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


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?

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


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): 



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


Message from the Headteacher, 17th September 2021

Hi everyone

We’re getting into the swing of the term now, which is good. It’s very busy at the moment, as I’m sure it is for you too, but it’s busy in a good way, and I always prefer it when we are into the term, rather than at the beginning or end (maybe that’s just me!)

Please do take a moment to look over at the Covid part of the blog There is some news on there which will be interesting to many of you, and hopefully that you will approve of. Please do let us know of any Covid news related to your family so that we can take appropriate action. Thanks

Autumn Fayre

We are still on for tomorrow, and people are setting up as we speak. As it hasn’t been cancelled, we now have to hope for good weather! It will be really nice to finally meet some of you in person. I’m very grateful to anyone who’s had any kind of input at all into it – as well of course as anyone who comes. See you there!

Departmental Leads      

I wanted to say a few words about Tracy, Claire, Sarah and Louise F as they, along with a couple of HLSSAs, represent the key Departmental Leads who really do the lion’s share of running the school on a day-to-day basis. I’m talking about them so that you know how important they are, and how efficient, professional, hard-working and caring. Huge thanks to them, and I think it’s good that you know who they are if you didn’t already! We’re very lucky to have such a large number of great people for the children

Stars of the Week!

The Stars of the Week have got to be anyone who took part in the Great North Run! What a great event! I’m enjoying starting to see all the lovely traditions there are up here, especially as they’re all starting up again now. I don’t have pictures or even names of everyone, but I do know that Chloe and Amelie completed it and got their medals!


Our Annual School Project – Birds

Our first Annual School Project is on Birds this year, and is a lovely way to bring a bit of unity to the school. Different groups are doing different things, like 4CT’s Bird Maths with Rebecca and lots of other nice activities with Andy and others across the school. Teachers and classes are choosing different birds & habitats and starting to explore lots of aspects of this topic. It’s really nice to see

Two examples: 4CH have made some perfect peacock plumage this week – displayed on their classroom door as their chosen bird!

6CHe have also started a sensory story where the children experienced the crashing waves and lightening of a storm at sea in their story Puffin Peter. These are great

If there’s anything you would like to do regarding the Bird Project, please do let your Class Team know. Thanks

And finally…..

John Strachan and others are trying desperately to make the patch of land on the immediate left by the taxi entrance better, and they have great plans for that. We’re always looking for ways to make the school better and nicer for the children

OK, see you tomorrow or next time! All the best


Covid close contact update

Dear Parents/Carers, 

Thank you for bearing with us as we have been settling into the new school year whilst adapting to new Foundation guidance in school, along with the relaxation of Covid rules in the wider community which have taken place over the summer.

You will know from our Covid update last week ( that based on the vulnerability of our pupils in comparison to those in mainstream schools, we have as a Foundation taken the decision to put additional measures in place within all of our settings, over and above those recommended by the Department for Education (DfE) and Test and Trace guidance.

One of the additional measures implemented throughout the Foundation was to ask all staff and pupils who were identified as close contacts of a confirmed case of Covid and exempt from isolation, to stay at home until they had a negative PCR test result.  This is not in line with the national self-isolation guidance and is not a requirement from the DfE.

It has become apparent through feedback that this policy has been having a significant impact, due to the numbers of cases up until now, and the requirement for staff and children to isolate whilst awaiting a PCR test result, and for those children who have been required to remain at home due to staffing levels.  

We have listened to this feedback and in order to minimise the impact on our pupils, the decision has been made to bring our self-isolation policy for close contacts that are exempt from self-isolation more in line with the DfE guidance.  

This means that pupils and staff identified as close contacts that are exempt from the requirement to self-isolate will be asked to:

  • Do an LFD test as soon as they are notified that they’ve been in close contact with a confirmed case of Covid 


  • Strongly urged to get a PCR test as soon as possible but will not be required to self-isolate while they await the result.

We know that you may be concerned about the risk to your child with these changes, so please be assured that we will continue to put the additional measures in place for staff who are close contacts and not required to self-isolate:  We will:

  • Ask staff to complete LFD tests every day for 10 days (DfE guidance is twice weekly)
  • Ask staff to monitor symptoms closely and ‘think Covid first’ – if displaying symptoms and in doubt, get a PCR test and isolate until they receive the result
  • Ask staff to make sure they are wearing additional PPE at work for 10 days
  • Staff who have been identified as close contacts will not work with learners who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable for 10 days following their contact with a positive case
  • We will arrange for the area of school where the positive case has been to be cleaned with disinfectant mist (fogged)
  • We will ask pupils who can do LFD tests to do them every day for 10 days
  • In line with guidance those who are identified as close contacts and are exempt from isolation, will remain in school while awaiting a PCR test / results of a PCR test.  We will notify parents/carers of any pupils who are working in a group with staff or other pupils who are close contacts via a letter at the end of the school day.   

In addition to the additional measures for staff, we also ask that our pupils continue to follow ‘think Covid first’ and if displaying symptoms and in doubt, get a PCR test and isolate until they receive the result.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and as always will do so in conjunction with public health; however please be aware that we may need to continue to adapt our approach in response to any changes to the situation or to guidance, but please be assured that we will always communicate these changes to you in a timely manner.

If you have informed us that you would like us to treat your child as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) then as outlined in last week’s communication, alternative measures are already in place and remain unchanged.

If you have any questions, please email

Thank you for your support.

With kind regards 

School Senior Leadership Team


For more information, please see government guidance:


Message from the Headteacher, 10th September 2021

Hi everyone

Well, we seem to be at the end of our first proper week, and it’s great to be back into the swing of things again. People are getting settled into classes old and new, with new projects, maybe new staff and classmates, possibly a new room – or some of these things might be the same. It’s been a joy to see it all start up again

The only downside has been that we’ve had a few positive Covid cases, and whereas that isn’t as bad as it used to be, because of new testing arrangements, it’s still disruptive. We’re so sorry if you’ve been disrupted. We’ve hated it too. Thank you so much for working with us – it isn’t easy. We’ve put Covid information on a separate blog, to clarify some of those issues, so please do have a look at that:  The arrangements change all the time

OK, on with some other stuff

Autumn Fayre

We’re still on for the 18th September, and it would be great to see all or any of you there! Huge thanks to Eileen and Jo. I’m looking forward to it. It will be great to have the opportunity to come together, having been denied that so often and for so long. Things can change, of course, but we all have our fingers crossed

 Amazing Exams

The hard work in really unusual circumstances that our students put into our exams really paid off, and they deserve so much credit and respect for what they’ve achieved. They will have the achievement of those exams all their lives. They’re complete stars al of them. Huuuuuuge congratulations

Charlotte, Ben, Brandon, Finn, Chris, Alan, Lewis, Nathan, Jamie, Danny all performed absolutely brilliantly

I would like to say immense thanks to the staff who supported them through that, so massive gratitude to Maria, Phil, Chris, Lena and Rebecca

Therapy Team

You should have received a letter this week telling you names and contact details of your child’s therapists along with a link for you to access a questionnaire about therapy input. Please do complete the questionnaire if you can as it helps us tailor your child’s therapy input and address any issues or concerns you may have. Please also do not hesitate to get in touch with your child’s therapists if there is anything you wish to discuss

Our commitment to therapy really is what sets us apart from other ways of doing our work, and we’re so lucky to have the ones that we do

Family Meeting Room

We’ve had some work done to the buildings over the summer – some people have worked really hard – and we’ve managed to create some new spaces for therapy, nursing, teaching, and some extra rooms. One of the best is a Family Meeting Room near the front of the school, which is really nice, and a bigger Meeting Room next to it. I was going to post a picture of Eileen in it, so maybe Eileen is happy that I can’t do that today! I’m sure we can do more with all of our family work, and do as well as we can – I’m sure we can do more. We’re very lucky to have some of the parents we do, the PTA, and Eileen. Just these rooms mean that at least we have nicer places to meet and talk at times, and hopefully will show you that we are serious about this crucial aspect of our work, one where we want to improve, as with everything

Our Annual School Project – Birds

I put some pictures of birds on the blog last week, because we’ve decided to have one project each year that we all do, and this year it’s about Birds. The idea is to try and bring the school together a bit by having a shared curriculum interest in an area that a lot of people like, young and old, on many different levels, and which is a great hobby to follow in this area. Some of the children and staff have already really goner for it in a big way! If you want to contribute to that in any way, please do!

On that note, we already have two Stars of the Week! 

Sophie made these great bird biscuits, and I can say from direct experience that they were lovely! In fact, Sophie is one of the reasons that we chose Birds as our first Annual School Project, as she is a bit of an expert on them. Have a look. I had three!

Sophie! A Star of the Week!

Also, #2 Star of the Week is Finn, who made Owl keyrings that were really skilful, and also quite cute. See for yourself

Finn’s Owl Keyrings

Congratulations and thanks to those two Star Students


The calendar of events I mentioned last week is being put together by the staff that are delivering them, and we’ll get that out as soon as we can. Several staff are on it!

Take care, see you soon. Have a good week, and a lovely few days now



Covid Update

Dear Parent / Carer,

As we’re coming to the end of our first week in school we thought it worthwhile giving a quick Covid update:

Lateral flow test kits

Testing continues to work well for those testing in school and at home and we thank you for your continued support with this.

Kits for those testing at home are being sent home this week.  Could we please remind you that results should be logged with school and the NHS Track and Trace:

If your child tests positive please contact school to advise us of this asap; please do not bring your child into school.

We will continue to facilitate testing in school for those who have requested this.

Close contact of positive cases

Government guidance for educational settings changed significantly over the summer recently removing the requirement for bubbles, social distancing and the use of face coverings. However the Foundation have taken the decision to continue with these measures, for the time being at least, given the increased vulnerability of the pupils we support.  A Foundation wide risk assessment is in place and regularly reviewed along with a localised risk assessment for Percy Hedley School; both of which are available on the school website.

We have also chosen to adopt a more stringent approach to managing close contacts which mirrors the arrangements in our residential settings (covered by  a different set of guidance) and again provides additional control measures to support our most vulnerable students. Whilst we are fully aware Covid 19 restrictions are relaxing in wider society  we feel that this is best practice given we are a setting supporting some very vulnerable children and the fact that  we can see another increase in covid cases across the UK. We will continue to review these extra measures over the coming weeks and adjust if we feel we are able to relax them.

Our measures for close contacts of positive case therefore are as follows:

  • Those who are double vaccinated (must be 14 days past your second vaccination) or children and young people under the age of 18 and six months, are exempt from isolation however the Foundation would also advise:
    • The close contact should seek a PCR test and not come into work/school until a negative PCR result has been received
    • For the 10 days following the last contact with the positive case and on receipt of a negative PCR, an LFT should be taken each morning prior to coming into school
    • If the close contact has had Covid within the last 90 days, they can remain in work / school whilst completing daily LFTs.
    • Close contacts should ensure social distancing as much as is possible and staff will be asked to wear additional PPE
  • Where the close contact is not willing to complete a PCR test a separate individual risk assessment will need to be completed to determine if the individual can return to school.
  • Staff who are not fully vaccinated will need to isolate for the full 10-day period following their last contact with the positive case.

Clinically Extremely Vulnerable category (CEV)

We sent a form earlier this week asking parents to advise us whether their child was in the CEV category.

If your child was classed as CEV you would have previously received a letter from the NHS or from your GP telling you this. You may also have been advised to shield in the past.  Whilst Shielding guidance has been paused we still need to know if your child is classed as CEV or if you feel we should class your child as CEV.

Whether you would like your child to continue to be treated as CEV is your choice. 

It is very important that we know which pupils are CEV as government and local authority guidance clearly states that any close contacts of a positive case MUST NOT work with CEV pupils. We have therefore asked for parents to complete the above form so that we can arrange staffing accordingly on an individual basis when needed.

Please be aware that if you do consider your child to be CEV and we are unable to safely allocate staff who are trained for your child’s specific needs, then we may need to ask that your child remains at home and accesses remote learning during this period.

If you have completed the above form to advise your child is CEV but on the above information no longer wish this to be the case, please recomplete the form asap.

Whilst we appreciate our measures are over and above those contained within the government guidance, we would like to reiterate that DfE guidance is written for mainstream settings.  Please be reassured that at all times we are continuing to liaise with and work closely with our local and National Public Health teams.

Best wishes,

School Senior Leadership Team

Rebuilding PHS 080921 V10

PHF Coronavirus V41 080921

Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) children and young people

Our school Risk Assessment states that close contacts of positive cases will not be required to self isolate so long as they are:

• Double vaccinated (must be 14 days past your second vaccination.
• Complete a negative PCR tests (and remain off work whilst they await the result)
• Complete LFD tests for the remainder of what would have been their isolation period

Staff who are close contacts however are NOT permitted to work with clinically extremely vulnerable students during the 10 day period when exempt from isolation. In order that we can identify those CEV pupils should we need to look at specific staffing arrangements, please complete the following form:

Government guidance and information relating to the CEV category can be found via the following link:


For your information we also attach a copy of our latest risk assessment

Rebuilding PHS 080921 V10