Family Information and PTA News 17 February 2023

Welcome to Percy Hedley School's Family Liaison blog!

I have very much enjoyed catching up with those of you who have attended the coffee afternoons this week. I hope you enjoyed them. It has been a busy week, with a wonderful inset day yesterday where the school’s Act of kindness to students was a day of Circus skills, a disco and fun, fun, fun.

Have you heard, or have you been hibernating; this week we celebrate 70 years of Percy Hedley Foundation? There have been cakes, there is a birthday ball and silent auction this weekend and lots of reminiscing. Former students including Paralympian Stephen Miller MBE and Lost Voice Guy Lee Ridley showcase extraordinary achievements, and there are plenty of photos on social media of famous visitors over the years.

Today, to mark the success of NUFC reaching the final of the Carabao cup staff and students were invited to wear something sporty. We have students and staff from far and wide, so it has been colourful to say the least.



Smell the Roses    

Based in Whitley Bay, but open to female carers in other authorities.

“Who are we?

We give Mums and female carers time and space to be themselves.

Smell The Roses was set up as a charity in 2018 by experienced Mums, carers and guardians of children with additional needs. Towards the end of 2022 it was decided to change the legal structure from a charity to a Community Interest Company (CIC).
We understand that caring can be stressful, exhausting and non-stop. We’re passionate about giving tireless carers the chance to reclaim some essential me time – to recharge and refocus.
We believe you should always permit yourself some time off. However, this isn’t always possible from day to day. That’s why we run monthly ReTreat days during school hours to help you decompress and treat yourself.”

Inside our Autistic Minds: Chris Packham

Chris Packham meets other autistic people from across the UK and helps them create short films to reveal to their family and friends what’s really going on in their minds.

The series is available to watch on iPlayer. The link is below.

Caudwell Children: Autism Sensory Packs

We are still accepting applications for our new Autism Sensory Pack!

Processing everyday sensory information can be extremely difficult for children with Autism, any of their senses can become over or under-stimulated by their environment.

We have been mindful that the pack must be fun, educational, durable, and safe. Many of the items in the pack are compact, so they are suitable for travel or to take to school.

The pack is worth £112.80, but we ask families to contribute just 20%, which is £22.

Due to popular demand, it may take longer to process applications. However, we will contact families at every stage of the application process to give updates, so please bear with us while our team works through our current applications.

Apply now using the link below:



Great North Museum (Hancock): Relaxed session: Tuesday 21st February 9-10.00

This relaxed session is for visitors with autism, learning disabilities or sensory and communication disorders, along with their families and carers. If that’s not you, please visit after 10am. 


Enjoy early access to the Great North Museum: Hancock for a quieter, more relaxed experience. You can also enjoy a free 15-minute planetarium show – sign up at the Welcome Desk on the day (limited capacity).

Please note that there is no public parking on site and there are limited blue badge spaces which are available on the day on a first come first served basis.

If you have a blue badge and the spaces are full then we will endeavour to find an alternative parking spot on site.

Please see link below for more details.

Although not advertised as a changing place, there are facilities to change those who need more than a standard disabled toilet and you will find information below:

Newcastle Families: Beamish

Newcastle Carers


Visit the world-famous open-air museum, Beamish Museum, for FREE! Step back in time and experience life in the 1820s, 1900s, 1940s and 1950s!

We have two corporate passes available for carers registered with us to use for daytime entrance into Beamish Museum*. Each pass allows up to five people to enter Beamish Museum for FREE.

If you are a carer looking after someone in Newcastle, you can book to use our passes up to two times per year to visit Beamish Museum with the person you care for and family and friends. (Beamish Museum is currently open at weekends only).

For more information or to book a corporate pass, contact our Carers Information Line on 0191 275 5060, Monday – Friday, 10am -4pm. You can also email at

*There may be occasions when corporate passes cannot be used, such as during festivals or special events at Beamish Museum.

Reason to – Disability Triathlon.

This is just an advance notification or a “save the date” for this rather special event which is held annually at the David Lloyd Leisure Centre in South Gosforth (literally across the road from the Freeman Hospital). This year it will be on Sunday June 25th.

I have to say this is a fantastic event; supported by the David Lloyd Centre, SOS Group and Newburn Activity Centre. Jo Shallcross and Tracey Sample go all out to make this accessible to all. There are a few past and current PHS students who take part. If you’d like to know more have a look at their Facebook page.

Get into Newcastle

Here is a link to a page with lots of events over half term.

And for those looking for places to eat out, you will find some good savings on children’s meals in the link below. Do check out the regular venues too which offer free or £1 kids meals.

Better (East End Pool)

During February 1/2 term we are offering 2 FREE family sessions to families with children who have Additional Needs. The sessions are available to residents of Newcastle. Each session will take place in our studio pool to ensure a more quiet relaxed atmosphere. Healthy Pizzas and Wraps will be available after the sessions. Tuesday the 21st Feb 1.00 – 3.00 pm Thursday the 23rd Feb 1.00 – 3.00pm 1/2 Term SEND family sessions at East End Pool to book a place email or


Do keep an eye on our Facebook page for other ideas and share yours too.


PTA News:



The next PTA meeting will be on Thursday 16th March from 9.30-10.30. The AGM hybrid worked really well in a smaller room. You are welcome to come into school and have cake; Donna promised to bake next time!  Here is the link if you are free to join us online instead.

Thanks to those parents who have offered to help with events. I think this meeting will focus on our plans for the next few months. We always want to hear from you, so if you can’t join meetings you can email, phone or even write a letter with your suggestions.

PTA 100 Club

Thank you to all who joined the 100 Club this year. As you may or may not be aware we do the draws in 2 batches. The first 6 at the AGM and the remaining ones in July. This allows us plenty of time to publicise

The winners of the first 6 are below with each winner getting £44. Cheques are on their way.

1 Emma Mills

60 Donna Jones

88 Michelle Curry

54 Nicola Short

15 Catherine Telfer

23 Eva Hodgson

You might be thinking it’s too late to join; not so. £6 will get you 1 number for the remaining draws.

The link is here:

Facebook page:

This 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.


Today is Random Act of kindness day. I thought I would share this, from @Murphys-sketches. I really like the simplicity of the messages.

All that remains for me to say, as I sign off for a week is that I hope you enjoy the half term break.



Contact details

Eileen Robinson: Family Liaison Officer


Telephone: 0191 2161811 ext. 3260.