Family Information and FOPHS News 26th May 2023

Welcome to Percy Hedley School's Family Liaison blog!

What a beautiful start to half term? Summer seems to be on the way. This week has been all about the departmental parent coffee afternoons. Some are very well attended, others less so. We would love to hear from you; is there any reason, apart from work, distance, appointments which is stopping you attending? If we can, we would like to help.

There was also the fitness with Joe Wicks; now that was exciting and the students who attended all seemed to enjoy it. Real inclusivity is, in my view when differently abled get involved with activities alongside peers in the mainstream settings!

Yesterday was the Beating the Odds off timetable day and school was a hive of activity; lots about that in the school blog.


Save the date:

My next social coffee morning will coincide with the final MOVE event this academic year. They are planning a MOVE Fest over 2 days.

Last year, parents/carers attending a coffee morning had the opportunity to see the MOVEing all over the world day. This is the one which won them £500 worth of vouchers. In school we have come to expect the best from the MOVE team; so creative. So, I will hold a coffee morning on Wednesday 5th July from 9.30-11. At its conclusion we will have a walk around to see what they are doing. More on that next half term.

Staying Safe in the sun:

You will have seen the information circulated this week relating to keeping children safe from the effects of the sun. Please ensure that you send your children in to school with a hat, sunscreen clearly labelled and that you have consented to us supporting applying sunscreen. The link to the information is here:


This week’s blog from Maria is related to:

Childnet have produced a wonderful suite of resources for educators and parents/carers of SEND young people aged 11 years and upwards. These relevant resources are to help empower our young people to navigate their online world. The useful resources are broken down into three areas:

  • Healthy online relationships
  • Digital Wellbeing
  • Online pornography

You can find this on the blog; scroll to the end to the one titled “Thrive online from Childnet: 22/05/2023.

The link to the E-Safety information is here:

Jenny Wilkin is running her first Marathon on Sunday

Jenny, who works at this school is taking on the Edinburgh Marathon on Sunday to raise funds for Percy Hedley School. I’m a huge fan of this wonderful lady, who has previously helped push one of our former students round the GNR. Her story is special, so have a read if you have time. If you can, please consider supporting her. The link to her page is here:

“We are all just the same”, by Tracey Horner

Tracey, mum to our student Toby has written another book. If it’s anything like The Little Falcon, her first one it will be amazing.

If you’d lie more information have a look here



Disability Living Allowance: DLA.

Contact-for families of disabled children has recently updated their information on applying for DLA with a series of videos. It is so important to keep up to date with things like this, and I continue to share updates as I see them.

My top tip is to be as prepared as you can be once the form arrives. Having evidence at the ready, being up to date with the process is key. If you need support, signposting or guidance please get in touch.


Haystax Farm

I have had several really positive reviews from families and staff visiting. Here’s one from a parent:

“We went to Haystax Farm on Saturday and wanted to share the information leaflet they gave us. The people who own and run this are so lovely and helpful and have created an amazing environment where everyone feels welcome.

We loved it and we were lucky to go on a day where it was lovely weather and also they showed us around the lodges too .

The cafe has lovely food and three sensory rooms and a changing places and when you are there you instantly relax with the beautiful views.

We went there for recommendation from your blog page but wanted to say it is definitely worth going even if it is just to meet the amazing people there.”
Here is the link to their Facebook page. Just a note; They will be closed tomorrow, Saturday 27th May due to The County Show at Corbridge.

Lilidorei at the Alnwick Garden:

Unless you have been in hibernation, you will know that this is opening on May 25th. Reported to be the largest play park in Europe. It is aimed at children under the age of 11, but older ones are welcome. I thought I would do a bit of research. They have certainly paid a lot of attention to making this inclusive but, for me have missed the mark for those who are wheelchair dependent and want more than to be pushed around. Whilst there is excellent accessibility at lower levels and lots of sensory inclusivity, for visually impaired etc I would have liked to see more than a nest swing. There are disabled toilets, but there is no reference to a “changing place”. I’d love feedback from those who go.

Other information:

Tickets can be purchased to visit it in isolation or there is a combined one with the Alnwick Garden. Children aged 2 and under can go free. The visit time is limited to 2 hours, 45-minute slots and need to be pre-booked. I’ve included links to booking information, accessibility below. There is a reduced rate for Max card holders and free carer ticket; for the latter you will need evidence.

Contact details: You can contact them for further information on access. I can see there is a large toilet with an adult sized changing facility. However, I can’t see if there is a hoist. If you phone the number below and select option 1, hopefully they will be able to answer any questions., 01665 511350,



Some relaxed screenings in Newcastle

Relaxed screenings:

The Little Mermaid on Sunday 4th June at 11am at Cineworld, The Gate.

Relaxed screenings are back at the Tyneside Cinema, Pilgrim Cinema, Newcastle.!

Our relaxed screenings are open to all, but are particularly mindful of neurodiverse audiences, with adjustments in place to create an inclusive, relaxed environment.

All screenings will feature:

  • Tickets priced at £6, with Companions going free.
  • A mixture of new release films and highlights from our classic film seasons, e.g., our screening on 4 June of Fantastic Mr. Fox. Films will be aimed at a range of ages.
  • Doors opening at 11am, with the film starting at 11.30am as advertised.
  • A short introduction from our friendly team, who will welcome everyone and let them know what to expect.
  • There will be no advertisements or trailers.
  • During the film, lights will be lowered slightly, and sound will play at a slightly lower level.
  • Guests are free to move around during the film, and to make use of the breakout spaces we will have available.
  • Wherever possible, screenings will feature descriptive subtitles.
  • After booking a ticket, we will email a Social Story document to every booker to outline what to expect at the screening, including information about the film, our building, and timings of the screening.
  • Screenings will always take place in the same screen (in the Roxy, on the third floor of the cinema), on the first Sunday of each month.

Our first three relaxed screenings are:

Fantastic Mr. Fox (PG)
4 Jun, 11:30am

Indiana Jones & The Dial of Destiny (12A)
2 Jul, 11:30am

Barbie (TBC)
6 Aug, 11:30am


Fantastic Mr Fox Sunday 4th June 11.30am at Tyneside Cinema Pilgrim St


Newburn Activity Centre

I can recommend Newburn as we have been there. They have a good range of bikes to hire. For anyone taking part in the Reason to-Disability Triathlon, this is where they get them on loan for the day.

Ideal weather at the moment for a bike ride. We have a range of Mountain bikes & adapted bikes you can hire from the centre. Some Great cycle routes around Newburn, Wylam and Throckley.

Please contact the centre for more information:



FoPHS News:

We are still trying to recruit some of our lovely parents to help organise our Autumn Fayre which will be on Saturday 30th September. Could you give a little time to share the load? Please get in touch with me if you can offer a little time.

We are happy to start collecting donations of bottles, gifts, toys, chocolate and raffle prizes. Please send in to school marked for my attention. Thank you in advance.


Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 20th June 9.30-11. You are welcome to join in person or online. Just let me know so that I have enough biscuits, chairs, cups…you know I like to be prepared (and I was never a girl guide)

The link to join online is here:

Facebook page:

Have you noticed that the name of the group has changed to Friends of Percy Hedley School?  It is a closed group for family and friends of Percy Hedley School, where you can share news and updates about school life. It is not for external professionals who may be working with families. To join, you need to answer the question stating your link with school.

Please note: this group is for sharing news and updates about school life and is not intended to discuss any issues around individual students, and as such all comments are moderated. If you have a particular issue or concern, please contact school directly on 0191 216 1811.

All that remains is for me to say:

  • Enjoy half term and get out and about if you can
  • Share your photos on our Facebook page
  • Share your experiences for the benefit of other families.

Remember how wonderful you are


“As special needs parents we don’t have the power to make life “fair”, but we do have the power to make life joyful”.




Contact details

Eileen Robinson: Family Liaison Officer


Telephone: 0191 2161811 ext. 3260.