Family Information and PTA News 16 December 2022

Welcome to Percy Hedley's School's Family Liaison Blog.

As we reach the end of the penultimate week of term school has been a hive of activity and it has been hard to keep up. Moving in a Winter Wonderland was amazing, and it just gets bigger and better every year. It is the epitome of teamwork; a dedicated, creative MOVE team, a supportive PTA and a flexible, can-do approach by the whole school giving all our students the opportunity to enjoy the magic. Long may it continue. Yesterday was the craft and coffee afternoon for the ELTBA classes and some classes went to St John’s church to create Christingles or, as Phillip told his mum to “decorate oranges”. This morning we had Christmas Carols at Killingworth library with a few stars of the show. I’m seriously considering co-opting a certain student onto the PTA. Those who were there, including his mum know exactly who I mean. A real wow moment! I hope those who were able to attend the events to which parents were invited enjoyed themselves. Lovely to have some refreshments provided too and I applaud the staff who navigated the icy conditions to get students safely to and from the library.

Next week the fun continues with the Christmas Fair on Wednesday. Please remember that this is organised by our older students in the appropriate accreditation classes (mainly KS4/Post 16) who do this as an enterprise project. Younger students in Lower School will not be present, but it is still a lovely opportunity for all parents/carers who are able, to visit school and support these students. It’s also another chance to talk to other parents. On Wednesday we have the Engagement Pathway Special Assembly.


16-19 Bursary. Application forms are now available and will be sent to those who responded. There is also a recording of the session I ran for parents which I can send by email.

Click here for the link to the government information

I am here to help if I can, so please contact me if you think your child/young person may be eligible. This bursary is available only to students who were 16-19 years old on August 31st 2022. If they turned 19 this year, they may still be eligible.


Durham Families

We have been asked to share this with Durham families…

Picture News: Grinch Christmas Campaign 2022

This may be of interest…


Illuminating Ushaw: Land of Enchantment

If you enjoy the light trails, you’ll need to be quick as this one ends this weekend.

It is wheelchair accessible, but I can’t see information on changing facilities. For information, more photos and booking, see below:


Whitehouse Farm

This is open only for pre-bookable events in December. They have “Santa’s Enchanted Elf Journey” on until 24th December.

They have disabled toilets, unfortunately not “changing places” and offer discounts to carers. See below to book tickets:



The Auckland Project at Auckland Castle

I’m not sure how accessible this one is, but I have emailed so if it is of interest email me and I’ll let you know if I get a response.

“A traditional experience with a twist awaits those visiting The Auckland Project this winter. Expect all of the usual festive ingredients, mixed with an element of the unexpected!

With an Auckland Castle Christmas Ticket you will be able to enjoy three fabulously festive experiences, all new to The Auckland Project this Christmas.

Marvel at the magnificent dried flower garland in Auckland Castle featuring 30,000 flowers, be dazzled by a monumental 18th-century Neapolitan Nativity scene in the Faith Gallery, and see Bishop Auckland recreated in gingerbread in Auckland Tower.”


Schoolhouse; Fenwick

The Schoolhouse is a self-catering cottage, located in the North Northumberland village of Fenwick. Recently adapted, it offers an accessible ground floor room with adult profiling bed, ceiling hoists and ensuite wet room. There are 3 further bedrooms upstairs.

Further details and booking information can be found on their website.



As I write, I am working to arrange another PTA meeting. The next one is due to be held on Tuesday 24th January in the evening. I am reluctant to proceed with this unless more parents can join. Please know that, as a parent of a former student who has had the hectic, unpredictable, stressful, challenging, exhausting days and nights being a SEND parent brings I fully understand why they are difficult. We introduced them as parents said they would attend, but apart from the first this hasn’t happened. If we changed to a day one, or organised a hybrid, where parents could join by TEAMS would this work? Please let me know.

The benefits of the PTA to school are worth the effort. Having seen Dreams on Moonbeams, MOVEing in a Winter Wonderland and the Outdoor Learning Area I really think we make a difference. I had an unexpected, very welcome donation to the PTA of £250 from a gentleman who is part of the Rotary Club this week. He has seen our children sing at Eldon Square in previous years and last year the Rotary Club donated £150 and he provided a hamper for our raffle. This year, it was a personal donation, delivered by Marie, one of our parents. How kind is he to think of us, but…we’re worth it!

Facebook Group.

The link to join the closed Percy Hedley School PTA Facebook group is here. Please do invite your family to join, but ensure they answer the question. Do not, however invite professionals as we want this to be a safe space for all our students and families.


Just a week to go and we can all sit back and relax. I hope that you have enjoyed the activities and events over the last few weeks. Have a good weekend,



My contact details are:

Eileen Robinson


Telephone: 0191 2161811 ext 3260