Family Information and PTA News Friday 28th April 2023
Welcome to Percy Hedley School's Family Liaison Blog!
This has been a busy, planning week and I’ve started my weekly news later than normal. Sometimes it turns out better; let’s hope this is one of those weeks.
A timely reminder that we have a Bank holiday on Monday, so enjoy the long weekend.
I visited the Careers fair in North Shields which I shared in last week’s blog. From personal experience I always advise parents/carers wherever possible to take up these opportunities. It helps to know what is out there and when your young people visit, as some KS4/Post 16 students did today can lead to meaningful discussions with them about their aspirations. If events take place in neighbouring authorities, it may give you ideas. I will share some of what I picked up in future blogs as I have asked for information.
Last week I shared dates for your diary, coffee afternoons, off timetable day, Magic Show so do have a look at this if unsure.
Beating the Odds:
The next off timetable day will be on Thursday 25th May and a letter with more detail will be sent home. The half termly events, covering a wide range of issues have been received well by students and staff. Louise would really like to hear from parents/carers. Has your child/young person mentioned them? Would you ask them and give Louise some feedback please? The link is here:
Social Coffee Morning:
On Friday 19th May I will be hosting a social coffee morning. Please see letter below
This week’s E-Safety blog from Maria contains some excellent information about Parental Controls. As your children become more independent in their use of technology it is so important that these are used to keep them safe online. The blog is at the foot of the E-Safety section of the school website and can be found under the “Parent and Carer” area, selecting “E-Safety” from the dropdown menu. The blog this week is dated 25/04/23.
Horner’s Happy Corner
You may remember the book written by Tracey, mum to one of our students Toby “The Little Falcon”. I’ve spoken with Tracey this week and wanted to share with you what she has been doing. She is passionate about inclusion and, off the back of writing the book here is what she has been doing:
“I have visited 16 school/nursery settings since October 2022, and have read my story and spoken to 1195 KS1 children so far.
I usually post details about my books and visits on my FB page Horner’s Happy Corner – Children’s book author.
During my visits I introduce Toby and Jodi, the inspiration behind these characters, Toby’s disability, I read the story, talk to the children about inclusion by showing them photos of the things Toby likes to do at home and on the community, and then we take a look at all of the medals Jodi sends over. I also tell them about her coming over for the GNR. Both children and teaching staff have really enjoyed my visits”.
Jodi, the American athlete, friend to Toby and his family and part influence for the book is taking part in the GNR this year. Tracey is writing her second book!
Visit her Facebook page here for photos of the school visits and more:
I have copies of the book for sale at £6.99. I bought 3, as I wanted to share with family members who are in the teaching and nursing (Learning Disability) professions. Apart from being well written and beautifully illustrated it is an inspirational book about inclusion. Here’s the front cover:
North Tyneside Youth Council:
Do you live in North Tyneside? Did you know that they have a SEND Youth Forum? Open to those aged 11-25 years with SEND, they work to collect the views of those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. Their aim is to meet with adult decision makers to have a direct voice discussing issues and agree how they can support each other to achieve positive change for young people and their families living in the borough.
For more information email email@example.com
North Tyneside Parent Carer Forum.
All local authorities have a parent carer forum. They represent the views of parent/carers with local authorities and with the NNPCF (National Network of Parent Carer Forums). We met representatives of North Tyneside’s at the careers event this week. They also organise workshops for parent/carers.
Don’t live in North Tyneside, but interested? If you search your own local authority you will find one.
In celebration of the amazing success of 70 years, we are asking those across the North East to get creative with the colour purple on Friday 19th May.
This could mean wearing purple clothes or having a purple-themed event like a bake sale. The possibilities are endless!
Whatever you decide to do on Friday 19th May 2023, every penny raised will go to support the children and adults we empower every week and their families. We would love your help encouraging as many people as possible to get involved, so spread the word to parents, teachers, friends and family, and together we’ll paint the toon purple.
Mini and Junior Great North Run
Mistletoe Ball 2023
The Percy Hedley Foundation is hosting another Ball this year, bringing back a classic theme of the Mistletoe Ball. Save the date for Saturday 18th November 2023!
There’s even a special offer; quote the following code for 10% off for parents and family members – PHSSCHOOL. To book email firstname.lastname@example.org and one of the team will be in touch.
DADLG: Durham Area Disability & Leisure Group.
Open to those living in both Durham and adjacent authorities this group has a lot to offer. I receive their Newsletters and would love to know if any of our families have joined/accessed their activities. They offer weekly clubs, holiday activities and trips and have something for both children and those over 18 years. I see they are organising some free events to find out how they can help more people access their activities and find out if there are barriers which can be overcome. Here are some examples of what is on offer:
- Pool party
- Go Karting
- Lego Party
- Day trip to Newby Hall and Gardens
- DanceAbility sessions
- Youth Club. Age 11+
- Trampoline Club
- Inflatable Play (at Bounce House)
Alan Shearer Centre
The outside play area is currently undergoing an upgrade to make it more accessible. The Centre is just 5 minutes from the A1, off the A69 and well worth a visit. You do need to register, but it is free. I am reliably informed that the indoor spaces are also being upgraded.
Free carer entry is available and an annual pass for students costs just £16.50. Access includes a changing place, wheelchair accessible transport and plenty of space for children to move around.
Did you know that they have sensory bags available to use during your visit? Guided by their Access Panel and designed to support visitors with sensory needs. The bags include; headphones, sensory book, lavender bag, football rattle, Beamish top trumps and Jacobs ladder.
The bags can be collected from their Entrance gift shop and requires a £10 refundable deposit.
This week Hannah, Tracy and I took up the offer of free online training on parent participation as a Parentkind member benefit. We have completed the first session, with two further ones before the end of the summer term. We caught up afterwards and all felt it was useful. I wanted to let parents know, as it demonstrates some of the benefits of being members of a national charity supporting PTA’s. If you have looked at the PTA section of the school website, or have been on the committee at any stage you know that within our purpose we aim to:
- foster better relationships between home and school.
- facilitate communication links between home & school, involving Parent Governors & providing input, as requested to specific school policies.
I will update you on our progress as we progress through the course, particularly anything we do/learn as a result. What we all took away from yesterday’s session was a feeling that other schools face similar issues, and it was a good opportunity to network.
The Class and Youth Group Metro pass had its first outing this week when many of our students in KS4/Post 16 visited the careers fair in North Shields.
If you haven’t already done so, have a look at the PTA section on the school website.
Our next PTA Meeting is on Thursday 11th May from 9.30-11.00. We welcome those who can join us in school, although I do need names in advance. For those who cannot get here, you are welcome to join online. Some of you have attended more than 1 meeting; we must be getting something right. We hope to develop an action plan for the year ahead, starting with the proposal to become Friends of Percy Hedley School and setting meeting dates. I have also invited John Strachan, Teacher who is part of the Outdoor Learning Team to join us. We have supported this area and I thought it would be good to have some insight from him.
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.
Enjoy the weekend; share your photos on the Facebook page along with ideas to inspire other families. Hopefully the sun will shine as we have planned a pre birthday BBQ (not mine) on Monday.