the work Lucas had to create a PowerPoint to show what he knows and the whole team said “WOW”. Amazing. What a great report. Well done, Lucas, complete STAR!!!

On to KS4, who all seem to have worked hard this week, and we have two Stars. First, Benjamin, who has shown an excellent attitude to Home Learning, which is a really important and mature thing to do. Well done, Benjamin, total STAR!!!

Second, the amazing Harrison, who has shown great perseverance and resilience all week, and particularly during his English assessment. Great stuff, Harrison, what a STAR!!!

Loads of good things always happen in post-16. Here are some of them

Bradley has been an excellent classmate – very kind and helpful. Thanks Bradley and well done, these are crucial qualities for life in general! You are obviously a STAR!!!

Now, for showing great resilience when things have changed for also for being her usual sunny self is…..Milly!!! Well done, Milly, that’s a really nice thing to say about someone! STAR!!!

And last but certainly not least we have Christopher. Christopher is a Star of the Week for showing a fabulous attitude and for making wonderful contributions in a class debate. I would certainly have liked to have listened to that debate. Cheers Chris, you are a STAR!!!

Mind you, we also have an actual Film STAR!!! of the Week. If you don’t know, Teddy is a bona fide star (I hope he doesn’t forget us when he’s world famous), and is in this film that looks quite Christmassy. Nice one, Teddy, go for it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcpu8XMsV38. Here he is!

Relationship, Sex, Health Education (RSHE) Parent Forum – I’m putting this on again!

This area is obviously different depending on the students’ ages and stages. Here’s a message from Jo, Leanne and Steffi

We would like to organise a parent forum for the Spring 2022 Term, and it would be great to gather more results before we evaluate all the date. This is the last chance to get involved before the Forum so please use the links below to access. Further details about the will follow in the Spring Term. 

For parents and carers of Primary school students (Year 6 and below): https://forms.gle/6SHxjEMESaxyDQpT6

For parents and carers of Secondary school students (Year 7 and above): https://forms.gle/14JhyFhFBxWXmXh5A 

I know that this can be a very sensitive area for some parents – fair enough! – so please do get in touch with your Class Teacher, or someone else, or have your say on the links or in the Forum itself – please do, the more views we have, the better

Outdoor Learning – one of my favourite things ever!

Over this term a group of KS4 pupils have been taking part in Outdoor Learning with David as part of their Creative Options carousel. They have had the opportunity to build both natural and tarpaulin shelters, cook on fires, tie knots and create a catapult using pioneering skills amongst other activities. This week they had fun taking part in some Christmas-themed games and activities. This started with Reindeer Ring Toss before being followed by human Christmas trees and finishing with some rounds of snowball hot potato. The students have all enjoyed the sessions and another group will have an opportunity to experience Outdoor Learning during the summer term. Here’s a few pictures

Charlie’s Jokes of the Week!

 What did the fish say when he swam into a wall?

Dam!!!!!!!!!!! 😊😊😊

What’s a snowman’s favourite food?

Ice burg-ers!!!!!!!!!!

The jokester himself – Charlie!! Two jokes this week!

 

 Finally

The staff and pupils at Percy Hedley School would like to thank SOS Group Ltd for the kind donation of a Christmas Tree.  An extra thanks Goes to Ben Fletcher who made all the arrangements to make this possible. Have a look at these Three Wise Men…………. 🙂

Finally! Again

  Upper School Talent Show – Monday 13thDecember (pm)

  Christmas Lunch Day – Tuesday 14thDecember

  Carols around the Tree – Thursday 16thDecember – Covid restrictions allowing this will be an event that parents are invited to. This will now be in bubbles because of our Covid status, and so will be at different times: Green 9.30am; Yellow 11.00am; Blue 2.00pm  Please return your reply slips to let us know who is coming!!  NB: The other events are pupils only due to current restrictions

Hope your advent calendars still have some chocolate in them, and that you have something nice lined up for the weekend, with bearable weather. It would be great to see you next week, and over time, and when of course things are a bit easier for all of us. Thanks for your support, all the best and take care

John

Message from John, the Headteacher: 3rd December 2021

Hello all

It’s December! (That’s a Harry Potter one, I just liked the look of it)

It’s starting to get busy here in a Christmassy way, and it all feels very nice. As I wrote, there are many versions of Christmas jumpers being worn by lots of different folk – thanks for taking the time to engage this if you were able to. It’s nice to engage in things when you want to or when you can, but we really do recognise that sometimes people are busy, or can’t, and we hope that when we put things on, it’s taken in the spirit of being fun and optional, rather than anything that’s pressurised or a hassle. That goes for lots of things in schools I think! Anyway, Happy Advent, if that’s your thing! And Happy Friday if it isn’t!

Now, there are a lot of Stars of the Week this week, which is nice. In fact, I think that this blog has something of a Stars theme! I can’t actually think of a better theme! So there are some extra ones this time, and to start us off, here are some photos of Kian in his NUFC shirt after the match on Tuesday. Howay, Kian!

And here’s another: Eve Anderson s a special kind of Star this week. She has spent 54 minutes on the eye gaze creating a picture for her dad’s birthday then going on to create the birthday card! This has been amazing work, well done Eve. Here’s the picture of her card. So lovely

 

IQ Christmas Cards

I hope that everyone enjoyed these. Thanks to a that were involved in any way with making and distributing them

Area Focus – MOVE to Learn

People keep asking for more! So we’re happy to oblige! It’s terrific!

Tina did a lovely ‘MOVE to Learn’ session this week. With Sophie they did a joint session in Anthony’s class where they were making Christmas paintings for this year’s Winter Wonderland. Everyone was in a change of position, high kneeling, standing frame, corner seat and walker. Great session. Amazing photos!

Please do look at the info we blogged out a few weeks ago about MOVE if you’re interested, or ask anyone from the Class Team to talk to you about it

 

Lower School Assembly – Advent

I really love that the Junior School at PHS have an assembly every week. I think it’s a really good opportunity for the whole group to come together, to share what’s been going on, and for the children to present their work and ideas sometimes. I really admire the students who do get up and speak, and am grateful to the staff who put the work in

This week Sarah was doing Advent – very timely! The primary department really is a lovely department, and it’s a complete joy to spend time with them – especially at lunch, like I did with Rebecca’s class – great chat!

Anyway, it was really nice to see all of Lower School in the Hall in their Christmas jumpers, next to the Christmas Tree! And to hear Sarah talk about Advent!

 

Student Voice

One thing that’s really important to us in the school is to do whatever we can, as much as we can, to listen to Student, or Pupil, Voice. We’re trying to get lots better at this, and Claire and Philip particularly are doing loads of work setting up systems so that we can listen more effectively to them, and take action where we can. The School Councils are one example of this, and there are other mechanisms too. For example, this week our School Improvement Partner – an inspector that we employ as a consultant – talked to some of the children, with Claire and Philip, about how they felt about some things in the school. It sounded really good, and Ann, the School Improvement Partner, will write us a report up that will help us know how to move forward and do this kind of work better. It’s a real priority for us

 

Group of the Week – 3TS!

Tracy and the team were so pleased with the whole class this week for their engagement with everything during their visit to the coast at the lovely South Blyth Beach (with one of the best fish & chip shops around in my humble but well-researched opinion). It’s a lovely thing to be able to have some trips again, based on Risk Assessments, and this one sounded really nice. Congratulations to 3TS!

 

Stars of the Week!   

Now for the Stars of the Week

The four Curriculum PathwaysEngagement, ELTBA, Accreditation and Preparation for Adulthoodare run by Steering Groups led by Kasia, Sarah, Rebecca and Louise F. There are Stars in each of these departments, and here they are!

 There’s a lot of great work that’s happened throughout the Engagement Team this week, including from the staff who’ve been great in some training they’ve done. However, the biggest Star has been Ellie-Mai in 3BE, so that’s amazing. The class has been doing some sensory work, and Elli-Mai has made a fantastic and independent exploration of textures in lessons. They really do have some great lessons! Well done, Ellie-Mai, you are obviously this week – and every other week – a complete STAR!!!

 This week the team would like to give their ELTBA Star of the Week to Josh in 2LL.  Josh has been working super hard on his handwriting and using a pencil grip.  He has been working with the class team and his OT to master this and they are seeing a huge improvement.  This is a really big deal and not the easiest thing to do, so well done! Total STAR!!!

4CH have produced a fabulous nomination this week from the Accreditation Pathway. In that class, Kristian has done brilliantly with his great attitude to work all week, and really hard work all round, showing a huge improvement in everything. Really well done, Kristian, and thanks for being such a great member of this KS4 team. What a STAR!!!

And, as per last week, we have a few from post-16, and Preparation for Adulthood. Quite right too. Here they are, are you ready?

 OK, first: Nathan. One of the best things that our students do is to work on overcoming their anxieties, and it’s one of the hardest and most important things that they do in preparation for their adult life. So it’s great that Nathan has done something to address his anxiety about visiting a guitar shop in Newcastle, because he was very anxious about it. Hugely well done, Nathan, lots of admiration for you, and for that you are a STAR!!!

Also in post-16: put very simply, Charlie has worked really hard this week – and this is a school after all, so that’s a pretty good thing to say about anyone! It’s actually great having Charlie around the school, and we’re all very pleased that he’s a student here now. Nice one Charlie, and you are definitely a STAR!!!

  The third star from post-16 this week is a person who also done something difficult, and that’s to have made a transition into a new class – again, a very big deal, to change all the people around you, staff and students. So big up to Jenson, who has made a great transition into 6LD, making you a very important STAR!!!

 Also, Kara! Kara has done some amazing driving in her powerchair, and some brilliant communication on her VOCA. How many great students are there in post-16? Loads, that’s how many. It’s very very nice indeed to see Kara’s name in amongst the Stars of the Week, and a true pleasure to name her as a complete………….STAR!!!

And I have a particular Star for this Week too. Danny made a presentation to Trustees, before going on to visit Gateshead College the same evening. He made a presentation about himself and his story and journey, did it to the whole Trustees Bard, and answered questions. I honestly know lots of grown-ups who wouldn’t have been happy doing that, and yet Danny was great at it! I’m really grateful and really impressed with all of that. Moreover, Danny presented to our School Improvement Partner later in the week too, as I’ve said elsewhere!

(I’ve added extra stars this week, as there seem to be so many of them in the school!)

Relationship, Sex, Health Education (RSHE) Parent Forum

This is a really important part of our curriculum, as is all of PSHE. Obviously it’s different depending on the students’ ages and stages. Here is a really progressive and good message from Jo, Leanne and Steffi

we would like to organise a parent forum for the Spring 2022 Term, and it would be great to gather more results before we evaluate all the date. This is the last chance to get involved before the Forum so please use the links below to access. Further details about the will follow in the Spring Term. 

For parents and carers of Primary school students (Year 6 and below): https://forms.gle/6SHxjEMESaxyDQpT6

For parents and carers of Secondary school students (Year 7 and above): https://forms.gle/14JhyFhFBxWXmXh5A 

Lots of love from the RSHE Steering Group, Jo, Leanne and Steffi

Thanks guys. I know that this can be a very sensitive area for some parents – and fair enough! – so please do get in touch with your Class Teacher, or someone else, or have your say on the links or in the Forum itself – please do, the more views we have, the better

Bird Watch with Andy

Another busy week of bird-watching here at school. In the run up to Christmas, 3BE are busy rehearsing their song for our Christmas Performance. They are singing ‘The 12 Days of Christmas and have made some brilliant GOOOOOOOLD RIIIIIIIINGS, partridges, calling birds, doves and French hens.

We counted how many of each set of birds there are… but I wonder if anyone could work out how many birds are mentioned in the song IN TOTAL (no googling!) Answer next week!

Also, 4TS had an amazing (if bitterly cold and snowy!) time bird spotting at Blyth beach on Thursday – we brought our binoculars and found lots of seagulls, one feeding their young right in front of us!

One of our students enjoyed seeing the birds up close so much he kept scaring them away in his enthusiasm – after, we talked about being quiet and watching without running towards them and managed to get some of the seagulls to stay still. Well, at least for a few seconds…

We even had time for fish and chips in the local café. Everyone in Tracy’s class showed what brilliant ambassadors for our school they are everyone had a great time – Drae expressed to me on the way back to the coach that he’d had a ‘lovely time!’

This is what Bird Watch is all about. There are so many things that people can do, and it’s a great unifying thing, the same way that Christmas is, or Red Nose Day, but we have it all year round. I think we’ll have some Bird Watch prizes for students soon too, because some of them are amazing with all of that kind of thing

Finally, Charlie’s Joke of the Week!

OK, well Charlie did tell me a knock knock joke this week, but he was tired after hydro today so didn’t want me to put it in. fair enough. Please put in your own knock knock joke eg

Knock knock!

Who’s there?

Doctor!

Doctor who!

Exactly, how did you know?

we’ll get back to charlie’s ones next time! Hope hydro was good, chap!

The jokester himself – Charlie!!

Finally

This is Harvey the new chair of the school council.  He has decorated the Christmas tree in the dining room with Jayden, Abbie, Nikhit, Casey, and Macey

The real Christmas tree for the library has been delivered and will be decorated next week- photograph to follow next week.

This week Ann, the School Improvement Partner I mentioned earlier, was in to talk with students about how their voice is heard in Percy Hedley and to get their opinions on what they thought about school. Thank you to the following students who talked with Anne

  • Sadie, Camilla, Sebastian, Jayden, Nikhit, Kayden
  • Katie, Owen, James, Aiden, Finlay
  • Callum, Santiago, Macey, Danny W, Jack W, Daniel O’B, Casey

And here are some Christmas Jumper pictures too

 

Children In Need

Well done to everyone who was involved in this, and thanks! Claire and Eileen counted the donations for the above, and it all amounted to £422.41. Cheers Eileen!

Finally! Again

Different font again

Percy Hedley Christmas Jumper Day – Friday 3rdDecember

Moving in a Winter Wonderland – Tuesday the 7thand Wednesday the 8thof December

Save the Children Christmas Jumper Day – Friday 10thDecember

Lower School Christmas Show – Monday 13thDecember (am)

Upper School Talent Show – Monday 13thDecember (pm)

Christmas Lunch Day – Tuesday 14thDecember

PTA Event – True Colours Musical Theatre Company – – Tuesday 14th/ Wednesday 15thDecember

Carols around the Tree – Thursday 16thDecember (Lower School am / Upper School pm) – Covid restrictions allowing this will be an outdoor event that parents are invited to

(The other events are pupils only due to current restrictions)

Lots of stuff there. Have a lovely weekend, and all the very best for you in the run-up to the festive season. Take care

John